you need to fight fair having grown up in a family that fought, and seen relationships around me fall apart because couples couldn't fight, I truly believe that learning to fight with your partner is vital. But fighting fair, making the fight about now, not the past, is vital to making sure issues get sorted out and dealt with, not hanging around forever.
you need to keep talking through all the ups and downs, it's vital to keep communication lines open. Over the last few years, with Steve working away or nights, talking face to face has been really limited, so we've had to find other ways to keep talking (most often on the phone just before I go to bed), and we don't just talk about the kids, we talk about money, memories, dreams and plans for the future as well as tomorrow.
you need to take time out time apart is vital, because it reminds you why you like each other in the first place. With Steve working away, it's been difficult for us to find this time apart, but I have managed to sneak off for a weekend or two away over the last few years.
find your own interests Steve has never quite understood the importance of having his own interests. To him, I'm his best friend. But he isn't mine. And we have lots of interests that we don't share, which means that when we're having a talking evening, we have things to talk about that the other doesn't know about. I listen to Steve talk about work, and he listens to me waffle about scrapbooking, or blogging, or whatever interest I'm researching this week.
sex is important it took a long time for me to figure out that this connection was vital. It isn't a matter of how often, but that it happens regularly.
don't stop loving each other it's ok if you're in the middle of a an arguement, and dislike each other, but don't let that overshadow the things that brought you together in the first place. Once that love starts to slip away, it can be hard to claw it back.
I can't say for sure if we'll still be here in another ten years, but I think right now we're in the comfort phase of our marriage, complacent in it's known-ness. As the kids grow and become more independent, it gives us the space to come back to each other, and remember why we're here in the first place. Not just for the kids. But for each other.