For many married couples, falling in love and saying "I do" was the easy part. Living happily ever after is the part that takes a whole lot of work.
I sought out some honest advice from real people who might have insight as to what makes a marriage stand the distance. I reached out to all the married couples and divorcées I knew and asked them the burning question, "What's the secret to making a marriage successful?" Read their words of wisdom below:
1. Share everything with each other. Most importantly, everything you are feeling. There is no way to be on common ground if you don't communicate how you're feeling.
2. Whatever bad stuff happens, remember this, too, will pass.
3. Let the little things go and think big picture. Since you're in it for the long haul, are you really going to care who did or didn't run the dishwasher when you look back in 10 years? Remind yourself that your relationship is much, much bigger than any one minor incident.
4. Fill the fridge with his favorites — it's easy to do, so just do it.
5. Avoid giving the silent treatment. Talk about things that bother you as soon as possible; don't let your emotions build up, because you'll likely explode.
6. Don't take each other for granted. You have to work at it all the time.
7. Make a budget together. It's a great way to talk about your plans and dreams for the future and how to make them happen.
8. Build your partner up and support them to be all they can or want to be.
9. Try to always remember why you fell in love with your partner. Whether it was their sense of humor or ambition — always remind yourself.
10.Enjoy the NOW. Add a house, kids, etc. to the plate, and things just keep getting more complicated. Whatever phase you're in, embrace it and enjoy it.