6. Encourage their dreams.
Every dreamer needs a dream cheerleader. Be that for your spouse.
7. Build a dream together.
At the beginning of every year, we talk about goals. Goals for our marriage, our family, our future. The goals are written in pencil because we know at any time, life happens.
The roof leaks. The doctor calls. A family member needs help.
The dream gets put back on the shelf, for now. But keep talking about it. Maybe the shape of it will change over time, but don’t stop dreaming.
8. It takes a tribe.
There’s a reason you have people stand beside you when you get married and in the audience as you say your “I Do’s”- we need people.
Marriage is hard.
It’s the reason when my husband agrees to officiate a wedding, he asks the couple to write him a check for $1,000 with the understanding that they will get their money back if they have met with him at least six times for counseling their first year of marriage.
As the years add on the wrinkles and gray hair, find your tribe that will listen, encourage, and stand beside you.
Can I meddle a little?
Do not encourage a member of your tribe to listen to your woes about your spouse. Talk about your woes with your spouse first, share as a couple with another couple next, and then if the woe is still great, talk to your pastor or counselor.
9. What happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom.
Communicating with your spouse about sex is encouraged and it’s a vital part of a healthy marriage. Communicating with your friends about what happens or doesn’t happen is not.
10. Disagreements are inevitable.
We are two selfish people living in a small house with four selfish offspring. Disagreements and disappointments happen every day around here.
The solution: make it a choice, each day (and some days, every hour) to consider others more important.
My husband and I are not looking for a happy marriage. We want something much better.
This article originally appeared at The Art of Simple.