I have been married 23 years. This is the advice I would give myself if I could go back:
Be adventurous. My wife and I have ran a marathon together, climbed a volcano together, and we’ve traveled to Belize, Cuba, and Mexico…together.
Be her biggest cheerleader.
Wake up with the thought, ‘She won’t out-love me today.’
Be Competitive With Yourself
Some say marriage isn’t a competition. It is for me. I’ll love her more.
Keep Dating Alive
Never stop dating her. At least once a week. You plan everything.
Be intentional about communicating in your marriage. Set up a time to talk every single day. Have coffee…and listen.
Don’t keep score. This is huge. Relationships aren’t 50/50. Relationships are two people giving 100%.
Worry About Yourself
Assume she’s giving 100%. You worry about you.
Kids Come Second
Put your spouse ahead of your kids. They’ll leave someday.
Parents Come Second
Put your spouse ahead of your parents. I can’t believe I have to even mention this.
Don’t watch porn. If you’re addicted, get help.
While you’re at it, kill your t.v. What you fill your mind with matters.
The only woman you should be alone with is your wife. This shows your faithfulness.
Take care of her financially to the extent you can. Financial security is high on anyone’s list of needs.
Clear Your Debt
Get out of (bad) debt and stay out.
Invest Your Money
Start investing. IRA’s and Index Funds will get you most of the way there.
Spend less than you earn. My wife and I were desperate to get out of debt ($45k), so we decided not to buy ANYTHING for 12 months. No things, no restaurants, no Christmas gifts. Out of debt in one year.
Take care of yourself so you can take care of her. Eat real food Exercise 30 minutes a day Get 7-8 hours of sleep Drink enough water.
Meditate. Learning to spend time alone is a superpower.
Rise earlier. Be ready to lead your family before they even open their eyes.
Lean On Faith
Read the Bible. Take the steppingstones God has laid out for us in His Word. Loving God is a way to love your wife. (If you’re not religious, rely on whatever your faith in life is.)
Understand Love Languages
Read the 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. Lavish her in her love language. (This isn’t to tell her what your love language is.)
Say ‘I Love You’ Often
Tell her you love her. And then work your a** off proving it.
You don’t just ‘luck’ into a happy marriage. It takes both people being intentional. Of all the investments I’ve made, my marriage is the one I value most.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by George Sisneros. You can follow his journey on Twitter and his website. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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