Yep. Nineteen years of wedded bliss! "Bliss" here includes a heated argument here and there (we really don't argue much), tons of laughing and a whole lot of leaning on each other when necessary. I can honestly say it's all been worth it. Feels good to be able to say that I made the best decision of my life when I was nineteen years old. (A year later, at 20 & 22, we were married in the park.)
Of course it ain't easy though.
And, of course, I'm going to share my expertise.
1) Ladies. Listen to me. And remember this, because it is the most important thing to know. Ready?
He can't read your mind.
Do not expect him to "just know" what you're thinking, or what your problem is. He can't even begin to guess. Don't make him guess. No, he should not be able to figure it out. Not only is it unfair to him, it's unfair to yourself.
2) Be honest. Tell him the truth! He's a man; he can take it. I mean, you can soften it a little but no guessing games (see #1) and have the guts to tell the truth!
Example: the most evil lie women tell. It is the most heinous lie because it comes off so innocent, so insignificant, but years of telling this lie can do so much damage. Here is the horrible lie...
Fine, my ass, it's not fine and you know it's not! You say it's fine, and the male mind goes, "Oh, she says it's fine and that means it's fine" and he goes on with his day. What else did you expect? (See #1)
Other vicious lies include, "Oh nothing," as well as "Never mind." It takes time to be honest but it's worth it.
3) Don't tear him down. Build him up. Sure it's easy to tell him about all his flaws and all the stuff you want him to improve. Keep in mind he'll get sick of that pretty quick. We all know most of us women end up seeing marriage as an ongoing Husband Improvement Project but you married a man, not a project. There has to be a focus on all the good stuff he's got going on too.
4) Get your reward system the right way around. Let's have none of this crap where you make promises for jobs done. Just dish out the rewards as much as possible - hey, it's your reward, too! - and then say things like, "Hey honey, you know what I think is really hot? I loooove it when a man vacuums the living room rug. Oooh that is sexy."
This approach works pretty good with power tools too.
5) Remember: you like this guy.
I think that's really the bottom line.
I really, seriously, very much, like this guy.