What is the secret to a good marriage? I’ll tell you. Now, before I do, let me give you some background. I’ve been married since July 13th, 1996. My wife and I had a few things going against us. We married young1. We had only met in November of 1995 and gotten engaged in December of 1995. Some of her family, some of my family, and some of our friends just didn’t agree with the marriage. However, we’ve now been married for over 13 years. I know it’s not 50 years, but in this day and age, 13 is a long time for a couple to stay married, especially under the circumstances.

There is one major secret2 to staying married that long. The secret is compromise. “What?! Compromise?! That’s all you have for me after this big long introduction!?” Well, yeah. That’s the secret. But let me explain with some examples:

  • Stealing the covers – Couples sometimes complain about the other always stealing their covers. My wife and I use separate covers. this also helps with the temperature issue because she can cover up in a blanket or two and I’ll just cover in a sheet.
  • Where/What to eat? – Some couples argue over where they are going to eat. We either take turns picking places or we pick places that have something that both of us will enjoy. I know it sounds simple, but I’ve seen many arguments over this exact thing from other couples. As for what to eat at home, I really like my pizza. She doesn’t like having the same thing over and over. So we make separate pizzas. She sometimes has beef and cheese and sometimes has spinach and artichokes. She’s tried many different things. I stick with my beef and cheese. We have two different tastes as most people do, but we never argue over food.
  • What to watch on television? – We have a digital video recorder3. It records the shows we both like and the great thing is it’s a dual tuner, meaning it can record two different shows at the same time. She watches “her” shows when she has free time. I watch “my” shows when I have free time. We watch “our” shows when we want to hang out and watch television.
  • The toilet seat – You know, I’ve tried this argument before: “If guys should put the seat down for women, then women should put the seat up for men.” It didn’t work. I’m outnumbered anyway. Guys, put the seat down so you don’t have to hear it. If you put the seat down, she won’t yell at you about the seat anymore. That’s a good compromise in my opinion.

Seriously, I know these seem like small things. But we also compromise when it comes to major decisions about the family and our daughter. We work things out together and talk about stuff until we can agree on a feasible solution to problems. In our over 13 years of marriage, we have never once had an argument. We’ve always talked things out. And although those are small things I mention as examples, remember that small things add up. Be willing to compromise with the little stuff and anger just won’t build up for the big stuff.

  1. She was 19 and I was 21 []
  2. along with many others I’ll share with you over time []
  3. like a TiVo []