A sweet treat from the folks at Aubergine
Three things I've learned from three years of marriage:
1. Choose your battles. You can't make an issue out of every little thing, because eventually, you'll either just resent each other or tune each other out. Besides, who wants to live in a state of constant bickering? Learn to let some things go, and make your case when it really matters.
2. Learn his language of love (and yours). It sounds cheesy, but it helps. You can love a person with all you've got, but if you speak different languages, there might be some miscommunication. For example, his language may be "receiving gifts," so he shows his love for you the way he knows how: by giving you little presents. You, on the other hand, may be a sucker for "words of affirmation," so the gifts--with no sweet nothings behind them--may do nothing for you. Talk about lost in translation.
Sometimes you can figure out what an underlying problem is when you know what your language is. I've realized that my languages are "quality time" and "physical touch," which means proximity is important to me. (I'd have a hell of a time managing a long-distance relationship!) So when I'm feeling particularly pissy or lonely or hormonal, it might be because I feel like I'm not getting enough QT with my man, and the solution is to spend a couple of hours together.
3. The secret to a happy marriage? Choose wisely. It all starts from there. Some girls have some sort of messianic complex--it's the reason we fall for the bad boys. Deep down, we want to be the ones to change them. But when it comes to men, what you see is what you get--so marry someone for who he is, not for who you think he will (or should) be. I married a man who opened doors for me, waited for me even when I was hours late, loved spending time with me, was very secure with himself, let me do my own thing, made me feel safe, respected my family, did random acts of kindness, and loved my mom. He still does. I was overjoyed to marry that man, but after saying "I do," I was quite happy to discover that he would also cook for me, give me back massages and foot rubs, wash the dishes, call me on his way home to ask if I was hungry and if I wanted anything... The thing is, even if I didn't get all these surprising extras, I would marry him all over again. Because from the start, I already loved him for who he was.