The Hubs and I, for your viewing pleasure (we were babies!)
After all this time and energy invested, I feel like I am qualified to help you out. So, without further ado, here it is folks....The Secret To A Happy Marriage.
There isn't one.
Seriously, did you think there was and for unknown reasons people were just keeping it from you? Nope, there isn't. I know it is hard to believe because there are entire industries build up around this concept. Books, magazines, articles on the internet that constantly exclaim things like "5 Things All Happily Married Couples Do." Google "secret to a happy marriage." No, really, do it. I'll wait. Among the first things that appear are articles by Time Magazine, WebMD, Today and USA Today. These are major publications that are going to tell you the secret! So if there was A Secret, everyone would know it by now. They all tell you different things, but they all tell you the same thing. How is that possible? Because every single thing they tell you, every list, no matter how different it seems, boils down to the same thing.
Work at it.
Look, having a good marriage is like losing weight. Everyone knows what they have to do, but no one wants to do it. Why? Because it's hard.....( insert whiney voice here)
Be nice to each other. As a dear friend once told me, "treat each other like you would treat your best friend."
Get on the same page about sex. I don't really care what page that is, just make sure you are on the same one.
Ditto for the money.
Ditto for the kids.
See where I am going? Compromise (both of you!) until you are on the same page. Don't worry about what page it is, or what page other people are on, or what your mother-in-law thinks about your page. Just get on the same one.
Maybe you can't. There's a point where you need to decide if the amount of work you are having to put in is worth what you are going to get out of it. Some times that answer will be No. That is ok too.
But if you want to stay, realize that there is no secret. It's just work. All the time.
So stop reading the books and articles looking for a secret that *poof * will fix everything for you. There isn't one.