I have every intention of staying married forever, and staying HAPPY in my marriage forever. Now that's not to say that there won't be days that he drives me freakin' NUTS or I drive him up that proverbial wall. We're not the same person. Even if we agree on all the big things, which we do, I might think that one day of rain will put me over the edge and he'll be thinking, "Awesome, the yard needs watering."
Here's how I was raised...
My mom taught me that...
...when you're single, you have no one to answer to but God and yourself (and your parents, when you're young)
...when you're married, you have to put your marriage first, your husband second, and yourself last
...when you have children, the children come first, the family second, the marriage third, the husband fourth, and yourself? Uh-huh, dead last again. She said if you're not willing to sacrifice it all for your kids (or your husband, depending on where you are in the family scheme of things), DON'T DO IT.
Now don't get all pissy with me - your husband should be putting the marriage and you ahead of himself, or the kids and the family and the marriage and you ahead of himself - having this same philosophy about love and marriage and children: that's what makes it work so well. The kids will always know they come first. They will always know they are loved and can depend on their parents. They will always look back at their childhood and remember how much their parents loved them and each other.
Now I'm sure Mom didn't mean at your own or your spouse's expense, not to the black and white definition of that phrase, but you all have to be willing to sacrifice for the good of each other. Selfishness has no place in a family or a relationship.
Today I was reading Elise Joy's blog and she referred to this article about staying married for 15 years. Well, she's a newlywed, but J and I just celebrated our 13th year married (and our 22nd together). So I was curious to see what the article said. I liked it! Enjoy!