10 life lessons from 10 years of marriage

  1. Leave the room looking neat and a little more organized.
  2. Remember that you’re playing on the same team.
  3. Just because you’re parents it doesn’t mean you stop being husband and wife.
  4. Be each other’s biggest health coach.
  5. Keep laughing together.
  6. Take pictures together.
  7. Forgive and move forward.
  8. Keep your voice down.
  9. Cuddle.
  10. Do new things together.

My husband and I met in May 2002, got engaged in July 2002 and got married in May 2003. It was a whirlwind of a romance that we both knew would end at the altar anyway, so we figured out — why wait? There are things in life you are very much uncertain about no matter how many times you think them through, and there are other things that make little sense whatsoever yet still absolutely feel like they’re the best things you’ll ever do. Our getting married was the latter. Here we are, ten years later, stronger than ever.

Whirlwind or not, every marriage goes through its trying and triumphant times. Here’s a little more insight into the 10 lessons I’ve learned from 10 years of marriage:

  1. Leave the room looking neat and a little more organized.
  2. Pick up after yourself and you’ll save each other a ton of headaches. I’m guilty of leaving our closet looking ransacked each morning. Wifey, please fix the closet today. He’s guilty of making a mess in the bathroom. Husby, please keep the floor dry. We’re becoming more conscious of putting in more effort into these little things that turn huge when unattended. So yep, our bathroom floor has been dry the past weeks and the closet was freshly organized last night. No headaches!

  3. Remember that you’re playing on the same team.
  4. We don’t agree on everything. We can both be very stubborn, but over time and after getting back perspective that we’re in this together, we reach a common understanding of how to move forward. It’s tough! But it can be done!

  5. Just because you’re parents it doesn’t mean you stop being husband and wife.
  6. So guilty of this. I’ve been more a Mommy than a wife, hard as it is to admit. But I’m trying to balance that better, or at least make sure I’m not neglecting my husband. It also helps that when you’re together, you talk about things other than the baby. Difficult, but a must-do.

  7. Be each other’s biggest health coach.
  8. If it weren’t for my husband, I’d keep forgetting to take my vitamins. He makes my lemon water before we leave for work in the morning. We’re not gym buddies, but we watch out for each other’s health. He has a personal trainer, but does his trainer tell him to go to the dentist twice a year? Noooo.

  9. Keep laughing together.
  10. Don’t forget to keep your sense of humor and see the light, happy side of things. Together.

  11. Take pictures together.
  12. My photo library is filled with pictures of our son, myself and our son, my husband and our son, or the three of us together. There are few pictures of just my husband and myself. Crazy!!! I guess this is linked to “just because you’re parents it doesn’t mean you stop being husband and wife.” We need to take more photos of just the two of us together.

  13. Forgive and move forward.
  14. Marriage has a bunch of highly challenging and painful moments. It can be very difficult, but the only way to move forward is to face whatever obstacle you’re both going through and pull through it together. He’s not perfect, neither am I. Asking for forgiveness means acknowledging you did something wrong, and forgiving someone means you accept this acknowledgment. Then you both can move forward together. No sweeping under rugs allowed in this home!

  15. Keep your voice down.
  16. The degree of the fight is directly proportional to the pitch and volume of one’s voice so keep calm and carry on.

  17. Cuddle.
  18. At the end of the day, we just lay in each other’s arms and not say or do anything else. I just snuggle against him while our son is playing with his Legos and feel that sense of peace. He’s here. I’m here. Our son is here. It’s enough.

  19. Do new things together.
  20. Through these past 10 years, we’ve discovered a lot of things we don’t enjoy doing together (badminton) and things we love doing together (discovering new restaurants). With our son, we’ve been venturing to new places (museums) and gathering new experiences. We just have to keep the momentum! The more new things we do together, the more there is to discover about each other too. Just another way to keep the love alive.

First Kiss
May 24, 2003.
First kiss as husband and wife.

What lessons have you been learning about your own marriage so far? Who are your marriage inspirations? Share in the comments!

22 Comments on 10 life lessons from 10 years of marriage

  1. JMom
    May 28, 2013 at 10:02 am (11 years ago)

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! It’s been a pleasure to follow your Wifely Steps over the years :) I so totally agree with your list!
    I think my biggest takeaway so far, after 22 years of marriage is to not take everything personally and that ultimately, you are responsible for your own happiness. I take inspiration where I can find it. Even from younger couples like you, I am still learning. Keep trying something new, right? :)
    JMom´s last blog post ..How to Eat a Flat of Strawberries in Two Days

    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm (11 years ago)

      JMom: The not-taking-things-personally I am still learning. I still get quite easily offended. Heehee. I will learn how to master that soon! Thank you for sharing that “you are responsible for your own happiness”. That’s its own blog entry right there. :) Will right about that soon! Thanks for the thoughtstarter!

  2. Ma. Teresa Grech Q. Racal
    May 28, 2013 at 10:49 am (11 years ago)

    Happy 10th wedding anniversary to you and to your husband. More to come… I like the 10 lessons you have shared…
    Ma. Teresa Grech Q. Racal´s last blog post ..Right To Vote

    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm (11 years ago)

      Grech: Thank you! I hope it inspires you :)

  3. Faye
    May 28, 2013 at 10:57 am (11 years ago)

    Love your list Toni! If I’d list down mine it’s pretty much going to be similar to this too. Happy anniversary to you and your hubby! Cheers to more laughters, foodie adventures?, healthier years for the both of you (and maybe more babies?).
    Faye´s last blog post ..A Letter From Nagaoka From Mommy To Maia

    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm (11 years ago)

      Faye: Una kong basa “cheers to more toddlers”. Hahaha! :) Thanks for the greeting!

  4. cheekeegirl
    May 28, 2013 at 11:11 am (11 years ago)

    Inspiring and refreshing! I’ve been married for more than 3 years now and 10 years of being together. But even for that long time, everyday is learning new things from my hubby. #3 I admit I’m guilty of and #7 is easy to say but hard to do. But during all those years I realized it’s hard to forgive others if for yourself you don’t. Thanks for the wonderful insights! Always my support!
    cheekeegirl´s last blog post ..Morning uplifts

    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm (11 years ago)

      cheekee: Thank you for your support and sharing your story! :)

  5. Mom-Friday
    May 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm (11 years ago)

    Happy 10 years to both of you!
    I can relate as we’ve also marked 10 yrs last Nov. :) i have to do more of #3, 4,6 & 10!!! I was able to blog about my lessons too, but I think I stopped at 8, heeheehee… :)
    Mom-Friday´s last blog post ..Honey Stars and Moons for Breakfast

    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm (11 years ago)

      Happy 11 years to you soon, Mom-F!

  6. Em Dy
    May 28, 2013 at 10:31 pm (11 years ago)

    Happy anniversary Toni and for sharing the lessons that you’ve learned along the way. Some apply to singles too.

    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm (11 years ago)

      Happy to inspired marrieds and singles! Thanks Em!

  7. Lissa
    May 29, 2013 at 5:15 am (11 years ago)

    I can still remember when you guys got married. Can’t believe it’s been 10 years!! Congrats and best wishes to you both. I wish you more decades of happiness to come.

    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm (11 years ago)

      Lissa: We’ve witnessed how we’ve each progressed through life ‘no? Here’s to friendship, too!

  8. jowee padolina
    May 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm (11 years ago)

    you are such an inspiration!

    Happy anniversary!!!

    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks jowee!

  9. Chrissy
    May 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm (11 years ago)

    Happy 10 years to you both Toni! :) I’m also guilty of the “no photos of me and hubby” part :( Thanks for reminding me about that! I love your list! So helpful! :)

    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks Chrissy!

  10. Maggie
    June 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm (11 years ago)

    Wow! Ten years! Congratulations, Toni. We have the same story pala. I met husband in September 2007, went steady October 2007, got engaged in November and married a year after. :)

    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm (11 years ago)

      Maggie: Wow!!! Very similar love stories nga. :) Here’s to whirlwind romances that work!

  11. ays
    June 14, 2013 at 9:32 am (11 years ago)

    hi! belated happy anniversary. taking these to heart, as i have just gotten married :)

    Wow! Congratulations and best wishes, Ays! :)

    ays´s last blog post ..wedding video


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