To stay excited with each other, my best advice to you is to always have goals - personal, professional, financial, spiritual. Goals keep us moving forward and keep us excited about the day ahead. Goals remind us that we only have a short time on this earth, so let's make the most of it.
Whether your goal is to save $X, to have a child, to travel the world -- whatever it is, just set up a goal and make it happen. Then you'll never be bored.
As far as keeping each other happy, nip problems in the bud before they spiral out of control. Communicate. Be each other's best friends. Don't keep secrets, but don't demand to know everything about them, either. Forgive often and take care of one another. And don't forget to take time to go on dates now and again, too.
I've been with my husband for 7.5 years, and we've been married for 3 months.
Plan date nights, have a hobby or two together, but make sure you both give each other some space and the opportunity to "miss" each other. H and I do not have a lot of things in common, and there are plenty of weekends where we do not see each other either during the day or at night because I'm out doing my thing, and he's out doing this thing - he has his set of friends, and I have mine. We also work M-F, but I work longer hours, so we usually only get to see each other for an hour or two weeknights. Even when it comes to working out: we both work out pretty often, but we do not belong to the same gym.
Basically, we give each other space, and when it's time for date night, it's great because we can catch up on the happenings between the two of us. Or even when we're finally home, we can snuggle up on the couch together watching a program that we both happen to love (like Power or Ray Donovan).
Lastly, find out what you do that makes him happy and vice versa. For instance, maybe what makes him happy is when you put his laundry away. Maybe what makes you happy is when he cooks your favorite meal. Whatever that "thing" is, make sure the two of you know what that is and do it often.
Do you already live together? I felt like the first year living together had some challenges, but the first year of marriage was a breeze.
DH and I have been married 2 years and together since 2010.
The best marriage advice I got was from my mother: "I haven't always liked your father, but I've always loved him". They have been happily married for over 33 years. I think sometimes, its easy to get annoyed or irritated with our spouses but give each other some grace. They aren't doing things just to annoy you! As long as you remember that you two are on the same team, at the end of the day it will work out.
Another thing that really resonated with us was something we heard at pre-marital counseling that failed/unmet expectations are the biggest reason for conflict... we expect something to happen or a situation to go a certain way or our spouse to do a certain thing but we didn't communicate that expectation. Its easy after being together a long time to just assume the other person knows what you want or what you're thinking/planning, but that's not true. When something doesn't go according to our expectations, that's when we get upset/frustrated/angry/irritated and conflicts ensue. So communication is key!
If you haven't already done so, definitely take the 5 love languages quiz online and figure out your love languages. There is also a book. Knowing each other's love language AND making a daily effort to love each other in that way has seriously been one of the best things we've done for our relationship!!
And finally, I think the secret to a happy marriage is 2 TVs, haha.
I agree with dating! It's important to place a focus on you as a couple no longer how long you are together
Absolutely agree with dating each other and doing couples counseling when issues arise. I think people think counseling means there marriage is failing but that is a complete stigma. Don't take those date nights for granted because they mean so much. My FH and I have been together for 6 years, broke up for almost 2 years, so needless to say we had to be without each other to truly appreciate each other. And truthfully, couples counseling and lots of prayer, saved us.
Try to not be a jerk about all the little things that they do that annoy you. Like leave their dirty socks laying around the house for example. I'm still working on this one. Pick your battles and if it's something as simple as picking up your their dirty clothes and putting thrm in the hamper the just do it and stfu because you do things to annoy them too. you should both be doing things for each other. focus on all of the positive things they do for your family and for you and appreciate that.
My ex and I were married for 20 years, and FH and his first were married 18 years. We have been together for 14 years (15 years on our wedding date). From the beginning of our (mine and FH) relationship, we talked openly about what went wrong in our marriages, and have constantly striven to avoid those issues. Money disagreements, unfaithfulness, and emotional abuse were present in both our 1st marriages. We didn't combine a dime of our funds until we'd been together over 7 years, and we still treat our "household" as a business that we budget frequently. We have a "date night" every Friday night - mostly it's going out to dinner, but we do other things as well. We have joint hobbies (our boat!) and separate hobbies (crochet for me, music recording for him).
For us (and this is just what works for us) is to have similar faith viewpoints. We are both strong Christians, and pray together daily (this was REALLY hard for us!). We go to the same church every week, and have taken a very intense Bible class together and openly discuss our faith between us.
ETA: Strongly suggest premarital couples counseling and the 5 love languages.
If you're concerned about not keeping each other happy and excited in the first year of marriage, you need to extend your engagement. This is the honeymoon period and in most marriages where the couple is in love, is probably the time you're most excited and most solicitous of each other/happy. The first year is easy.
I've been with my spouse for 18 years and we recently got married. We have been to hell and back together and I don't say that tongue-and-cheek. We were long distance/not long distance, we were poor/not poor, we went through career changes, we went through disapproving friends and family disowning us, life-and-death health crises requiring hospitalization, medical bills and debt, others trying to drive a wedge between us because of their own romantic interests in one of us, stalkers, death threats, physical assault and related trauma, multiple moves all over the country, etc., etc., etc.
Needless to say we felt married long before we exchanged vows because we were still madly, deeply in love even through all of that.
To sustain a long-term relationship, you have to respect and trust each other first and foremost. Treat the other the way you expect to be treated. Don't be afraid to argue. Don't be afraid to disagree. Don't listen to magazines telling you "never go to bed angry." That's BS. I need my sleep and anytime you rush through an argument just so you can get to bed instills a seed of resentment. Let arguments play themselves out. Don't be mean to each other. Don't call each other names or fly off the handle (if you need time to cool off, take time to cool off). Don't ignore your own feelings. Speak up if something bugs you. Don't keep secrets. Don't play ignorant when it comes to finances. Know what you're each spending and on what. Spend time just watching a movie together or going on a date, tell each other jokes, tell each other about your day. Don't let others get between you and if they want to, cut them from your life. Don't ever complain to anyone else about your spouse. Venting is fine, but once you bash your spouse to someone else, it changes their perception about him/her. Finally, get counseling when things get hard. There's no shame in it and it has saved many a marriage.
My FH and I have been together for over 4 years now, and we have lived together for most of that time. Our relationship is still fun because we still flirt a lot with each other, we do a lot of fun things together like hiking or playing video games, watching funny shows together. Oh and FH constantly keeps things exciting by pulling pranks on me or trying to scare me, which I absolutely love. lol We are completely honest with each other, and we never talk about each other negatively to others. As cheesy as it sounds, we are best friends.
My FH and I have been together 5 years, it'll be 6 when we get married. He has been married twice before and I have not. But I was with my kid's dad for almost 11 years prior. Since we both know what went wrong in our previous relationships, we decided to make it different this time.
His ex wife sat on the computer playing Facebook games day and night 24/7 so I promised I would never make any games a priority over him or the kids. (I'm a huge gamer lol) and would not play any games on Facebook.
My ex was an abusive controlling jealous alcoholic who could never trust me or anyone I knew. I couldn't have any friends or go out and do anything, I couldn't even hold a job. My FH now doesn't drink, he doesn't care if I go out with the girls anytime I want, he doesn't demand to see my phone when it goes off to see who I'm talking to and he doesn't question the money I spend even though he never knows what it goes on lol (I take care of the joint checking account and pay all the bills, household stuff etc.) And I don't question him or demand to see his phone or sneak a peek at his wallet when he's not looking.
We communicate about every important thing to us even if the other feels it's ridiculous. We talk out or problems and have minor disagreement. We have only had 2 major fights/arguments and it's usually always about our differences with the kids. (Being a step mom and having a blended family is TOUGH when you've never done it before!) Lol but we get through them.
Sticking by each other's sides always, and being firm about the things you both care about is important.
TRUST and communication is the key. It's pretty much mandatory for a happy relationship. Also we make sure to take time for each of us to have "me" time but we also try with our busy schedules to have at least 2 date nights and 2 family nights a month.
We spend alot of time together in our free time, coming meals together, watching mine and his favorite shows.
If I see he's into something I don't know about, I learn it and if I like it then we enjoy it together. He learned to play my favorite games and I learned about his favorite nerdy stuff. It's all about give and take, equally. I couldn't ask for a better partner and father to spend my life with