To begin with, we’re extremely compatible.
Part of this probably luck, but certainly not all of it. I was extremely intentional in dating. From around 18 I knew I was dating to find someone I would marry. I never stayed in a relationship for fun or to not be alone. And I had the very realistic understanding that Love does not conquer all. When I realized something between a GF & I that I felt would create a compatibility issue, would be likely to be a point of contention in the future, I moved on.
Some might think I was being overly picky, but It’s worked out so well. We’re both fairly easy going and the things that are very important to her to have a certain way I either agree with or they are not important to me so it’s easy to let her have that. And visa versa.
We have the same views on all the most important aspects of marriage, from raising children to sex to boundaries with friends & coworkers, and much more. We don’t have to hash those issues out because we’re already in sync.
We spend huge amounts of time and talking together.
We’re each other’s favorite person to talk to & spend time with. I call her on my lunch breaks and we flirt via text while I’m at work. We’ve been working out together 5 days a week lately which is wonderful. We go out regularly. We often fall asleep holding hands.
We go for walks just to talk and hold hands. I’m sure our neighbors are all familiar with the site of us walking together hand in hand.
We talk about the situations we see other couples in and how we will avoid them. The marriage and marriage advice subreddits have been great sources for spurring these conversations.
We had both good and bad examples to learn from.
My parents were an incredible example. I heard my dad raise his voice at my mother just a couple times growing up. Each time, once it was calmed down, he explained to us that regardless of what the disagreement was about he was wrong to have raised his voice at her. Then he apologized to her in front of us.
My wife had the opposite. When still a pretty young girl, her dad introduced her to one of his girlfriends. He was that brazen. Her mom had been doing the “stay for the children” thing and eventually did realized it was doing more harm than good. But you can learn from bad examples too. Just ask yourself what they would do, and do the opposite.
We give each other the attention a spouse deserves.
For example, if one of us is sitting on the couch playing on the phone and the other on sits next to, we put the phone down and give our attention. At least for a bit until we know it’s ok to pick it back up.
Related to that is-
We flirt and show affection
For example, my wife greets me after work by coming to meet me at the door as I get home each day. She does this with a beautiful genuine smile and we embrace and have a good long kiss. It’s a simple show of affection but also of appreciation for what I just spent the last 10 hours doing. I look forward to it every day.
She didn’t always do this. It actually began with me finding her wherever she was in the house as soon as I came in to embrace and kiss her. After a year or so she started coming to the door part of the time. Then more and more until now I rarely need to go looking for her. Maybe just if she’s engaged in something she can’t step away from.
We don’t relive or dwell on the past.
For example, She had some things from her dating past she wasn’t proud of. She told me about them (general, not detailed) 2-3 months into dating. I took a few days to think about whether I was going to continue the relationship. Once I decided, I made a promise to my self to never mention or allude to it in any way. And I haven’t.
We support each other and some things, if temporary aren’t worth stressing over.
When Life was super busy (kids activities, sports, etc) and she decided to start going skating to the adult skate night at the rink on Sat nights, one of the only two nights we had the option of spending time with just the two of us, I was disappointed. I felt like she should be choosing to spend that time with me.
She’d been a SAHM for more than a decade and I felt she deserved to go enjoy herself and have this fun social hobby. So I didn’t mention it and I’m glad I didn’t. Six months after it started the pandemic hit the rink shut down for a year. I’m glad she got to have that fun before being cooped up in the house all day again. Now the rink is back open and our oldest is responsible enough to keep an eye on the others why we go skating together. The sacrifice for six months was worth what it did for her.
We both do things to try and help the other.
If she needs some time to relax alone in the bedroom I’ll make sure the kids don’t bother her. She does the same for me. She’s always made sure I had about 20 minutes to myself to unwind and transition to dad mode after getting home from work. She hates ironing so I’ve done it all our entire marriage. It can actually add up to two or three hours a week. If I see her folding a giant pile of laundry that I know is there because she neglected it all week, that’s ok. We move the giant pile to our room and sit on the bed folding together. I actually enjoy the time with her even while folding laundry. Dishes are primarily her responsibility with how we divide things, but I’ll do them while she’s grabbing a nap or something else that takes her out of the house just to surprise her when she comes back to do them and finds it’s already done.