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My Number One Secret to a Happy Marriage

happy married couple on wedding day

I’m going to share a slightly cheesy life goal with you: When I’m 80 years old, I want to still hold hands with my husband, laugh at his jokes, and feel like two kids stupidly in love. If I’m being 100% honest with you, I truly, truly believe that’s what my husband and I will be like one day because *in my opinion* we’ve cracked the code and discovered the secret to a long and happy marriage.

Before I get into the how, I just have to put it out there. My husband and I definitely argue. We get on each other’s nerves, we say the wrong thing at the wrong time, we forget to do things we say we would.

I ask him if he could please stop putting his dirty silverware into the dishwasher that I just ran last night, and he asks me if I could please watch my tone for the thousandth time. You know, married couple things.

We’ve been together basically since we were fifteen, so the things ya argue about change as you enter your eleventh year together. BUT despite any argument we have over the dishwasher or my poor tone (let’s just say I can be a little sassy), I know that we will continue to have a happy, lasting marriage if one thing remains true.

Because in my mind, there is one thing that I believe will continue to be the glue of our relationship no matter what we argue about.

While some say the secret to a happy marriage is communicating early and often, others say it’s agreeing to disagree sometimes. Some believe it’s being quick to forgive, or showing appreciation + gratitude for your partner. While all of these components create a healthier marriage, I still believe there is one thing that tippy tops the list.

And it’s this: marry your best friend.

the secret to a happy marriage is marrying your best friend
happy married couple underneath bridal veil
the secret to a happy marriage is marrying your best friend
The photo I most wanted at our wedding was a picture of us underneath my veil. Let’s just say Wanderlynn Photography NAILED IT. Right???

I met my husband in fourth grade. We weren’t friends, but as we got older we had a lot of mutual friends. We had the same lunch together during our sophomore year of high school, and one day, David sneakily asked for my number. One thing led to another, and before you know it we were *hearts in eyes* official.

The main thing that stands out in my mind thinking back on those days is that he drew me in with his humor. I was constantly laughing at something he said, and he just made me so genuinely happy (+ still does). But I wouldn’t say it was your typical head over heels teenage kind of love at first sight. It was gradual, and we built such a strong friendship.

While we had our ups and downs and went through some breakups over the past decade, each time we went our separate ways it wasn’t just that feeling of losing the person I was in love with, I really felt like I was losing my other half, my best friend.


So here is why I believe marrying your best friend is the #1 secret to a lifelong, happy marriage:

Marrying your best friend means a long list of criteria are essentially automatically being met. It’s the secret to a happy marriage because there are a bunch of benefits that naturally come with marrying your bff. The biggest bang for your buck, ya know? I’ll explain what I mean.


1. Best friends communicate early and often naturally.

If something major happens in your life, who do you call first and tell?

Your best friend.

If you’re experiencing something difficult and you need some advice, who do you go to?

Your best friend.

It’s not that I only go to my husband in these types of situations, but it feels 100% natural to go to him. If we didn’t have such a strong friendship, I imagine that I’d be less likely to tell him about the big things or the tough things in my life right away.

I think that once you stop sharing the funny little stories from your day or aren’t quick to open up about what’s making you so anxious you can’t fall asleep at night, you cut off a huge part of your relationship. Maybe some would say you should think before you speak more often… But I think being so open + honest that you don’t think twice is a really positive thing for us.


2. Trust is the foundation of being bffs.

I think one of the main differences between being BEST friends with someone and friends with someone, is trust. People wouldn’t tell 10 of their friends their deepest, darkest secret. Or something super hard they’re going through that’s difficult to talk about. But they would tell their best friend.

You trust that person + you choose that person, at least in part, because you know they have your back. So to me, being best friends with my partner means I trust him with the big stuff.


3. The essence of being best friends is that you genuinely like each other.

You don’t choose a best friend based on whether or not they want to have kids or what their perspective on money is (at least I don’t lol). You choose that friend and that friend chooses you BECAUSE YOU LIKE EACH OTHER.

If you marry someone and you like that person for the most part *insert pathetic smile*, but really you’re just convincing yourself because that person “checks all the other boxes”. You just ended up marrying someone who’s not your best friend. If I were to take an educated guess, I’d say that it happens all the time.

I hate to say it, but I have to say it. I have met some married couples that really don’t seem like they like each other very much.

I’m a newlywed, so what do I know. But I did date my husband for a lot longer than some people have even known their spouse…

I digress. Allllll I’m saying is I’m very glad I married someone I really, really like. I am never bored. Everyday life is more fun – running errands, making dinner, doing yardwork, cleaning the house. Never a dull moment + I genuinely enjoy being around him.

While we have many similar interests, we also have very individual, personal interests. We both like fishing, but he is on a wholeeee different level than me + I want to do other things on Saturdays. However, we like being around each other so dang much. So what do we do? We go to a fishing spot together, and I do my thing (read a book, listen to a podcast, daydream, etc.) while he does his thing. My point is, we choose to do different things in each other’s presence because we genuinely enjoy one another’s company.


4. Forgiveness comes naturally.

This point kind of piggybacks off the last, but it’s easier to forgive + apologize quickly when you LIKE your partner. Now, I am absolutely awful at this compared to David. He says sorry and gets over something in about 0.2 seconds. Myself, on the other hand… I need to be alone/clear my head before I can give a genuine apology. (Is this all females or just me?) I hate apologies that aren’t real. I want to feel truly sorry, and I can’t do that if I’m in the same room with the person that is getting. on. my. last. nerve. Anyway, that’s a tangent.

I don’t like being upset with my husband because I like him. It really is that simple.

I think it’s natural to go through the cycle of apologizing + forgiving with your spouse (who happens to be your bff) more often than with other people. There’s just more material to argue about.

But it’s much easier to go through that with someone you like, who makes you laugh, who you tell everything to. It honestly feels like torture when the forgiveness/apology cycle lasts longer than usual. Because it’s so noticeable that I’m not smiling, laughing, and blurting out whatever’s on my mind!

You don’t hold grudges against your best friend. You get over things + move forward together because the alternative sounds horrible.


5. It is easy to appreciate your bestie because you already think they are amazing.

I am not even exaggerating. If you don’t think your best friends are amazing humans, I don’t think they qualify for bff status…? When you choose a best friend + they choose you back, it means you are choosing specific qualities in that person. As I think about my best friends who are not my husband, they are my best friends because I admire/enjoy/love who they are – their personality traits, perspectives, and energy. In other words, I appreciate them.

If you choose a partner who is also your best friend, you naturally appreciate who they are. I mean, we could probably all be better about showing it at times. But chances are, if this person is your BEST friend, you acknowledge how thankful you are for him or her in little ways all the time because you can’t help it.

For example, you talk to your best friends frequently, you do little nice + thoughtful things for them, and you tell them you love them. All these things apply to my bffs and my husband. Again, not saying I couldn’t be more intentional about this. But I am constantly filled with appreciation for my husband because he has so many qualities that I find endearing and admirable.

…SO.

Have I convinced you yet that marrying your best friend is the secret to a happy marriage? I truly cannot imagine my life if I weren’t bffs with my husband. When you marry your best friend who you also happen to be in love with, you get a life PARTNER aka sidekick, playmate, buddy, helper, accomplice, companion. No seriously, if you look up synonyms for partner these are what ya get lol.

It is so fun to do life with someone who you:

Communicate with naturally,

trust + know will have your back,

genuinely like + enjoy being around,

forgive + apologize to quickly,

and you truly appreciate without even having to try.

It’s pretty great that all these criteria for a happy marriage are wrapped up into one bundle when you marry your best friend.

What other boxes are already checked when your spouse is your bff? I would love to be reminded of all the wonderful benefits of marrying your very favorite life buddy.

Or do you think there is an entirely different secret to a happy marriage? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear!

my #1 secret to a happy marriage

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love always, nik

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