1. ADMIT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG.
It’s a sign of strength, not weakness. Yes, I know. It’s hard to swallow that pride of yours sometimes. It’s hard for me, too. But it will show your partner that you’re able to recognize when you’re wrong, so you can both improve as a team. It will also help you look in the mirror and truly try to improve yourself.

2. GO ON DATE NIGHTS.
This is one we struggle with, mainly because I’ve pretty much been pregnant for the past 2 years. But once our baby girl gets a little older and we feel comfortable leaving her with a sitter, we’re going to ramp up the date night effort. It’s so important to simply let loose every now and then without the kiddos! We love our kids more than anything, but we (our love story) happened first. It’s so important to keep that fire going because it ultimately effects our overall family dynamic. Kids notice when their parents are in love and they notice even more when they’re not. We want to show our kids what a healthy relationship looks like, and date nights give mommy and daddy some much-needed alone time.

3. REMEMBER WHY YOU FIRST STARTED DATING
Remember why you fell in love. Whether it was an initial spark, or something that grew over time. There is a reason you decided to dedicate the rest of your life to this person. LOVE. Keep reminding yourself of those reasons and I guarantee that you will continue to fall in love with that person each day.

Sometimes I like to turn on an old playlist that I listened to from back when we first started dating. Or even just listen to a song or two that reminds me of that time. It always takes me back to such a blissful time. I’ll even send the song or lyrics to my husband to let him know I’m thinking of him.

4. LAUGH AT THE CHAOS.
I’m just going to be completely honest here – our life is a complete mess most of the time. We have 2 kids 11 months apart. Enough said. Sometimes we want to scream at the top of our lungs. But instead we take a deep breath, grab a beer, and just laugh. Because laughter is much better than the alternative.

5. EMBRACE EACH OTHER’S IMPERFECTIONS.
I’m impatient and my husband has a-d-d. I understand he has a legitimate problem with his attention span and he understands I hate the fact I’m impatient. He’s not proud of his issues and I’m not proud of mine. We both want to improve ourselves and it’s something we are both working on. There’s no need to bash each other for something we’re already struggling with internally.

6. FLIRT WITH YOUR SPOUSE.
Attraction is KEY in a marriage. Think about when you first started dating your spouse. You flirted all the time, right? So why stop? Yes, life gets busy and will bring stressors along the way, but turning to your spouse for a good laugh is simply the best. Keeping the mood light, goofy and playful will only bring happiness to other areas of your life.

7. GET PHYSICAL.
Coming from a marriage that produced 2 kids in less than 2 years (no, they’re not twins), I think I can speak from experience. Connecting on a physical level keeps the romance alive and also brings my husband and I closer as partners. Even the simple act of holding hands is better than nothing.

8. RESPECT EACH OTHER.
When I first met my husband, he was actually my boss. My first thought of him was that he was really smart, knew a lot about his field, and I was really excited to learn as much as I could from him so that I could grow in my career. I almost looked at him as a mentor. The thought of ever being romantically involved with him never crossed my mind, but I sure respected the hell out of him. Fast forward years later and we’re now married with 2 kids. I continue to remind myself of my first impression of him – pure respect.

8. SEE YOUR SPOUSE AS YOUR TEAM MATE.
You hear this advice all the time, but it’s pretty hard for most couples to really stick to it. Chad is hands down the best team mate I could have ever imagined. His attitude makes it easy for me to treat him the same way. Because life is hard, and it’s going to throw you curve balls each day. You need to remember that your partner is, and always should be, the team mate you can turn to no matter what. If you start to turn against each other, the team will lose the game. And who wants to lose? Winning is much more fun.

10. DON’T CRITICIZE EACH OTHER’S PARENTING STYLES.
We’re all new at this whole parenting thing, now aren’t we? I know I’m no expert, so how can I expect my husband to be? We’re both equally new at this whole raising a human thing, so who’s to say I’m always right? I mean, let’s be honest. I have no clue what I’m doing. This whole thing is a learning experience for the both of us.

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