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I can hardly believe it – where did my life go?! – but the Husband and I have been married for nearly 1,000 days (993 days if you’re counting, which I clearly am). 

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I don’t consider myself a relationship expert by any stretch of the imagination; however, we haven’t killed each other yet, so that must count for something, right? 

 

All joking aside, we have a happy, healthy, and fulfilling marriage.  And, at least for us, that takes work.   I think any couple that says a marriage doesn’t take work is either lying or are both perfect specimens of the human species.

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Here are 10 things that I’ve learned after 1,000 days of marriage:

 

1 – Sometimes, he really, really doesn’t want to talk about it.  Keep your mouth shut when he begins to give you the signs that the conversation is over.  This is actually something that I’ve only begun to understand.  Some people – like my Husband – don’t feel the need to verbally hash out everything that happens.  This is hard for me because I like to talk about everything to the end of time (I’m a writer, after all!).  But more talking isn’t always better. 

 

Also, don’t assume you know what he’s thinking just because he’s quiet.  The other week, the Husband said something that made me realize he felt completely differently than I imagined he did about a particular situation.  It was like – WHOA! 

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2 – Don’t get mad just because he wants to ‘fix’ your problems.  Is it just me, or do all men try to ‘fix’ their women’s problems?  This happens to many friends of mine so I’ve begun to think it’s somehow related to gender.  You know, you tell him what’s wrong and you’re crying and sad, and then he’s offering up all these solutions and remedies and you find yourself getting SO PISSED OFF!  And all you want to do is bitch and have someone say, “Uh huh, yes, that’s terrible.”  I’ve realized that my Husband’s desire to fix things is a good thing – it means he cares and wants me to be happy ASAP.  If I want someone to listen to me complain over and over again, I call my mom.  If I want a solution, I talk to my Husband. 

 

3 – Have your own hobbies.  Occasionally, readers ask me if I’m sad because the Husband doesn’t race with me.  Are you kidding me?! I love having my own hobby.  The Husband has his – golf – and the time apart is good for our relationship.  We’re together all the time since we also work together.  I think it’s really important to have your own set of friends and hobbies.

 

4 – Don’t keep score.  “I took out the trash so you should unload the dishwasher.”  I read once that couples tend to overestimate their own contribution to household chores by 120% and underestimate their partner’s effort by a similar amount.  My attitude is generally if I want the dishwasher unloaded immediately, I should just do it myself instead of silently brewing.

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5 – Choose your battles.  When we were married, we asked my 90-year old grandpa for marriage advice.  He said, “Choose your battles.”  Whenever the Husband and I begin to argue, we ask ourselves if this will really matter tomorrow.

 

6 – Turn off the television and actually talk about your days.  We’ve begun keeping each other really up-to-date with our businesses.  Normally, we would only tell each other the highlights – “I got this gig” or “My client was happy” – but now we sit on the couch at night and go through all the details.  We feel closer and more connected to that aspect of each other’s lives.  Plus, we can offer each other advice and feedback.

 

7 – Volunteer together.  Girls on the Run has been so wonderful for our marriage.  It’s allowed us to see each other in a new light and has been a very positive experience.  I really believe all couples should find a way to volunteer together.  IMG_3908

8 – Lay in bed at night and reminisce about the old days.  Hold each other’s hands and talk about what it was like when you first started to date.  Remember the layout of your first apartment.  Relive your wedding day. 

 

9 – Acknowledge the role your partner has played in your success.  This has been HUGE for us.  We both have sacrificed so much and worked very hard to allow the other person to achieve their dreams.  Whether their contribution has been emotional, financial, or time, say thank you and say it often (here are my other tips on how to make a working relationship work).

 

10 – Have sex.  Lots of it. 

 

What’s your secret to a happy relationship?

{ 212 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Katie @ cooklaughmove September 23, 2011, 10:41 am

    My best tip is ask each other the best part of your day! Every night when we turn out the light, we ask each other the best part of the day. It is fun to see what stands out as best and why. Typically his are related to physical things (great round of golf) and mine are more emotional (a good run because I was feeling down and it boosted my spirits).

    Reply
  • Meredith September 23, 2011, 10:42 am

    #2, #4, and #5 really resonate with me (and #10 too hehehe). I’m not married yet, but we’re definitely headed in that direction and relationships are hard. But you’re very right about the points you make and it makes the relationship easier. I do agree that you need to work on a relationship… people change, situations change, and life gets hard so you have to work at it. It wouldn’t be worth that effort if it wasn’t meant to be!

    Reply
  • Katie @ cooklaughmove September 23, 2011, 10:42 am

    And I think being on the same page financially is a HUGE helper in a happy marriage!

    Reply
  • Kayla September 23, 2011, 10:45 am

    I’m not married yet, but I do have a wonderful boyfriend. It’s so amazing to hear about a happy, healthy young married couple. I feel like there’s a lot of negativity out there about marriage and monogamy. So thank you for reminding me of all the good that comes with it!! The #1 tip is something I seriously have to work on too.

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 10:48 am

      I have also noticed this and feel like its so similar to the “babies are terrible” theme that I talked about a couple weeks ago…

      Reply
      • Dana P. September 23, 2011, 11:37 am

        Agreed! My husband and I have been married 3 years and 4 months and there are definitely ebbs and flows to every relationship. We are determined to be an example of a couple who respect each other and enjoy each other’s company. We always have the other’s back and regularly assess our relationship to see what needs improving. It’s easy to get in a rut and I think most couples don’t want to put in the work to get out of the rut. If each person put their partner’s needs above their own then no one would feel left out.

        Reply
    • Katherine September 23, 2011, 2:08 pm

      I totally agree with this! I got engaged in January and one of my coworkers actually said “My condolences” to me! So rude and negative.
      I have been given so much ridiculous advice- people are so jaded. It’s almost as if people assume my marriage will not be a healthy and happy one, which I can pretty much guarantee is false. I agree that a marriages takes work, but I don’t think I am setting myself up for failure just by getting married, which is what so many older people imply.

      Reply
  • Eliza September 23, 2011, 10:55 am

    Thank you for this post! As someone just starting out in a new and really exciting relationship, this really resonated with me as things I need to keep in mind.

    Also, that is a really nice picture of some really ugly Christmas sweaters :)

    Congrats on the 1,000 day mark!

    Reply
  • Dana September 23, 2011, 10:56 am

    These are great tips, Caitlin! I know that we need to work on #6…especially when we have one of those routine type of weeks (wake up, work, workout, dinner, veg in front of the TV til bed). I think too, when you fight or are mad, step back and remember why you married him. Remember that he is your husband (partner if not married) and communicating WITH each other is so much better that barking AT each other.

    Reply
  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 23, 2011, 10:56 am

    Aww this is such a great post Caitlin! You and the Husband are so cute (especially in those Christmas sweaters!), and it sounds like after nearly 1000 days, you really seem to just “get” each other. I’m single at the moment but I hope to find someone who I get along with just as well. And when that happens, I’ll keep your advice in mind!

    Reply
  • Cat @Breakfast to Bed September 23, 2011, 10:56 am

    I’ve been married for 7 years. I think #10 is super important, also, I think it helps to be able to be stupid goofy together. Just ridiculous. Laugh your ass off goofy.

    Reply
    • Liz September 23, 2011, 3:42 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. I think this goes along with don’t take yourself (or eachother) too seriously.

      Reply
    • Nikky September 26, 2011, 10:50 am

      I think being stupid goofy together is one of my favorite parts of being in a relationship. We’re not married, but we’ve been together since high school, 7 1/2 years (lived together for 6) and he can make me laugh so hard it HURTS even when the last thing I feel like doing is laugh.

      Reply
  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas September 23, 2011, 10:59 am

    These are so true! I am getting married next August and my fiance and I have lived together for alittle more then a year. The biggest thing we (okay .. I ) had to do was pick my battles. I used to pick each and every one of them. Now I pick very few. it isn’t worth it.

    Reply
  • hippierunner September 23, 2011, 10:59 am

    Oh god #2. Haha so true and so frustrating!

    Reply
    • Nicole Dyan September 23, 2011, 4:29 pm

      Seriously! I thought this was just something my SO does, and I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in being frustrated with it. I am rational and smart enough to know how to solve problems, and appreciate advice when I ask for it, but sometimes you just wanna vent! Let me vent, honey!

      Reply
  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 23, 2011, 11:01 am

    #1 & 4 really resonate with me. I want to talk about everything and he is pretty much the polar opposite. And not keeping tabs is very hard but, very necessary or you’ll drive yourself crazy.
    PS- love that picture of you guys at Ashley’s wedding! (at least I think that’s where it’s from?)

    Reply
  • kwithme September 23, 2011, 11:01 am

    My husband’s #1 piece of advice is “use a 2×4″. He wants to make me happy but I can’t be subtle about what I want. I have to “hit him over the head with a 2×4″. Be obvious. So, I have worked on asking for what I want for the last 19 years and not being upset if he did not infer the perfect thing. He’s happy and I am happy.

    Reply
    • Jules September 23, 2011, 12:31 pm

      this is great advice. i am so guilty of expecting my boyfriend to “just know” what i’m wanting or needing or thinking… wrong! example: instead of trying to drop clues about needing more affection, i finally said, “can you kiss me more every day?” immediately i saw that he made an effort to do so. it sounds so simple, but the above commenter is SO right, and the 2×4 imagery kind of cracks me up! :)

      Reply
  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' FitnessDiaries September 23, 2011, 11:03 am

    I love this post – great words of advice and wisdom. I also love that second photo of you two! Very cute.

    Reply
  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun September 23, 2011, 11:04 am

    Agree with all. Especially the one about actually talking. That makes such a huge impact in my opinion. And definitely the last one. Gotta keep that spark. ;)

    Reply
  • J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 23, 2011, 11:05 am

    All excellent advice and I 100% agree with everything you said. Dustin and I basically follow this same set of “rules” and we are happier with each passing day. :)

    Our “secret” to a successful relationship? We genuinely enjoy being with each other all. the. time. We always have fun and never take each other too seriously. It’s a balancing act. You have to listen and observe and react or don’t react in the right context, at the right time. Sometimes it’s hard, but most of the time it’s easy because we make it that way.

    I also agree with those that said that being on the same page financially is very important. My husband and I are DINKs (Double income, no kids) and quite happy. We’ve said so many times how thankful we are that we haven’t had kids yet because there are times that they would have made life more stressful than necessary. We are completely happy with each other, and if we decide to have a child one day, great. If not, we’re still happy with a 2-person, multi-fur-baby family. :D

    Reply
  • M September 23, 2011, 11:06 am

    This post is exactly why I continue to read your blog..I used to read all the food/healthy living blogs years ago and stopped because I was bored of picture after picture of oatmeal and hummus and I’m not a runner…but you are such a great writer and I love when you shake up the content. I will continue to read and read!

    Reply
    • Dana September 23, 2011, 5:29 pm

      Agreed – I love the variety of your blog.

      Reply
  • Khushboo September 23, 2011, 11:07 am

    Noted for future use :)

    Reply
  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) September 23, 2011, 11:08 am

    I absolutely adorrrrrrrrrrrre being in a relationship, even though I thought I’d never be. We’ve had to deal with pretty much everything on that list already and have enjoyed every moment.

    And… I seriously cannot wait to be married. I’m almost 26.5, and we’ve been together for three and a half years. Those who are snarky about relationships probably hasn’t found the right person (I was one of those nay-sayers); I’m very lucky that I have. It’s not all kittens and rainbows, but it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.

    End sap.

    Reply
  • Sarah @ w30 September 23, 2011, 11:08 am

    I love this! They are all great tips – #1, #4, #6, and #10 especially resonate with me! :)
    Actually, I was commenting on the Daily Garnish yesterday that I love your relationship posts (conversation was about mixing life posts with niche posts on blogs – like pregnancy posts on a food blog)!
    One other tip that works for me: try to minimize the negativity. We trust and rely so much on our partners, it’s easy to unload all of our stress or frustrations from the day on them, but that can get old really fast. If I have a bad day at work, I’ll still share it with Eric (he’s my support, after all), but I try not to dwell or complain too long. I’d rather let it go and enjoy our time together!

    Reply
  • Cynthia (It All Changes) September 23, 2011, 11:10 am

    My big tip is ask questions you’d never think of. Like if we could do one thing right now without restrictions what would it be? Or what is your favorite memory of me? What can I do to make you feel more loved?

    Asking these questions help get past what you think you know and actually know it. We ask one of these type of questions a day and actually listen to the answers. It’s helped me know Hunni more and more.

    Reply
    • Laura @ Backstage Balance September 23, 2011, 11:19 am

      I like these questions!

      Reply
    • Amber K September 23, 2011, 1:23 pm

      My husband and I are constantly doing this! We’ve learned so much.

      Reply
  • Carly September 23, 2011, 11:15 am

    I agree with the “turn off the tv and talk”. The best thing that my husband and I do together is take the dogs on a walk – 15 min or 1.5 hrs, doesn’t matter. It forces us to get away from technology and just talk. Plus… it tires out the dogs so they sleep better and therefore WE sleep better!!!!

    Reply
  • Maddie September 23, 2011, 11:16 am

    I love this list. These are GREAT points. I’ve only been married a year, but I’ve been with my husband for almost 9 and these are definitely the things that work for us/what we work to have too!

    Reply
  • Ashley @ Freckles & Spice September 23, 2011, 11:16 am

    I love all 10 of these. My bf and I have been together almost 7 years – might as well be married.
    I can relate to number 2, the one about fixing things. This has sparked a number of fights. Good idea about calling mom.
    And number 6 is great – we’ve recently been trying to take walks and leave our iphones at home so we can just enjoy each others company.

    Reply
  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 23, 2011, 11:17 am

    Love this! I agree that spending quality time together (and #10!) is SO very important!

    Reliving the dating days is super fun as well…you can learn some fun things about each other and how our minds work!

    Reply
  • Kathleen @ Onward;Inward September 23, 2011, 11:18 am

    YESYESYES, amazing post! And, holy heck, when did you get married? My husband and I tied the knot on December 26, 2008, and I just calculated that we’ve been married 1,001 days! It’s very possible that my math is off though (not my strongest subject, haha).

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 11:22 am

      We got married on January 3 2009!

      Reply
      • Kathleen @ Onward;Inward September 23, 2011, 11:35 am

        Ahh, yes, my math was off. Regardless, I am forwarding this to my husband for a “1000-ish days” reflection :)

        Reply
  • My Blonde Moments September 23, 2011, 11:18 am

    I might have just emailed parts of this post to my boyfriend and called you a genius!! Not kidding, either.

    Points 1 & 2 are ones that I should probably print out and post on the fridge now that the BF and I are living together. I’m always wanting to yap yap yap about everything and he’s much more introverted. I’m so guilty of the “what’s wrong…why aren’t you talking…why aren’t you entertaining me” kind of stuff. Also point #2…hello you just totally hit on my major relationship flaw. So many times I’ll call the BF crying about some dumb work thing or friend drama and he always goes into damage mode to suggest ways for me to fix the issue at hand. And I always end up freaking out on him!!! He’s always so shocked by my freaking out and can’t understand why I’d just want him to say “wow that really sucks” instead of trying to fix it. I definitely need to be more understanding of his willingness to help me out and just call mom when I need a sympathetic voice.

    Anyways, yes, you’re a genius! LOVE this post!

    Reply
    • Mariel September 23, 2011, 3:48 pm

      Hahaha, so true! Guys do always offer suggestions on how to fix the situation. I’m like, “Can’t you just agree with me and let me bitch about it?!” :)

      Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:37 pm

      Thank you sweetie!

      Reply
  • Amanda @ Amanda On Foot September 23, 2011, 11:22 am

    You know why I read this blog? Because you’re not afraid to say shit like “Have Sex. Lots of it.” You’re awesome.

    Reply
    • Nina September 23, 2011, 11:31 am

      Agreed!

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      • Freya September 23, 2011, 2:45 pm

        Agreed also! Caitlin, I love you. :p

        Reply
  • Charise September 23, 2011, 11:24 am

    I am slowly learning #1 too – I want to talk, and talk, and talk about things. My husband will be all grouchy, I will say “what’s up”, and his response will be “I had a bad day at work, and no I don’t want to talk about it.” Which is frustrating to no end to me, but I have to learn it just makes it worse when I continually badger him to share.

    I am the fixer (#2) in our relationship though, which I think is related to #1. I am of the mindset that “if you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change your attitude about it”, which also drives him crazy. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t want to vent to me, hahah, cuz I’ll get annoyed and tell him to stop complaining and do something about it.

    Anyway, yes, marriage takes work to be good and I love that we can all acknowledge that rather than pretending to be perfect.

    Reply
  • Marissa C September 23, 2011, 11:26 am

    Love the picture of you in the Christmas sweaters–you look so pretty!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:37 pm

      Aw thanks :) My mom would say its because I was wearing lipstick. Hehe.

      Reply
  • Janie September 23, 2011, 11:26 am

    That’s funny you mentioned #2 might be related to gender, because in my life it’s exactly the OPPOSITE. All the women I know (family, friends) hardly ever just sit and listen to me when I’m venting – they always try to talk it out (which isn’t what I was looking for, of course). In contrast, my boyfriend, brothers, and dad don’t ever try to fix me. It’s refreshing!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:38 pm

      Oh man Im jealous of your skills. I wish I was like you!

      Reply
      • Janie September 27, 2011, 2:27 pm

        Skills?

        Reply
        • CaitlinHTP September 27, 2011, 4:28 pm

          Oh I think I was high on coffee. LOL.

          Reply
  • Holly @ The Runny Egg September 23, 2011, 11:27 am

    One thing that has really helped us sounds so dumb but its true: TALK ABOUT THINGS. Also, reading 5 Love Languages was good because we each know what makes each other feel loved.

    Reply
  • Army Amy* September 23, 2011, 11:27 am

    Take a minute to stop & thank your partner! Now that my husband is deployed, I really miss all the little things that he did.

    I agree with picking your battles. My husband leaving clothes on the floor used to drive me crazy. Now I actually kind of miss it. (And I wonder, why did that make me so mad???)*

    Reply
  • Lindsey September 23, 2011, 11:28 am

    Great post, love 4,5 and 7. 4 is so important I need to work on that for sure! I love to volunteer with my husband as well and think it is important we contribute to our community together :)

    Reply
  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel September 23, 2011, 11:29 am

    WHOAH WHOAH, when did those epic holiday sweaters happen?! If there’s a post on this, I need to find it haha.
    Anywho, almost 1000 days…congrats! I’m nowhere near being married, but I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic (and maybe just a typical girl) so I like reading lovey dovey advice like this! Based on what I’ve seen in my parents’ marriage (they just celebrated 25 years), I especially agree about the volunteer tip. My mom always says how important volunteering is to be happy with life in general!

    Reply
  • kalli September 23, 2011, 11:30 am

    yes yes yes! you are so wise for your years caitlin! i am 41 and just figuring all this out. have a great friday!

    Reply
  • Moni'sMeals September 23, 2011, 11:30 am

    A-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!!! SO CUTE you two! Where did you get those Christmas Sweaters????

    I have been married for 7 years, we met when I was 19. Respect, communication, compormise, and sharing ice cream. :)

    But what I really want to say is, Happy Wife, Happy Life!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 11:31 am

      Dillards. They were so ridiculous.

      Reply
      • Emily G. September 23, 2011, 1:59 pm

        HAHA! Those sweaters may be ridiculous – but it’s totally something my 76 yr old grandmother would wear! I’ll buy it from you? LOL! JK!

        Reply
  • Liz September 23, 2011, 11:33 am

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you write stuff on the blog like this list, and not just food/health related posts! All my favorite blogs have fun ‘other stuff’ besides healthy living posts and I think that’s what makes those blogs my favorite. I love the healthy living topics, but also love to see the other side/sides of the bloggers :D

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:38 pm

      Thank you Liz :) I appreciate it!

      Reply
  • Corrie Anne September 23, 2011, 11:34 am

    Love it!! I’ve been married almost three months and everything you said was SO TRUE. I agree with #1, but I would also say that if there’s something you NEED to talk about – don’t put it off. I have a tendency to wait until really late to bring up something serious with my husband, and by then he’s soooo tired. Aka don’t get to bed mad! :)

    Reply
  • Theresa @ActiveEggplant September 23, 2011, 11:35 am

    Oh I love #8!!! My husband an I love looking back at what our life was like when we first got together. All of the butterflies in our stomachs & the nerves. So much fun! It’s really amazing to see how far you’ve come & reliving it sort of brings that feeling back after years of togetherness.

    Reply
  • Brooke @ Tales of a Bride-To-Be September 23, 2011, 11:37 am

    I will be married in 15 days! So I feel I should be able to contribute, we’ve lived together for 2 1/2 years. We communicate on everything, it may be fighting but we don’t assume the other knows what is going on. Also we have alone time away from each other. My running is my thing, not his I don’t want him to join me. Just like he doesn’t want me to join his activities. We also do #10 a lot. That seems to help ;-)

    Reply
  • Leah @ Why Deprive? September 23, 2011, 11:39 am

    This is such good advice. Especially having your own hobbies. That was the beginning of the end with my ex boyfriend. A whole bunch of stuff happened, and with the exception of running, I had nothing for myself. He would come straight to my house after work, and claim that he had zero time to get anything important done because he was always with me. I would have preferred more space, and told him that, but I never got it. At some point it just gets to be too much. You need your own life too.

    Reply
  • Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama September 23, 2011, 11:40 am

    I love how understated #10 is. :-) I don’t think many people truly realize the importance of sex and intimacy in a marriage. It is so powerful and can really help so many other areas of a marriage!

    Reply
  • Penny September 23, 2011, 11:42 am

    My husband and I have been married 11 years, and we still have no clue what we are doing. :-) We are trucking along somehow though. :-)
    I love your advice. I love the one about underestimating your patners contributions. My Hub and I are SO guilty of this.

    Reply
  • Sonia (the Mexigarian) September 23, 2011, 11:42 am

    Oh sweet Lady, yes the dishwasher is a BIG deal with me. I feel like I am constantly the one doing all the cleaning and such, loading and unloading dishwasher. Big fight about that. Oh, and #2 is enlightening. When I stress and have issues he offers ‘solutions’ and ‘fixes’. Annoys the heck out of me, but I guess, now . . . lol, I should appreciate it.

    Great tips. Hubby and I have been together 7 years, married 1 and still drive each other nuts.

    Reply
  • Katy (The Singing Runner) September 23, 2011, 11:42 am

    Ha! Love the last tip! I literally spit out the water I was drinking because I was laughing so much!

    Even though I am far from getting married (future husband, where are you? ;)) I think these are fantastic tips! :D

    Oh, and I’m in LOVE with the pink dress you are wearing! Super adorable!

    Reply
  • Amanda September 23, 2011, 11:44 am

    I’m getting married in 1 week so this post is very timely!! Thanks!

    Reply
    • michele September 24, 2011, 1:53 am

      congrats!

      Reply
  • KatieG @ Just Roll With It September 23, 2011, 11:47 am

    GREAT post! Great tips! Thanks! So true about how guys try to “fix” things…it’s a difference in the way men and women are, and I think it’s even in the book “Women are from Mars, Men are from Venus” lol

    Reply
  • Mary September 23, 2011, 11:47 am

    I like the last one… heh!
    But really though, I think you’ve nailed it on the head.

    makes me excited to get married soon… well… we have lots of time (2013) but it’ll be here before we know it! :)

    Reply
  • Chelsea September 23, 2011, 11:57 am

    The last one is a good one haha ;) You did a really good job about describing all the points to have happy relationship though. I’m young (19yrs) and a lot of my friends ask me how my boy-friend and I make it work so well (3 years). It’s all about love, compassion, and putting the other first. You nailed all of the points right on the head though. Specially about them giving advice! Sometimes it just makes me soo mad so know that you’re not alone lol.

    When we do argue, and I notice him getting mad I’ll apologize. Silly things should never turn into big things.

    Reply
  • Katie September 23, 2011, 12:00 pm

    I love this! #1 was a big lesson my last relationship taught me. And that picture of you two with the Christmas tree sweaters is hilarious/adorable :)

    Reply
  • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine September 23, 2011, 12:01 pm

    This is all great advice. I so feel the same way on Number 1—if he says he doesn’t want to talk, he really doesn’t! I used to think I was doing something wrong with my BF, or that it was somehow my fault, but guys in general don’t need to talk as much as we do. Have you read the 5 Love Languages? I can’t recommend this book enough for relationships! That guy is seriously wise and right on the money, in my opinion!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:40 pm

      Yes – great book. So awesome. My love language is talking but the husband’s is actions.

      Reply
  • jamie @ cueyourlife September 23, 2011, 12:08 pm

    Love this! I totally agree and appreciate your no nonsense approach! It’s so easy to just fall into a routine and forget about being that special someone for your special someone!

    Reply
  • becca @ bellebottoms September 23, 2011, 12:08 pm

    First of all…LOVE the pink dress in the second photo!

    i’ve found that the “choosing your battles” is huge too….you just have to prioritize! also, being gentle, whether it’s in an argument, in conversation, whatever….it just helps to set the initial tone…

    great advice!!

    Reply
  • Kelly September 23, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I will join the choir and I say, I too, enjoy all the tips. As with others, #1 resonates with me. While I am not married, I have lived with my boyfriend for almost a year and have really had to adjust to our different communication styles. I am a therapist and clearly love to talk, talk, talk. He works in technology and can go the whole day without interacting with anyone other than his partner. I like to think we balance each other out.

    On thing we work really hard on is staying connected to both families. All of my siblings, their families, and my parents live in the same town we do so we spend a lot of time with them and are naturally close to them. His family lives out of town and we don’t see them nearly as often. I work hard to ask about his family, encourage trips to see them, write emails. We don’t want to have one of our families feel like the dominant family.

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:40 pm

      That is sweet and a VERY good tip indeed.

      Reply
  • Johanna B September 23, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Love # 10.

    Reply
  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) September 23, 2011, 12:18 pm

    What a great post!! I also learned the ‘don’t get mad if he wants to fix your problems lesson’. It definitely is just part of being male. Sometimes I’ll say ‘I just want you to listen and not fix’ but then I just get a lot of head nodding and ‘that sucks’ feedback. I finally realize him trying to come up with a solution is the best way he knows how to show he cares and now it doesn’t bug me :)

    And reminiscing… I love it. Especially because we met in college and things sure have changed since then!

    Reply
  • Lissa September 23, 2011, 12:18 pm

    Thank you for this post! Reading it prompted me to go to our knot page and see how many days we’ve been married…guess what?! It’s EXACTLY 1000 TODAY!! Wow! We are crazy busy (both teachers/coaches) with almost no time together…your list really reminds me that we need to start focusing more on our marriage :)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:41 pm

      Yay! Happy 1000 day anniversary.

      Reply
  • Christena September 23, 2011, 12:21 pm

    #1 is so important and so overlooked. In all my years, I have never read or heard this advice, and yet it has been such an important thing to learn in my marriage. Forcing some one to talk about something (esp big, emotional things) does more harm than good. I’m so glad you wrote about it here. Great tips!

    Reply
  • Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete September 23, 2011, 12:21 pm

    I love #1 – so true! My husband likes to say that we all have a certain number of words to use each day. When I get really talkative, he jokes that I must not have used all my words that day. Sometimes he just wants to sit at home and chill. As a lawyer, I’m really good at being verbose and hashing out every. single. detail. His background is journalism, so he’s really good at being concise. We have to strike a balance. Enough words for me – not too many for him.

    Oh and yes, #10 is very important. Especially once you have kids. :)

    Reply
  • Amber September 23, 2011, 12:22 pm

    What a great post! I couldn’t agree more with your tips. My husband and I work very hard at our relationship. We’ve hit bumps and learned how to rationally overcome them. I think it’s important for couples to learn how to argue. Arguing is inevitable in any relationship, but there is a civil way to discuss disagreements, and there is a down right nasty way. Learning to be civil in arguments probably falls under learning how to communicate – but I think it’s equally as important! Someone once told me to hold hands while arguing. That one little gesture makes it so much harder to be rude and condescending. How can you yell and scream when you’re holding hands?!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:41 pm

      Now, that is an awesome tip!!!

      Reply
  • Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete September 23, 2011, 12:22 pm

    Oh and the best marriage advice I’ve received? “If you both try to out-give eachother, you’ll come out even in the end”.

    Reply
  • Corrie @ Blurb Column September 23, 2011, 12:25 pm

    Excellent list Caitlin! So on point.
    My hubs and I have been together 19 years and I concur! Call your mom or a girlfriend if you want to vent; have your own hobbies and interests; DONT think you know what he is thinking or perceiving<–huge! Awesome Awesome list!
    My other big thing is: the marriage comes FIRST when it comes to decisions. We had a major life decision to make two years ago and our conversation ended with "no matter if it is all scary and new and different, if we both agree that this is what we are going to do, and we are together, then it will all be okay." EXCELLENT post. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Abby September 23, 2011, 12:26 pm

    We’ve only been married for a little over a year, but we’ve been together for almost 5 (high school sweethearts!)About a week after we returned from our honeymoon, he had to move ten hours away for the semester for an internship (we’re both still in school), and it was really hard. But I definitely think the old cliche of absence makes the heart grow fonder is true. Of course, an entire semester isn’t the norm, but to relate it to what you said about having your own hobbies, having your own friends- it really does make me appreciate the time I have with him so much more, and I really enjoy the things we do together. Another thing I really think helps us to set goals and dream about the future together. Not in a “we don’t appreciate where we are right now” way, but set financial goals, talk about where you want to be in 5 years, dream about your future kids, etc.

    Reply
  • colleen September 23, 2011, 12:26 pm

    Completely agree with these ten items! Would add: 1) have a regular date night – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, just time alone with each other (outside of bed) doing something (ie., movie night, dinner, bowling, a sporting event, lunch, ); 2) either take turns or discuss the menu for the week so everyone is happy come meal time; 3) sex doesn’t have to be full-on sex in the bedroom at night or first thing in the morning – incorporate an mid-morning or afternoon ramp or a little O action while he’s watching football (not like I’ve done this ;).

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:42 pm

      ohhhh man!!! scandalous, colleen!! :)

      Reply
  • mi-an d. September 23, 2011, 12:29 pm

    aww love this post! i love 2,4,8,9, and 10!! i love reminiscing about the first time we met…we actually were just talking about this the other day. i’m not married to my boyfriend yet but we are getting married! i do know that it’s not good to keep score of what you’ve done, i tend to do that and my bf points it out from time to time. not a pretty thing. and he always wants to make me happy! he’s so awesome!

    Reply
  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner September 23, 2011, 12:33 pm

    Having been married 4 years now, I still don’t feel like we have marriage completely figured out. We still have to work at our relationship + argue about the same things (he’s a slob, I’m a neat freak) over + over. But, we love each other for those differences and we deal with them. We are complete opposites and that’s what I love about him. We don’t have to do everything together but we love being together despite our differences. We have both made each other to main person in our lives and plan on continuing to be that way (we are the foundation) when a baby is brought into the picture.

    Reply
  • Liz @ Southern Charm September 23, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Love this!!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    Reply
  • Jackie @ That Deep Breath September 23, 2011, 12:39 pm

    These are awesome for people who aren’t married too!! My biggest relationship advice definitely is to choose your battles. Sometimes you really just need to think about whether or not the argument is worth it. Usually it’s not.

    Reply
  • RunEatRepeat September 23, 2011, 12:46 pm

    Have you read Men are From Mars Women are from Venus? It’s kinda old school but I think it’s so true! Things like men don’t want to hash every little thing out, but we do – it’s like we speak a different language sometimes :)

    Agree with #10. I’ve come to realize we are 90% more likely to fight if we haven’t done it in more than a few days.

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:43 pm

      YES. I know it’s kind of sexiest but I believe every single word in that stupid book!

      Reply
  • deva @ deva by definition September 23, 2011, 12:52 pm

    The Boy just got back from a two-week business trip in Japan. We made an effort every day, whether on FaceTime or AIM (texting was expensive!) to communicate. I would say that communication – talking about your day and inquiring about your other half’s day and life – would be my one piece of advice. Remember to ask questions like you might on a first date!

    Reply
  • Nicole (Mrs. Muffins) September 23, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Haha! This will be mine and my husband’s six year anniversary this year and I agree with all of the above but especially “pick your battles” and “have sex”. Lol :) My mom is who told me to choose my battles and boy does it help. That little statistic about couples over/under estimating their contributions in the house was something I didn’t know but I’d say that’s true too :o

    Reply
  • Jess September 23, 2011, 12:59 pm

    I love this post. I have never been married, but it resonates with my relationship experience in general. What’s really funny is that just last night, I was talking to a friend about why her guy friend kept trying to solve her problems when she just wanted him to listen to her vent. ;) My biggest issue is remembering that guys don’t necessarily feel the same need that I do to verbally hash out everything. It’s hard for me to remember that, when I’d like to discuss and explore a problem in detail, and my boyfriend isn’t having the same compulsion, that this doesn’t mean that I care more or he cares less–it’s just a difference in how we deal with issues.

    Reply
  • Amber K September 23, 2011, 1:26 pm

    In two weeks I will have been married for five years and I have to say that these are all amazing tips. Relationships are absolutely work. They are not ever perfect, and sometimes they aren’t even good. But there are definitely more ups than downs and even during the downs we know that we both completely respect and love each other. And there’s is nothing more important to me. :)

    Reply
  • Laura September 23, 2011, 1:35 pm

    I’ve only been married a little over a year, but I think it’s so important to say thank you and mention things you appreciate or admire about the other person. Especially when it happens at a “random” time, versus just saying thank you right after they have done a certain task.

    Reply
  • Brie @ Brie Fit September 23, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Double sinks. We cannot exist peacefully in a house where his beard stubble is in my sink and my long hairs are in his.

    Also, having your own interests and taking time as an individual. I would be miserable if we did EVERYTHING together.

    Reply
  • Lauren September 23, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Excellent Post! I think that you are much better at relationships than you give yourself credit for. Oh, and fist pump for #10 haha

    Reply
  • Jasmine @ EatMoveWrite September 23, 2011, 1:47 pm

    Nice.
    Some of the things I’ve learned is 1) never, ever talk bad about your husband (even if he deserves it – “venting” generally only makes you feel worse, not better), 2) don’t compare yourself to other couples. Both of these things can sometimes be difficult, as it’s natural to compare yourself to your friends or to vent to your girlfriends about something your hubby did. I’m learning that having my hubby’s back is one of the most important aspects of being a good wife.

    Reply
    • Stephanie C September 23, 2011, 4:22 pm

      so true :) I’m still guilty of #2.. but I have to remind myself it’s usually the beginning of a friend’s relationship when everything is perfect!

      Reply
  • Sarah September 23, 2011, 1:49 pm

    Reading this posts and the comments seriously made me so happy and almost tear up..ay yi yi, must be that time of the month:). I got married in May and this list is really true! Picking your battles and not overestimating is something I am trying to work on. I recently tried to realize what exactly my Husband does for me. Its amazing actually :)! Instead of only thinking about what I think he’s not doing, I am trying to think of everything he is doing! He might not make the bed, but he makes me dinner:)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:44 pm

      Congrats on your new marriage :)

      Reply
  • Kate September 23, 2011, 1:59 pm

    I have a question for you…

    I know you really want kids, and that is fantastic and totally your choice.

    But one thing I hear from people who have kids is that they are surprised at the stress it brought to their marriage. Everything is different. They don’t say that in a “we regret our kids” sort of way, just an observation they make. Suddenly their partner is no longer the most important person in their life. Suddenly the time they use to have to work on their relationship has been replaced with baby.

    And then I look at lots of my friends who have kids, and I see how different they are as a couple. Some may be fantastic parents, but the husband and wife part can be lacking…

    My big question is, do you worry how kids will change your relationship?

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 2:02 pm

      I do worry about it a lot. I think one solution is to not make the child the center of your relationship. I really believe the adults should continue to be the focus.

      Reply
      • Kate September 23, 2011, 2:10 pm

        I think the fact you do worry about it means it is less likely to happen.

        I think because you are aware of the possibility, you will work hard to not make it a reality.

        Great post by the way. And congrats on 1000 days of marriage! My husband and I have been married for nine years this year, and I am happy to report I love him just as much, if not more, than the day we married :)

        Reply
      • Crystal September 23, 2011, 3:05 pm

        YES! YES! There is an adjustment period in the beginning, but no more than a few weeks! After that Husband/Dad, Wife/mother should be at the center with children revolving around them. If your relationship is strong, the children will be fine!
        Also, something else I try to remember, when we have arguments and I’m ticked off, that is when I need to draw closer to him, usually that’s when he needs my love the most, and I need him the most.
        Great post!

        Reply
      • colleen September 23, 2011, 3:44 pm

        You definitely have to sit down and discuss who is going to do what before a child is born. This helped us a lot and we learned it is a team effort. We also didn’t push our kids into activities at a young age, we waited until this year (oldest two are soon-to-be 8 and 6) to present what was available and if they wanted to try any of them. In my opinion, you have to make sure your child(ren) are not the center of the marriage – don’t fill every moment with child-related activities – and set boundaries with them. My kids are slowly learning that when we are somewhere talking/catching up with each other they need to leave us alone unless someone is bleeding.

        Reply
  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 23, 2011, 2:02 pm

    This is fantastic, Caitlyn. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m already learning so much from just living with my and I can wait to learn even more!

    Reply
  • Lucy September 23, 2011, 2:06 pm

    Hey Caitlin, Love the tips you have here – my hubs and I got married just a few months after you and I agree with your tips! I always want to hash things out just as my hubby is drifting off to sleep and I have realized it really is better for both of us if I just let it go til the next day! Something new we have been doing to connect is that we are working our way through the Psalms, one chapter each night. It is just a short thing but it is a great time to connect and talk and deepen our relationship – after that, we are moving on to the Proverbs – love these and they teach so much!

    I had another off subject question and that is do you know of any good online exercise calendars that you can share with others. My mom and I live in different states and we want to share a workout calendar so we can hold each other accountable for working out and reaching other healthy goals. I figured you or another reader on here may have ideas – oh and if possible something pretty simple since we are both pretty technologically unsavvy:)

    Reply
    • Laura September 23, 2011, 3:52 pm

      I’m not Caitlin, so excuse me for butting in. :-) You and your mother might try setting up a shared Google calendar. You could schedule your workouts in different colors (one color for you, one for mom), and make the “subject” of the appointment the type of workout (i.e., Run 30 minutes).

      Reply
      • Lucy September 23, 2011, 4:06 pm

        Thanks Laura, I was thinking of trying this. I have never had a Google calendar so I will play around with it and see if I can figure it out:)

        Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:45 pm

      Yea – I would also suggest using Google Calendar. I’m not sure of any other calendars. G Cals rock!!! And I think it’s so super cute that you guys are going to do this together.

      Reply
  • Jeni @hippie wild mama September 23, 2011, 2:15 pm

    You’re killing me with the Christmas sweaters! :)

    Reply
  • nancy September 23, 2011, 2:18 pm

    Congrats on your first 1000 days! Great insights too. My husband and I have been married for over 20 years. There have been a lot of challenges in those years (moving across the country, catastrophic health issues, unemployment, losing my parents, etc) but what holds us together when everything else is falling apart is our shared spiritual life. We know God brought us together and we are committed to raising our family in a godly way. That’s what works for us. We are now dealing with a house full of teenagers and really enjoying this season of life. Something you have to look forward to: seeing your husband as a father. That will show you a whole new side of him and it will be wonderful to watch. When our first child was born my husband had never held a newborn before. I still have precious memories of him bathing her, singing to her and rocking her when she cried.I have a picture of him with each of our kids as newborns, him sound asleep with the newborn baby asleep on his chest. You have much to look forward to together. :)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:46 pm

      I can’t wait to see the Husband as the Daddy.

      Reply
  • Rose September 23, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I’m saving this post for the day I (finally) get hitched.

    Reply
  • Molly September 23, 2011, 2:27 pm

    This post reminds me of the song What A Beautiful Day by Chris Cagle. I don’t know if you’re into country, but I also don’t know how you couldnt like it ;) It’s perfect

    Reply
  • Tricia September 23, 2011, 2:31 pm

    I’m happily single, not anti-relationship/marriage, just happily single; however I still find numbers 2,4, and 5 to be true. I once asked one of my good guy friends why #2 was true and he said it’s the whole damsel in distress thing, he claims guys are born with the instinct to protect and so when we say something is wrong then they want to be the knight in shining armor. 4 and 5 apply to any relationship.

    Reply
  • Dee September 23, 2011, 2:32 pm

    Since I agree with you 100%, I think you are now officially ready to write your next book: on relationships! I’ve personally had to work hard on #4, I definitely see (and have created) the trouble with that one.

    Reply
  • Ashley September 23, 2011, 2:34 pm

    oh #2. i’m with you, sometimes I really just want to cry and vent and he’s all ‘well you could do this, or it’s ok because of this’. come on dude! i just want to wallow in my self pity, and I want you to listen, ok? :) but you’re right, it is a good thing. he just doesn’t like me to be upset and wants to help.

    and he would praise you for #10 and elbow me in ribcage. just saying.

    have a good one!

    Reply
  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat September 23, 2011, 2:38 pm

    Wonderful advice! I have no idea how many days I have been married but after 6 years and some change, it’s good to be reminded of these things :)

    Reply
  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness September 23, 2011, 2:57 pm

    This is such a beautiful and wise post, and one that I really appreciate being in a relationship myself- I love hearing other’s advice and experiences – especially because I totally hear you on ALL of these points, and from a female perspective, on 1 and 2…I’m like you! Want to talk about everything, and the Kiwi doesn’t, and can be quiet. Love this and love your blog – many warm congratulations to you and the Husbandfor 1,000 days of marriage! <3 xyx

    Reply
  • Ali @ Ali Runs September 23, 2011, 3:10 pm

    What a great post Caitlin! Congrats to you and the husband on 1000 days of marriage! :)

    Reply
  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair September 23, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I really need to work on #4. I have SO MUCH trouble biting my tongue when I feel like he isn’t contributing.

    I find that stat really interesting because I honestly do believe I do probably 80% of the housework vs. his 20% but maybe I am overestimating? Either way, stupid arguments about chores are a work-in process for us/me! We did have a system of cleaning for 30 minutes together three times a week this summer but now that my fiance is back at school our schedules are really opposite again.

    Anyways, I really enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:47 pm

      Well, I mean – statistically speaking, women do more chores than men. So you probably aren’t imagining things. But he probably does more than you realize.

      Reply
  • Eleah September 23, 2011, 3:19 pm

    My grandma gave me the same advice about picking your battles when my bf and I moved in together. And yes, he ALWAYS tries to fix my problems… almost before I even finish telling him about them! it is annoying at times, but it is a good thing in the end.

    Reply
  • DadHTP September 23, 2011, 3:21 pm

    #10 LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALLALALALA.

    Reply
    • Natasha September 23, 2011, 4:15 pm

      Haha! Too funny DadHTP!!

      Reply
    • Janessa September 23, 2011, 4:16 pm

      hahahahahhaha!

      Reply
    • Nicole September 24, 2011, 8:00 pm

      hahaha aww

      Reply
  • Zulkey September 23, 2011, 3:23 pm

    Know the difference between a marriage squabble and a roommate squabble.

    Reply
  • Juli D. September 23, 2011, 3:27 pm

    Sort of related to your “guys fix things” point – but my advice is to be direct, open and honest about your needs. When I’m upset and bitching, and my H starts to go into fix it mood I tell him “No. What I need you to say is ‘That sucks. I’m sorry you’re going through that.’ and then hug me.” So then he says exactly that and hugs me and I feel better. :-)

    Reply
    • DadHTP September 23, 2011, 4:19 pm

      OMG – asking for what you need and getting it – lucky you!

      Reply
  • Liz September 23, 2011, 3:59 pm

    While I do agree with your #3, it IS important to have your own hobbies (and friends). I think it’s also very important that you have some of the same hobbies (and friends). My husband and I don’t work together and we only have a few evenings together a week so spending time doing our shared hobbies on the weekend (running, biking, triathlons, hiking) brings us so much closer together. We don’t have to do everything together, but I think it helps a relationship to do some things together.

    Reply
  • Emily September 23, 2011, 4:00 pm

    Love this post! I’ve been married for two awesome months. During that time, my husband and I have come to learn so much more about each other. I can’t wait to see how much more we “know” each other in 900+ days!

    Reply
  • Natasha September 23, 2011, 4:14 pm

    I’m about to celebrate 2,555 days of marriage. Although I’m not an expert either my advice is two things…okay and I agree with #10 too!

    1)Never go to bed angry. If something is bothering us we work through it-before bed. Not only will you sleep better, but you won’t start off the next day with tension or the silent treatment.

    2)If hubs and I are arguing and we both think we are right or I find myself stewing about something that really shouldn’t make front page news, I ask myself. If I were laying in my deathbed right now, would this matter? 99% of the time it wouldn’t/doesn’t and helps me move past it.

    Reply
  • Stephanie @cookinfanatic September 23, 2011, 4:22 pm

    There’s a really interesting chapter in Men are From Mars Women are from Venus on #2, it is a gender thing!! Oh mennnn :P

    Reply
  • Stephanie C September 23, 2011, 4:28 pm

    We’re going on 4.5 years of marriage over here and I agree with EVERYTHING! Esp #10 ;) The funny thing is, I think the issue of solution-focusing when there’s a problem isn’t necessarily a man thing. My mom and her husband are having the same issue, but it’s reversed!
    One thing I wanted to add is that my husband’s grandparents (married over 60 years) gave us advice on the day of our wedding: No matter what you’re doing, always make sure you sit down and have a meal together. This is so important for us because my husband works from home and often at weird hours of the day.. so this ensures we always have time to sit down together.. relax and talk a bit :)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:48 pm

      I like the idea of dining together :) Good advice.

      Reply
  • Megan @ Long Distance Relationship September 23, 2011, 5:08 pm

    Great post! I’m not married but my boyfriend and I live together, and a lot of this resonated with me. I especially like #2. I remember reading an article in a magazine about how men are wired differently and they are more likely to want to find solutions to problems when their female counterpart really just wants to vent. I like that you suggest turning to a female relative or friend when you want to have a vent sesh. Seems simple enough, but I’m sure (I know I have!) people overlook that idea.

    Reply
  • Nicole September 23, 2011, 5:28 pm

    Love this post!! Although I am not married yet my boyfriend and I have lived together for almost 4 years now! All of what you posted is so true!…all the way to #10 :) Love reading your blog…it’s been part of my morning routine for quite some time now!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:48 pm

      Thank you for reading, Nicole!

      Reply
  • Carly @ Your Way My Way September 23, 2011, 5:58 pm

    Caitlin! This is one of my favorite posts! It was so clear and well – written. I related to all of it. I think it’s so true – especially #2, pretty sure all men are the same way. Loved this – congratulations on a happy and successful marriage!

    Reply
  • Hillary September 23, 2011, 6:00 pm

    I kind of loved all of these tips. My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly five years, and in a long distance relationship for nearly four. We already abide by MANY of these, which I’m happy to see! #2 is a big one for me—Nick is always trying to fix anything that’s making me upset/sad/angry, but sometimes I just want to be upset/sad/angry and have him nod his head. Like you, I’m learning that his desire to fix my problems is his way of showing how much he loves me and wants to care for me. Cute (but still kind of frustrating at times! haha!)

    Reply
  • Angela September 23, 2011, 6:14 pm

    I read your blog pretty much religiously and this is one of my favorite posts yet. I loved it so much that I shared it with my fiance and he said it really resonated with him too, so we’re definitely going to try and focus on #4, #6, and #10 ;)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP September 23, 2011, 6:49 pm

      Thank you so much for reading religiously. I appreciate it!

      Reply
  • Jacalyn September 23, 2011, 7:01 pm

    This was a really good post. #9 is always a difficult one for me because I have always felt that I have sacrificed the most out of us two, although, he has made sacrifices as well. You made me realize that I need to look at what he has done for me more than brewing on what I have done for him. I need to be thankful.
    Gracias!

    Reply
  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie September 23, 2011, 7:08 pm

    Very nice! It is funny though how different each couple is. My husband (of four years) and I are BIG talkers. We’re constantly keeping in contact and he needs to hash out things as much as I do.

    My biggest thing is to try and let him lead things. I’m a control freak sometimes but need to give up the reigns to him more often.

    Yeah, sex is super super important….have lots and lots and lots of sex. hehe

    Reply
  • Christine @ BookishlyB September 23, 2011, 7:30 pm

    #10 is so interesting. Everyone says sex is a barometer for a marriage and while I hate that idea I think it generally is true. The more sex you have the happier you are? The happier you are the more sex you have? The whole chicken or the egg thing. I really appreciate your comment about it taking work- so does mine. Every day. And I think that’s totally okay as long as it’s worth it and stays fun.

    Reply
  • Nikka September 23, 2011, 8:10 pm

    I love this post!
    I say ‘ditto’ to it all!

    I wonder what ‘the Husband’s top 10 are?

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 25, 2011, 3:33 pm

      Me too! I should ask!

      Reply
      • Danielle September 25, 2011, 7:01 pm

        I’d love to know his top 10 too! Love the post, by the way :)

        Reply
  • Amy@ahealthyandhappyheart September 23, 2011, 8:34 pm

    I love love love this! Completely honest and true! My hubby ALWAYS tries to “fix” my problems too! Sometimes I just want a hug! LOL

    Reply
  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 23, 2011, 9:06 pm

    bahaha I love #10. You’re so funny!

    Reply
  • Lyn September 23, 2011, 9:08 pm

    Absolutely love this post!! I’m in a new-ish relationship (6-7 mos) and it’s sooo great! I think these things definitely apply not just to marriages, but dating and relationships too, for sure!

    Reply
  • Babs September 23, 2011, 9:09 pm

    Number 2 is so spot on it’s crazy. It must be a guy thing. I just ended up telling my hubby that girls like to vent and we need support not solutions (although sometimes we need both). He’s much better, but the solution advice still slips in every now and again . . . haha.

    My tip for a great marriage–find the one that makes your heart ache with happiness. I think too many people settle for “okay.” We’ve been together for almost 5 yrs and I still think on a semi-daily basis “wow I never knew it could be so amazing.”

    Reply
  • maria @ Chasing the Now September 23, 2011, 9:13 pm

    Been married for 2.5 years and I agree with EVERY point. Especially having your own life and hobbies outside of your marriage (or even just your relationship if you are dating). Having more in your life than a husband makes you well rounded and gives you something to talk about! Plus, you enjoy the time you spend together 100% more if you aren’t attached at the hip all the time.

    Reply
  • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy September 23, 2011, 9:37 pm

    These are all so good! My boyfriend and I take time to be silly, and not take ourselves too seriously. Some of are best times together are the simplest ones, when were giggling about something random while sitting on the couch. No fancy dinners or expensive concert tickets required.

    Reply
  • Kaye September 24, 2011, 12:13 am

    You MUST find a book on genderlect, I think you would really like it! In any case, here’s a wikipedia article on gender and language. It does generalize the genders, which I realize is not always fair, but for a majority of the population, it is correct: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genderlect#Self-disclosure

    Women self-disclose because they don’t mind giving the info, and we enjoy hearing details and stories filled with feelings. Men, however, hear a problem, or an emotion-filled rant, and automatically communicate a practical response.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 25, 2011, 3:42 pm

      That wikipedia entry was very very interesting!!

      Reply
  • Alexis September 24, 2011, 12:24 am

    I love HTP and commenters. You all are real, strong, beautiful, smart, and wise! I love us all helping each other; I am learning so mnay new things :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 25, 2011, 3:42 pm

      Aw what a nice comment!

      Reply
  • Sarah September 24, 2011, 2:36 am

    Great post, Caitlin! My boyfriennd isnt’ much of a talker either, but that’s fine with me, I’ve now understood that it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. Having different hobbies mean you have so much to tell the other. My relationship secret would be: don’t be jealous. He wants to have a beer with an old female friend? The more you’re gonna bitch about it, the more he’s going to resent you!

    Reply
  • alison September 24, 2011, 7:54 am

    This is a great post. Happy almost 1000 days of marriage! I’ve been married for 15 years; there have been some really great times, but it hasn’t always been daisies and roses, either. You just have to keep trucking along through the rough patches. And also, once I realized I can’t change my husband and turn him in to a neat freak like me, I was able to relax a bit. I still have to pick up all his junk, but now I do it without shooting daggers in his direction. :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 25, 2011, 3:46 pm

      bawhahah love.

      Reply
  • Lee September 24, 2011, 8:53 am

    I have been married for 445 days (thank you theknot.com for telling me that) and one thing that I’m slowly learning is that I can’t change my husband.

    Reply
  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) September 24, 2011, 8:58 am

    I agree with each and every item on your list.

    I would add “Don’t ever put down your spouse (or make fun of him/her) in front of a group of people.” If you have something negative to tell your spouse, fine, but do so under your own roof, not in front of a group of friends, your family, etc. Words are powerful things and using them to degrade your spouse in front of others will have the other spouse hurting for a long time.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 25, 2011, 4:01 pm

      i totally agree – amen to that!

      Reply
  • Alex @ Raw Recovery September 24, 2011, 11:20 am

    These tips are great, especially number 10 :)

    Reply
  • Jaclyn September 24, 2011, 11:33 am

    Congratulations on getting to (almost) 1,000 days! That’s a fun milestone. :-) I’ve been married for six years now and I have to say, reading through your list, once again you really seem to have gotten it right. The part about listening for the cues that he’s done with the conversation and giving it a rest is so, so spot on – my husband is the same way and it’s taken me FOREVER to figure that out. I still struggle with that one. Although I generally agree with everything on your list, I have a couple to add! One, in addition to separate hobbies (which I agree are really important) have some together hobbies! My husband and I love to hike together and we get out on the trails at least a few times every month, most months of the year – we live outside DC so we have a temperate enough climate. Being in the quiet of the woods, hiking together, is such great stress relief for both of us. And second, don’t fight about stuff. This was actually advice a friend gave me when I’d been married for about two years and was mad at my husband for shrinking my favorite skirt (he doesn’t do my laundry – it fell into his basket off the hanger and he washed it without realizing). My friend said “My husband and I don’t fight about stuff. It’s just stuff.” I thought about it and realized she was right. A skirt is just a skirt, I can replace it. Since then every time I’ve caught myself getting mad about “stuff” – like when he breaks a glass or something – I make myself look at it objectively and realize that it’s not worth fighting about possessions.

    Reply
    • Joanna @ thingsaftertherings September 24, 2011, 5:52 pm

      I love this advice about not fighting about stuff. I feel like I pay too much attention to things and how my husband is using them. Like I really don’t want our new pots and pans to be scratched and messed up. But you’re totally right, at the end of the day it’s just stuff. And I shouldn’t spend spread negative energy about something so inconsequential. I’m definitely going to remember this in the future! Thanks!

      Reply
  • jenny September 24, 2011, 11:53 am

    Short and sweet advice from a little old lady at a wedding shower of mine: Work when you both can work, play when you both can play.

    I have thought of that often when my husband is out mowing the lawn (I then, work like a madwoman indoors and get stuff done OR I choose to weed, pick up branches, etc.)

    Reply
    • Lesley September 24, 2011, 5:44 pm

      I love that!

      Reply
      • Caitlin September 25, 2011, 4:02 pm

        me too!!!!!!

        Reply
  • mary @ what's cookin with mary September 24, 2011, 12:36 pm

    This post really resonated with me and I totally agree with you on pretty much all your points. The ‘when I want to bitch, I call my mom… when I want a solution I talk to my husband’ point was so spot on. B and I JUST had that very conversation 2 days ago after I was just wanting him to say ‘yes sweetie, it’ll all be OK’ ;)

    On having separate hobbies… Most of my friends are older than me and I’m almost 30, so they’re oooold married couples … and I’d say that more often than doing everything together, they have no common interests and I often wonder … WHAT brought them together ?? I think it’s equally as important to have something you love to do together. Heck, more than one thing! Hopefully something that can be equally fulfilling to each partner.

    Reply
  • kirsten September 24, 2011, 1:36 pm

    this is such a great post. it’s a great reminder for me to stop keeping score with chores :)

    Reply
  • Natalie September 24, 2011, 4:01 pm

    I think the key is to really be good friends and keep communication lines open. If you aren’t talking about what bothers you or even what doesn’t bother you the busy-ness of life can take over and you can lose your connection.

    Reply
  • Joanna @ thingsaftertherings September 24, 2011, 5:49 pm

    Ah, #2 totally resonates with me. I used to get mad at my husband all the time because he would always try to list solutions and I would be like all you have to say is “that’s really annoying” or “ugh, that sucks.” This makes me wonder though…do you think they want us to offer solutions to their problems? Cause sometimes I just say “oh, that sucks.”

    Like others have said, I think it’s important to keep the communication lines open, to check in every once in a while.

    Thanks for this post!

    Reply
  • lisampls September 25, 2011, 12:17 am

    thank you for this! the hubs & i are approaching our 3rd anniversary and it is always so encouraging to hear POSITIVE messages about marriage. i must admit, i felt a slight twang of guilt when i hit #10 on your list. even as a young healthy woman who is deeply attracted to her husband i struggle in this department. i feel stress, pressure and guilt that i have little to no “natural” desire for physical intimacy. i find myself almost putting it on my to-do list. i have spent many nights crying because i do deeply wish that it felt more like a desire than a box to be checked in the “good wife” role. i’m very open to ideas and feedback from friends, HTP readers are incredible!

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 25, 2011, 4:04 pm

      Well I certainly don’t think you should force anything that makes you uncomfortable. Have you talked to a doctor about it? There are so many hormonal issues that can come into play… And you know, a massage or kissing is just as powerful as actual sex. It’s just the physical contact. Just hold hands!

      Reply
    • Anon September 25, 2011, 9:03 pm

      Were you previously more inclined to be physically intimate? From personal experience, when I was on the pill, I had negative 10000 desire to be intimate (I’m in my early 20s – this should not have been happening). I spoke to my doctor and as soon as I got off of it, it was like I was back in high school and was physically/emotionally ready to go ALL the time. Such a huge wonderful change. The hormones in the pill completely messed up my body. Just something to think about/ask your doctor about! Don’t be shy – they have heard it all.

      Reply
      • Caitlin September 25, 2011, 9:06 pm

        Yes – me too. Much lower drive on the pill (which sucks).

        Reply
      • lisampls September 26, 2011, 12:27 am

        thank you ladies! both encouraging and good things to think about. i do know the pill killed my drive and things got much better once we decided to get pregnant. and it worked! ;) now i’m 12 months post-baby and struggling. i think the fact that i stress about it daily is probably not helping. TRYING to play it cool…let nature take it’s course.

        again, thank you SO much my friends. it’s just nice to be supported and encouraged by such considerate & intelligent women. xo!

        Reply
        • CaitlinHTP September 26, 2011, 7:27 am

          we’re here if you ever need an ear!

          Reply
  • Connie September 25, 2011, 9:12 pm

    I love this post! I have learned a lot of the same lessons. Thanks for reminding me of some things I’ve let slip too :)

    Reply
  • Sophie @ threetimesf September 27, 2011, 6:08 pm

    I love this post! I also love those matching Christmas waistcoats – amazing!!

    Reply
  • stacy October 2, 2011, 9:21 pm

    Great advice, especially number 5. We’re going to try that!

    Reply
  • Jennifer October 3, 2011, 11:05 am

    I love these two posts…even though I am not married I love hearing what I can learn. This was GREAT!

    Reply
  • Mandy Changufu January 29, 2014, 6:19 am

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    Reply

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