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By: Nicole Rodiles, Full Time Psychology Professor at Imperial Valley College

Marriage is not an arrangement that one should enter into lightly. And it makes it a lot easier if you are married to your best friend. That way, even when you don’t like the person at that moment, you still love them and cannot imagine life without them. It is not an easy endeavor and takes work, every day, in order to keep the relationship afloat. But that is not to say that it is not rewarding because it is the most rewarding relationship, if you are willing to put in the work.

 We marry someone who was raised and lived, in most cases, very differently from the way we did. As a result, you must be willing to compromise and “not sweat the small stuff”. Whether it’s the way they put the toilet paper roll on, the way they don’t push the toothpaste up the tube, differences in child raising, or money management, and the list goes on, these issues can create real problems in a marriage. You and your spouse will have to come to a compromise and come to an agreement that works for both of you. Otherwise, the issue or issues will become a constant battle and can become a “deal breaker” for the relationship.

Honestly, though, the most important thing to do in a marriage is to never stop dating. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our everyday routines and forget that our relationship needs tending to. If we let this go on too long, we become merely roommates with our spouse and the spark begins to fade. And if you have kids, it’s even more important to take the time to be someone other than Mommy or Daddy, and be the person that your spouse fell in love with, before kids. We need to plan time with our spouse, weekly, to just sit and talk or do something that you enjoy doing together. It’s best if you’re able to get away from home so that there are no distractions to keep you from focusing on each other.

 It’s amazing how this weekly date can put your relationship back on track and can rev up your intimate life as well. When you get back to being more than roommates, you begin to hold hands and hug and kiss again, which help you to remember and feel the way you did when you were dating. This can only enhance your relationship, inside and outside of the bedroom.

 In my experience, marriage is a lot easier if you are married to your best friend. That way, even if you don’t like your spouse at that moment, you still love them and cannot imagine life without them. I am lucky to be married to my best friend, and although we have had our ups and downs, I cannot imagine taking this journey, we call “life”, with anyone else.

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