There are so many stories and so many articles out there about how to have a happy, healthy and strong marriage... And I think the reason there are so many, with varying opinions and advice-is because there isn't a single answer out there that works for everyone in every situation. We're all different, and we all have different priorities and outlooks on life. What works for one couple might not work for the other.

One of the things that makes my relationship so special is we always put each other FIRST. FIRST before kids, FIRST before jobs, FIRST before anything. We have our ups and downs just like any other couple does but we overcome because we communicate and prioritize each other. I can't imagine my world without Vicki right next to me.

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It's what's made losing my job in Chicago and moving to Texas so much easier--having a life partner that I know I can count on no matter what. If someone were to ask me what else makes my situation work--I would say trust--knowing we always have each other's backs--and showing that we appreciate each other by saying THANK YOU out loud to each other when one of us does something--even something as simple as helping around the house. Loading the dishwasher, cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry then folding and putting it away... Whatever. Being grateful for one another is a big part of it.

No one is perfect, and no relationship is perfect. And as long as you're willing to admit when you're wrong, own your own "stuff" when it comes to making mistakes.... And always try your best--that's all anyone can ask for. And I'm lucky to finally have that. I hope you are too.