How to have a happy marriage...

Hi all. Happy day 8 of 31 Days of Blogging. Today's subject comes from friend Robin who asks: "What happy marriage secrets are you practicing to make your marriage as long and happy as possible?"

I have only been married about six months so I really feel like a rookie at this but we have survived half of what many people have told me is the hardest part of marriage: year one.

Here is what I do. Reuben probably could tell you many more things because I actually think he is better at marriage than I am. I am often cranky and crazy and he still just loves me anyway!

Here are five tips from the marriage rookie:

First, virtual duct tape on my mouth in the morning. I am not a morning lover and it takes me about thirty minutes to get going and not be mean. So, I say good morning and then am quiet for a while.

Second, I try not to compare Reuben to my Dad. Sometimes I think he will react or act like my dad would in a situation and this is just not true. I guess my biggest male influence was my dad.

Third, we pray together daily and try to eat dinner together as often as possible. It makes a difference to have a spiritual connection and have time together.

Forth, one day a week is reserved for "Me Time, Free Time". Having 35 years of independent living makes me sometimes feel a bit claustrophobic in marriage. Don't get me wrong, I love being married, but I think everybody needs occasional alone time!

Five, forget easily and don't rush to get offended. I am very lucky and have a horrible memory. This makes me forget things that make me mad very quickly. I am also learning that men communicate very differently than us women and often the way I interpret something Reuben says is not even close to what he was actually saying. I often just have to let things go. Having the attitude that we are in this for the long haul helps me to not put him in the wrong. We are a team and good teams don't give up, they keep going to practice and playing. They may have different game plans but they are always striving to become better and work as a team!

Marriage isn't easy, but I have learned so much about communication and myself through the challenges that it has definitely been worth it and it has been the best decision I have made!