Together Forever: A Lover’s Guide to A Pretty-Much-Totally-Happily-Ever-After.

Love it, hate it, or completely ignore it, today is Valentine’s Day.

Dumb Dad and I will probably spend the evening grabbing dinner with The Dudes at Panera before rushing to basketball practice, then home for homework, baths, and bed time stories, which sits us just outside of the completely ignore it category.

But we do will celebrate.  And by celebrate I mean we will exchange cheeky love cards, and attempt to watch a grown-up movie after The Dudes go to bed without falling asleep on opposite ends of the couch while the dog snoozes between us.

Hello Romance.

For us, this is perfect.  Because for us, this is us.  And that’s what Valentine’s Day is really about, right?  Celebrating your love, your way, with the person you don’t mind sharing your last piece of chocolate with (let’s face it, this is a short list).

It’s maybe not what fairy tales are made of, but we’re okay with that since fairy tales have fire breathing dragons and super villains and evil, ugly step sisters that I can also do without.

A bigger, cleaner castle with a fancier coach, and stacks on stacks on stacks of gorgeous slippers wouldn’t hurt, but I feel like our happily ever after is more Shrek and Fiona than Prince Charming and, um, whichever princess he hooked up with.


Want a slightly-more-attractive-but-still-pretty-Shrek-alicious ending of your own?

I collected some stay together forever tips from some of my fans, followers, and fellow bloggers to help you make your love life last!

marriage tips

15 Tips for Couples to a Pretty-Much-Totally-Happily-Ever-After

Be fair.  And that’s not the same thing as keeping score.  It’s about being supportive and understanding and junk.  So, if he hates diaper duty, while you’d rather eat barf than clean the hair out of the bath tub drain (seriously, I would), help each other out.  Besides, one day, this person is probably going to be changing YOUR diaper, so let him save it for then. –ME:)

Poop in private! –Jenna

My best stay-together-forever-and-ever tip is to talk! Yep- talk. Tell him about your day, ask him about his. Tell him what the kids did or said that cracked you up. Tell him about what’s making you crazy. I married Steve because he was and is my best friend- but it is easy to allow the busy-ness of 6 kids get in the way of connecting and maintaining that best-friendship. If you can keep that alive- you can make it through anything. –Sharon, Mom of 6 

Have a date night once in a while. Laugh, laugh, laugh together. Show him you respect him. –Karin.

Just one: be friends. Treat each other that way and the rest comes with it. –The Closet Coach

Got this one from a couple married 25 yrs. When you go into the fridge to get yourself something to drink, offer him one, too. It’s all about the little things. – Melissa Bugaj, Night Light Stories

After more than 20 years together, I still don’t know any sure fire tricks. I don’t believe in soul mates. Marriage is not romantic. Marriage is a continuous negotiation of everything. It’s incredibly tiring and the odds are against you, so choose carefully, treat your marriage like a partnership, and keep your eye on the end game. You know, death. And keep your panties at home.  Lela, What You Were Thinking Only Funnier

I’m in the practical arena these days too but I still love the quote about love being friendship that has caught fire ………. forget all the sappy crap on tv and sold by Hallmark — does he have your back when you need him? –Paula Kiger, Big Green Pen

Courtesy. Be as courteous and respectful to your partner (all your family, really) as you would to a stranger when you are trying to make a good impression. That would include, pooping in private which I think can’t be stressed enough. –Michelle

Laughter -mostly at yourself. Take your relationship seriously, not yourself and always take time to remember what you first loved. Oh and if you have babies- nothing said past midnight and before 6 am. counts. –Cristie, The Right Hand Mom

Kinda corny but…Love isn’t just a feeling; it’s an action. You have to love in your actions even when you’re not sure you’re feeling it in your heart. –Vanessa

The secret to a successful marriage is alcohol. Lots and lots of it. But seriously, keep in mind why you fell in love in the first place and remember that whatever dumb thing your husband does, he’s not intentionally trying to hurt you or make you mad. Framing things in that way seems to make it easier to forgive. –Kristi, The Daily Dribbles

Communication, trust and the ability to rely on one another to be each other’s biggest fan through the good, the bad and the ugly. Marriage is a journey where you grow and change over time, the key is to be willing to grow and change together. And, laughter is a must! –Nicole, Moments That Define Life

Whenever possible, try to save serious discussions for times when you and your partner are both in good moods. This might mean waiting a few days past the offense, but it’s easier to listen (and be listened to) when you’re calm and not defensive.  –Cindy, Bad Mommy Moments

More important than loving the person is liking the person. Beth, Mommy on a Shoe String

Happy Valentine’s Day lovelies!


  1. Arnebya says

    When all else fails, threaten him with a hot bowl of grits or the cast iron skillet. Wait, what were we talking about?

  2. says

    All great ideas. I would throw in if you can’t make time away from the house, make it in the house. Draw a bath and soak together. No talking just the comfort of warm water and your partner and you just being. We have found sometimes for us this time taken is a stress reliever for us both, as well as a reconnector.