Scott and I were married 14 years ago today. I’ve learned a lot since I’ve become “Mrs. Streater,” and here are 14 of the things that I think are most important:

14. If you’re in a crabby mood, try try try to keep it to yourself. They’re contagious, you know.

13. Separate closets make for happy lives.

12. Praise often. Criticize never. Constructively suggest only when necessary.

11. Never, ever, ever, ever complain about or criticize your spouse to other people. You should be their biggest cheerleader, not their biggest critic. Nothing is tackier than making your spouse the butt of your jokes.

10. Serve them. Be a loving and attentive spouse and see if you don’t get more of the same back in return.

9. Speak plainly. Listen attentively. Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to (i.e. “Does this make me look fat?” Yes, yes it does.) and ladies, don’t EVER say, “Well if you don’t know what’s wrong I’m not going to tell you!” Of course he doesn’t know what’s wrong. Half the time you don’t even know yourself. He’s your husband, not your psychiatrist!

8. Back each other up in front of the kids.

7. Don’t complain about your in-laws.

6. Foster their dreams, especially the impossible one. You never know…

5. Have plenty of interests in common, but give each other some space, too.

4. Kiss often. Hold hands in public.

3. Always take their side.

2. Never say anything unkind, mean, hurtful or regrettable, even if you’re angry. Especially if you’re angry.

1. Pray together every day. And pray for your spouse, every day.

What has marriage taught you?

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