In preparation for anniversary week, I reached out to some of the most in love, hard working couples I know to ask for either their best relationship advice or the biggest lesson they’ve learned within their marriages. As we all know, relationships are hard – marriage is hard. A smart woman once told me everyone’s happiness looks different – no one thing works the same for every couple – so here are all of the gems I got in response. They are all SO good.

“Touch her butt, buy her pizza and wine.” – Married two years

“Find someone that you not only love to be around but fits into all aspects of your life, friends, family, lifestyle… then you don’t really need any tips or tricks, things just work.” – Married three years

 “‘Date” your husband. My favorite nights with my husband are when we go to dinner just the two of us. Having our baby girl turned our lives upside down and we need nights where we go out to eat and spend time just us two (even though we talk about her the whole time).” – Married two years

“Ask the other how you can make their day better and try to do so, otherwise you get in the rut of I did this and you did that – I cleaned and you only did this. Sounds dumb but it works when I want to kill my husband.” – Married seven years

“Our journey through infertility and loss has been heart wrenching. I never thought this would be our story, but through our struggles our marriage has grown stronger. We processed our journey different from one another (and still do), but we always try to stay on the same page. However, infertility tested our marriage (and still does). There is some yelling, a lot of crying and laughter too. I’d say communication and laughter are two important factors in any marriage! Our life is different than what we thought it would be, but it is still beautiful. We are a team and I’m thankful for my husband.” ❤️ Married six years,

“I’ve learned to ask for EXACTLY what I want or need (i.e. will you go change that dirty diaper now so I can wash these dishes?) rather than wait for it to happen…because it may never, since men think very differently than women. They need direction.” – Married four years

“Fertility and children in general can test a marriage. My husband and I often joke that “teamwork makes the dream work” and it is so important for us to support each other rather than tear each other down, even when we disagree.” – Married four years

“Have perseverance. Every relationship has it’s ups & downs & there will be times you’re convinced your partner is a grade-A asshole. If you can stick it out together through the lowest of lows – mental illness, deaths in the family, unemployment – your relationship will be so much stronger & you won’t be able to imagine yourself growing old without this person. (Of course, I don’t condone sticking out w/someone who is abusive.)” –  Partnership for 20+ years.

 “‘If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! And be helpful.”  – Married six years

“Wake up each day & go to sleep each night grateful for the ones who love you, support you and take you for who you are. They may not always agree with you but they are they are there for you good or bad.” –Married 29 years

“If you ever get to a point where you are so annoyed and feel like all you can see in your husband are his imperfections spend a night out with your friends and see all the d-bags trolling for girls.  You will be reminded just how lucky you are and why you chose who you did. The imperfections will no longer be your grateful heart’s focus. Sometimes getting out of the house is all you need to appreciate what’s inside of it.” – Married six years

And now for us:

“The biggest thing I learned this year about marriage is that it is never going to be perfect and the only way to get through the tough times is to be 100% honest about everything you’re feeling.  The tough times create the best times because when you get through them the love for your partner is stronger and you appreciate the good times more. If you put yourself ahead of your relationship, you’re doomed so don’t think a couple cups of whiskey will make you feel better – I mean, it does but only for a couple hours” – Seth

Listen with love. It’s so easy to get caught up in our frustrations and emotions that we start listening to our partner with the sole intention of defending ourselves or further proving our point. Proactively listening with love means listening without any preconceived notions with the intention of understanding where your partner is coming from, identifying what’s hurting them and what they need from you. I’m super independant and strong-willed. The things and the people I love, I love to a fault. The things I believe in, I believe in to a fault. The stands I take, I take very seriously. Seth is a lot of the same but in a different way. So listening with love is something that, especially in the moment, is very difficult for us but luckily we have a lifetime time to work on it.

NOW, for all the lovers out there, I leave you with this…