1. Always assume that the other person means well. When I built the dog house in the basement, requiring John to remove the sliding door in order to get the doghouse to the backyard, he just smiled and thanked me for helping him.
2. "Working" on your marriage means making play a priority. We faithfully have a weekly date night. When I spent over a month in the hospital, date night consisted of John bringing me real, non-hospital food and we'd watch a movie on the TV.
3. Communication is key. John has learned to understand "womenese". I have learned to speak more directly. We both know that if either one of us says, "We really should..." it means, "Would you please...?"
4. Do your share, which means don't keep score. If you notice a job needs doing, do it. John and I decided shortly after the birth of our first, that whoever smells the dirty diaper first, changes the baby. It worked well for us.
5. Don't complain about your spouse. One of my pet peeves is hearing a woman complain about her husband, or vice versa. John is my best friend. He never complains about me. I know he is human, and therefore must be imperfect, but he is perfect for me.
We have made so many memories over the past 24 years. Sometimes, our path has taken unexpected twists and turns, but we have traveled the path together. I'm looking forward to the next 24 years.
I love you, John!