Earlier this week, John and I celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  Like any married couple, we have had ups and downs, times of plenty and been in need. Also like every other couple, we have fought and cried together.

Here are 25 things that I have learned and am still learning to do.

  1. Forgiveness is the backbone of any successful relationship. Never let the sun go down on your anger. Be quick to apologise. When having an argument, try holding his hand.
  2. Share Scripture and other learnings with him.
  3. Study each other. Know the others likes and dislikes. Make a conscious decision to put him first.
  4. Dream big dreams together.
  5. Make love regularly and enjoy it.
  6. Never leave the house with giving him a kiss and saying “I love you“. Say “I love you” often.
  7. Find out his biggest pet peeve within the home and take steps to improve it. It will often be small things like wanting clean socks each day. Clean socks aren’t that difficult to provide when I am aware of the need and make it a priority.
  8. Let him catch you perving on him and admiring him. Touch him as often as he can stand it.
  9. Accept his help and his suggestions. Be willing to learn from him.
  10. Remind him gently of important dates like his own mother’s birthday.
  11. Remember his favourite things – foods, clothes, movies, etc.
  12. Love him – even when you don’t feel like it. Love him anyway.
  13. Do something special for him (favourite movie, food, etc) when in a bad mood with him.
  14. Don’t expect him to understand completely.
  15. Ask for his advice and use it.
  16. Let him speak, uninterrupted.
  17. Use phrases like “I feel ____ in this situation” rather than “You always“.
  18. Let him have the car window down while driving. Let him choose the music on a road trip.
  19. Pray for and develop intimacy – emotional, spiritual and physical moments. It’s the little things, little moments, that build intimacy.
  20. Say please, thank you and excuse me on a regular basis.
  21. Watch the football with him, even if you despise it. Show an interest in his work, his hobbies.
  22. Laugh at his jokes, even the not-so-funny ones.
  23. Appreciate his efforts as a husband, a father and a provider. Support him at work or in front of his friends/work colleagues.
  24. Smile at him every day. Welcome him home with a kiss and a seductive smile.
  25. Cook together, play together, pray together, laugh together.
  26. Pray for him.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
~1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Okay I cheated and added an extra tip. But I couldn’t stop without mentioning #26. Everyone’s list will look different but what would you add to this list?