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Five Marriage Tips and One Life Lesson

by Kathleen Quiring on August 6, 2010

A week from today, Ben and I will celebrate five years of marriage.

Consequently, I will not be blogging for the next week or two, as the two of us are spending the week in Montreal to celebrate this milestone. And we don’t have a laptop, so I will be completely internet-deprived.

Generally, I am averse to offering relationship advice of any sort, but today I think I’m entitled to offer a few tidbits. We’ve made it to five years! Yay, us! As a tribute to our half-decade of marriage, I’m stealing Alisa’s idea and offering five lessons that I’ve learned about marriage and relationships in the five years that I have been wedded to my darling (but sometimes rather insufferable) husband.

1. In life, you have two options: put up with people’s crap or be lonely.

2. Forgiveness is something that you practice more for yourself than for your spouse. Holding onto hurt takes an outstanding amount of energy. It’s not worth it. Accept that your spouse is going to be a complete douche-bag sometimes, just like you are.

3. Let your spouse dream. Let him/her be unrealistic. You’re not necessarily doing your spouse any favours by jumping in and being the “realistic” one all the time. Your prudence might actually be preventing your spouse from becoming more fully him/herself.

4. Worry less about financial security than about your spouse deriving vitality and satisfaction from his/her work. Having a spouse who is fulfilled by his/her work might be more important to your shared happiness than a stable source of income.

5. If sex is still no fun a year or two after you started doing it, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a sexless marriage. You probably just need more practice. It’s a skill that needs to be cultivated just like any other, and it takes time and experience to be good at it. It might even take several years. That’s OK, because you have the rest of your lives to perfect it together.

And since I’m in a sage and generous mood, here’s a life tip that I have also learned through experience:

*When you finish a box of cereal and remove the inner bag, and you still hear a few leftover pieces rattling around in the box, don’t eat them. They have been outside of the bag for who knows how long and will be repulsively stale.

Happy Five Years, Darling! It’s been a blast.

marriage couple fun laughing

{ 2 trackbacks }

Friday Link-Love Theme: Love and Marriage and…Sex | a nourishing home
August 27, 2010 at 8:03 am
5 Things I’ve Learned in 5 Years of Marriage
August 30, 2010 at 5:43 am

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie August 6, 2010 at 8:53 am

Yes to number 2! I’m currently working on trying to let go of past hurts because I can feel the constant drain that they cause. Wish it were as easily done as said.


2 Sarah August 6, 2010 at 8:56 am

Definitely good lessons (particularly 1 & 2.) Happy anniversary!


3 Heather Greene August 6, 2010 at 9:13 am

Happy Anniversary Kathleen and Ben!!

Man, it’s amazing that it was five years ago that I was dressed up in a black velvet medieval dress, on the microphone directing people to the buffet line at your wedding reception. You two have a marriage that I use as a positive example for my own in the future. I’m glad that you two are celebrating this milestone the way it deserves – with French (Canadian) ammmmmmour! Enjoy yourselves in Montreal, and try to hit the Biodome if you can – amazing aquariums and realistic habitats, plus PENGUINS!!

As for your list of advice, I thank you. I know how hesitant you can be to dictate advice, so be assured that these are very helpful. Heading into a marriage myself, I appreciate all the advice you (or other married folks) can offer. I found #4 especially insightful, since it’s something I instinctively believed but had never seen elucidated before. Thank you for stating it.

And although this is probably TMI, I can completely confirm #5. It really does take years to get good. This doesn’t mean that you suck – we’re not all naturally pleasure-inundated sex-kittens, as the media might lead us to believe. I’d say it’s the norm to take years to get to know each other well in this way – it’s a skill that needs practice and time, just like any other. Which rocks, because it means you get to keep practicing!
Okay… enough on that topic from me.

Have a great time in gay old Montreal!
Happy Anniversary,


4 Scott August 6, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Ditto the good wishes and congratulations on your five year anniversary!

I like your list of marital advice, too. Really good stuff! I’d add to #3 to be sure to dream together. You are right, when it comes to dreaming, practicality should be banned from the discussion. And as for #5, at almost 30 years of marriage, it is still getting better all the time.

Have a great trip. Do something crazy and spontaneous that you will look back later on and think, “I can’t believe we did that.”


5 alison August 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Congrats to both of you! 5 years is a big deal (and so are 1, 2, 3, 4 yrs…)!
I hope it only gets better from here!

And I LOVE the points you mentioned. Not preachy at all, and they are written with such simplicity and truth, I couldn’t agree more! ESPECIALLY #2. AND 3. Those are clearly the ones I have issues with.
Anyways, I hope you guys have a great trip. Toronto was really good to us, btw!


6 Michael Dundas August 6, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Happy anniversary to you both. I love the picture of the two of you in the article!


7 Becca August 7, 2010 at 12:13 am

Happy anniversary and have a great week away. I love your number 1!


8 Vina August 16, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Congratulations! I love all the five points you made here! The first two I’m learning in life in general, and the last three – oh man, they have definitely made marriage much more enjoyable in our short four years together. :)


9 Nags August 8, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Really there are many couples that are in search of the best ways to have a happy marriage.With determination, staying power and patience, the are high that one will come out of the journey amazed and exposed a new world of opportunities with marriage intact and even better than ever. By keeping these factors in mind and many more, one can pave his/her way towards a successful and happy married life.


10 Alisa DiLorenzo | ONE Extraordinary Marriage November 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I have to say I’m a big fan of these posts. For the past 2 years my husband, Tony, has written a post why he loves me. This past year was our 16th wedding anniversary and he wrote one with 16 reasons why he still loves me,

Life and marriage ebb and flow over the years and I will have to say that #5 is spot on. I would say that the first 11 years of our marriage sex was eh. Now though it is amazing and it continues to get better.


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