15 Reasons My Marriage Has Lasted 15 Years

Fifteen years is a long time to be married. When I think about the roller coaster of highs and lows my husband and I have shared, I see all the great times that led to deeper connection and all the struggles that led to growth and to our lasting marriage.

Marriage is not easy and it is not a fairy tale as many would like to think. But it is an experience that will bring you joy, pain, growth, and teach you more than you can imagine.

As a therapist, I’ve worked hard to practice what I preach.  These 15 values have been the foundation of why my husband and I have a healthy marriage and have persevered through all the hard times:

#1 We serve each other

Part of marriage is sacrifice. It can’t always be about you. Serving each other helps your spouse feel valued, loved, and important.

#2 We forgive

No one is perfect. If you choose to love someone, then you must be willing to forgive. Here are some ways to forgive even when it’s hard.

#3 We dropped fairy tale expectations

The little girl dream of living happily ever after had to be let go of. I had to set realistic expectations that part of marriage is accepting the awesome times and the difficult ones.

#4 We share our faith

Our faith is the foundation of who we are and what we do as individuals, so having it at the center of our marriage gives us common perspective, goals, and connection.

#5 We are on the same team and cheer each other on

Teamwork is vital for a healthy unified partnership and everyone needs some affirmation and encouragement along the way.

#6 We love deep conversation

marriage talkThese moments are precious to us. We get vulnerable and share what we really think and feel. We have the safety to be totally open and get to an emotionally intimate place together. These are the times we really “know” each other the most. Here’s some conversation starters to get things going!

#7 We empathize

As a married couple, it is important to ‘feel’ together. When one of you is going through a hard time, you have to climb into the struggle with him. Doing this helps him feel like he’s not alone in the struggle and that his feelings are understood and validated.

#8 We say thank you

Everyone needs to feel appreciated! If you need some help on this one, here’s 99 reasons to be thankful for your husband.

#9 We ask for honest feedback and give it

Doing this gives us a place to share things on our hearts about an issue that needs to change and also affirm areas that have improved.

#10 We have fun

Sharing life together should include having fun and laughing together. Here’s a few fun date night ideas.

#11 We respect each other

This is a must for a healthy relationship. We share often how proud we are of each other and what God is doing in our lives.

#12 We allowed the hard times to make us grow

Many struggle thinking about hard times like this, but it is important to see that our difficult moments are an opportunity for us to sort through issues and make changes. Many life lessons are learned in the middle of hard times {Tweet This}.

#13 We don’t sweep things under the rug

Resentment is a wall that divides relationships. When you let things build up over time, it becomes toxic to your relationship.

#14 We share our needs and expectations

We can’t read minds so it is important to be open and honest with each other about what we need.

#15 We pray for each other

Life is full of challenges. A way to support each other through the hard times is to spend time praying for God’s strength to help make it through.

I am so thankful for how far our marriage has come these 15 years, and look forward to the years ahead.

Do you need to work on any of these areas in your marriage?