15 Lessons I’ve Learned In 15 Years Of Marriage.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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Today, my wife and I celebrate 15 years of marriage. I have learned so many valuable lessons in that time. To keep the post from being 10,000 words long, I've condensed it to 15. :-)

1- Marriage is a long-term investment, not a one-time deposit.

If you base everything on the wedding day, you’ll be disappointed. You plan a wedding, you invest in a marriage. And it’s an on-going investment, not a one-time deposit. That doesn’t work.

2- Servanthood wins!

I learned a long time ago that if I put my wife’s needs above my own, and choose to serve her everyday, I experience marital success.

3- Intimacy is so much more than sex.

In fact, sex makes up a very small percentage of intimacy. Intimacy in it’s truest form, embodies the conversations we have, the moments we share together, and the life-long commitment we make.

4- Communication is the golden ticket.

Over-communicate everything in marriage. This goes for both of you!

5- Put each other first, regardless of the season, or circumstance.

Children, careers, home-ownership, friendships….they all take a backseat to your spouse, always!

6- Allow your spouse to be themselves. 

Nothing fosters bitterness quicker than a spouse who stifles the personality or spirit of their husband or wife. If your spouse is taking advantage of you or acting like a jerk, this does not apply. Besides, a person who is authentic and genuine, doesn’t need to act like a jerk.

7- Keep dating.

I know you’ve probably read this a million times on other blogs about marriage, but it’s true. Farm those kids out to someone else and get out of town for a bit. You both need it!

8- Share everything. 

Bank accounts, a home, a bed, resources, possessions….everything! What’s yours is his, and what’s his is yours.

9- Learn the words “I’m sorry,” and mean it when you use them. 

Forgiveness keeps the fibers that bind your hearts together strong and healthy!

10- Fail forward.

You’re going to screw up, say things you don’t mean, and let each other down. You’re not perfect. When you fail…fail forward. Never stop growing.

11- Do not cling to the “love” you had for one another when you first met.

Mostly because it was more infatuation than love. Love grows over the years. The love I have for my wife now, 15 years later, wasn’t even possible when we first got married because we had to experience life together in order to have the love we have for one another now. [Read my post on this here]

12- Be one another’s allies as you raise children.

Always be on each other’s side and on the same page in child-rearing. If you disagree with one another on the means, do it in private, not in front of your children. They will see your weakness and they will exploit it… 🙂

13- Love the life you’ve been given.

Be grateful…even for the tough times. You grow through the tough times. Celebrate every milestone and choose to always be in the moment with one another.

14- Keep your bedroom sacred.

Don’t allow your children to occupy space in your bedroom and limit their access. That’s your space as a couple and it’s sacred. Guard it, nurture it, and keep it as just yours. [Read my post on this here]

15- Publicly honor one another.

Celebrate your spouse publicly in front of others. Give them credit and make sure others know how important they are to you always. Introduce them in a circle of people where they may not know anyone. Stand behind them so they can be seen and acknowledged by others. Nothing makes a spouse feel worthless faster than being in a public situation where they feel neglected or unknown.

Been married a while? What lessons have you learned?

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.