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Francesca  Di Meglio

The Fifth Anniversary

By December 24, 2012

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The traditional fifth anniversary gift is wood, so I probably should go out and find something made of wood for all of you. After all, we have now spent five years together. The Newlyweds site - and therefore our relationship - is five years old. In these five years, I've really enjoyed getting to know all of you, hearing about your weddings, and sharing advice and stories of marriage. I thought this was a good time to fill you in on what I've learned in the last five years as the Guide to Newlyweds -

1. Developing good communication is necessary if you want an enduring marriage.

If you can't tell your partner how you really feel or what is happening in your life, you will grow to resent each other and your marriage will die a slow and awful death. Even if you don't agree on everything (and you won't agree on everything), you can survive as long as you can talk about it. Not talking at all is not a solution either. Then, it becomes a question of you living separate lives and never really knowing what is going on with your other half.

2. You should never cheat.

While we have discussed that some couples can overcome a cheating heart, I have found in the last five years that cheating really damages a marriage. In fact, more damage is done than I ever imagined. Even the couples who manage to keep their marriage together in the face of an affair are never the same and it casts a shadow on the marriage.

3. Make time for quality time with your beloved.

We talk about date nights until you want to puke. But it's not really official, planned date nights that are important. What is important is taking the time to be with your spouse. You can lounge on the couch, cuddle, chit chat about your day, have sex. Whatever you do, you should just be together once in a while.

4. You should not be attached at the hip.

Of course, this sounds like a contradiction because I just mentioned the importance of spending time together. But you also cannot be together all the time. That makes for a co-dependent relationship, and it's not much fun. You still need to be your own individuals. That means you have to give each other some space, have your own friends and interests, and think independently.

5. Love requires work.

People don't just fall in love and stay that way without effort. Those romantic movies and notions you have are just that. Yes, you should still look at your husband or wife and feel as lucky as you did on the day you married. But you have to do your part to keep the sparks flying.

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