Today, April 30th is our 10th wedding anniversary.
Yes, just like Prince William and Kate Middleton. (They copied us btw, long story.)
The photos here were taken 10 years apart – the one on our grand staircase taken on our wedding day, and now today in our new home, Success Manor.
Wow. Sometimes I can’t believe how fast the time has gone.
Sometimes it feels like we’ve been together forever.
The irony is that we didn’t meet until we were both in our 40s and had both gone through a LOT of shit in previous relationships.
So here, in no particular order, are the 10 lessons I’ve learned from 10 years of marriage:
Lesson #1: Find someone who GETS you.
One thing I love about my wife is that she GETS my silly humor.
In previous relationships, when I would say something that I thought was side-splitting, the girl would look at me like, “What the heck was THAT all about?”
But Babette sincerely laughs at my corny humor (some would call them “Dad jokes”).
It reminds me of that scene in “When Harry Met Sally…” when Billy Crystal is telling Meg Ryan about the bad date he had, and she laughs at the joke that the OTHER girl didn’t laugh at.
I love that Babette is like my Meg Ryan, only hotter.
Which leads me to…
Lesson #2: Laugh together.
It’s true: She doesn’t really get Monty Python.
Then again, as I remind her often, when Monty Python was popular back in the 70s, she had a LIFE.
While I was sitting around watching TV.
So while it’s important to laugh every day, it’s also important to find things you can laugh about TOGETHER.
Which means I don’t watch Monty Python as much as I used to.
But I also get why what was hilarious in the 70s might not be as entertaining today.
(In other words, you had to be there.)
Lesson #3: Compare.
We’ve heard it a million times that “you shouldn’t compare yourself to others.”
We all do it anyway.
And the reason we do it is because we want to live the life we want to live.
So when we see other people living the life we want to live, we go, “Hey, I want that too!”
Nothing wrong with that.
The problem comes when you ignore this next lesson…
Lesson #4: But compare strategically.
When you see other people/couples doing/having things/experiences you want, instead of going, “Oh man, I could NEVER have THAT!”
Instead, say: “How can I get/do/be that?”
Then strategize with your partner/spouse and figure it out.
Lesson #5: Take out your head trash every day.
Okay, so I’m a little biased about this tip… since I’ve written 15 books on the subject.
Yet I still believe that the #1 cause of unhappiness in people and relationships is what I call head trash – that voice in your head that says, “I’m not enough.”
That’s one reason that more than 20 years ago, my first newsletter was called “You Are Enough.”
Why do you think I’ve coached so many people and written all these books on this ONE thing?
Lesson #6: Marriage is NOT 50/50.
In a marriage, each person firmly believes that they do more work than the other.
That they have sacrificed more than the other.
That they work harder on the relationship than the other.
Guess what? They’re both right.
From each individual’s perspective.
So stop trying to make things “even” because that ain’t gonna happen, pardner.
Lesson #7: Always speak well of your spouse.
Have you ever made a passing remark about your spouse to someone else – and then had that person repeat it back to you a million times?
“Remember when he/she (did/said this lousy/stupid/insensitive thing)…”
And you’re like: “Dude, I don’t even REMEMBER that.”
Yeah. That one’s on YOU, pal.
Which leads me to…
Lesson #8: Keep your mouth shut a lot more than you think you should in public.
You know that smarmy, sarcastic thing you thought of that’s so clever?
Yeah, you should probably shut your pie hole.
Because it’s probably not as funny as you think.
(I learned this from getting my shin kicked under the table approximately 187 times.)
Which leads me to…
Lesson 8: Speak up when something’s bothering you.
Lesson #9: Speak up when something’s bothering you. But do it in private.
These lessons seem to contradict each other. But they don’t.
Because when something’s bothering you, the one person you need to talk about it with is your significant other.
Especially if you think the problem is coming from them.
Because it probably isn’t.
Lesson #10: Be open to being wrong.
I say it all the time: I love it when I’m wrong.
Because it means that I’m growing and learning and evolving and transforming.
I don’t have all the answers. Duh.
Which leads me to…
Bonus Lesson #11: Ask better questions.
You knew I had to include this, right?
And I’m not just talking about using #Afformations
I’m also talking about asking your spouse better questions that will elicit better answers.
Questions that help them see themselves better.
Questions that help YOU see yourself better.
Questions that help you become better Loving Mirrors to each other, and to the world.
I hope you enjoyed these 10 lessons I learned from 10 years of marriage.
And in the immortal words of Old Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra (our wedding song)…
THE BEST IS YET TO COME.
P.S. We’re thinking about starting up a small new group where we help 10 couples rekindle the romance and joy and sensuality and sexuality in their relationship so they can be happier and healthier and more fulfilled and smile and laugh and make love and cuddle and hold hands a lot more.
This won’t be group therapy, because we’re not therapists.
This is for couples who are fed up with “meh” and want to put the “YEAH BABY!” back in their relationship.
Would you like to join us?