Married 40 years. Both my husband and I graduated together but did not start dating until after we graduated (right after) We got married 1 1/2 years after we graduated he was in the air force when we got married so there were times that we were not together once was for a whole year. Anyway I guess I would have to say my husband is my best friend. Don't get me wrong we have had a few problems but we have always gotten thru them. I can remember when we first got married I was very possive and wanted him to myself all the time that sometimes caused a few arguments. Over the years that changed. I also almost lost him about 10 years ago he almost died that was very scary we went thru some very bad times as he was very ill and also became clinicly depressed and I had to put on a brave front but was crying a lot on the inside. Anyway I guess the best thing to do is not only love your spouse but also like them that is the most important thing I can tell you. And also make sure you both have your own time and try not to be to jealous over that. Find something that you both like to do together also. We found dancing and absoulutely loved it. I never thought my husband would do it as he never danced but once we started going I couldn't stop him we had a ball and met so many wonderful friends. Learn also how to fight fair agree to disagree at times. Don't hide things from each other like finances that can hurt big time. Make sure you both agree on big purchases and don't get in over your head because that can also cause lots of marriage problems. We have a rule we have cc but never use it unless we know we can pay in full when it comes. Use them as a convience only if you can. Hope this helps and congratulations and welcome to the site. Also laugh with each other. I can remember when we were taking dancing lessons who some couples would bicker at each other when one did something wrong. Hay life does not need to be that serious when you make mistakes laugh about them instead of yelling at each other its a lot easier to live together if you laugh than yell.
That it is harder than I thought but worth every effort.
That getting through the rough spots and bad times make the good ones even sweeter.
Sticking to a budget is a great idea and prevents some fights.
Never laugh and point while nude. ~advice from a good friend!
Have hobbies and friends outside of marriage. Don't retreat from life just because your married. Develop new friends, maintain the old ones. Most importantly cut loose the ones that are not really there or are not supportive.
Never forget or lose sight of the good qualities that led you to marry your spouse in the first place. Keep noticing all the good things.
And don't forget to tell your spouse you've noticed the good things they do or the traits they have that you particularly like. (It can be all too easy to complain about the things that annoy you - so it's crucial to balance that out by praising/thanking for the things that make you happy.)
Fight fair. Take turns. Be considerate and mutually respectful. Be honest, in the kindest possible fashion. You have great power over each other's decisions and actions - and you must take great care in how you use that power. Don't use it any more than necessary.
You can make each other very happy, or very unhappy. So you just have to keep making the choice to be a good friend and supportive partner to your spouse.
I've found that's it's great to just laugh like silly idiots once in awhile -- not at each other but about something totally stupid.
I also recommend taking a break if an argument is getting really too heated -- "Okay, I really need to chill out for a minute - maybe we can take this up later - sorry but I'm just too steamed up right now."
This may sound nuts to most of you but... the more you have to work on your relationship, the more it's not working. If it works, there's not much maintenance needed other than thoughtfulness, consideration, and fulfilling your obligations.