Not to get stuck on this marriage topic, but I've been married for 17 years as of yesterday. Seventeen! It's incredible.
Not that I'm an authority on marriage, but I've made it this far, and things have generally been swell. I think The Dude will agree. (Being averse to the work, energy and money that a divorce would entail helps, no doubt.) At least I'm not fleeing the home with a U-haul.
So I'm going to throw out a few Happy Marriage tips I've learned along the way, for what it's worth, keeping in mind that like the spongy part of a lemon meringue pie, no two marriages are alike.
Don't forget the coffee in bed. Or tea, or martini, or whatever little treat your partner likes. Dispense it every day. However minor, it says, 'I'm here. I"m hangin' in." These little things go a long, long way.
Don't let her or him see you getting ready to go out. I heard The Dude tell someone that watching a woman get ready for a party was like watching a cow get slaughtered before eating the resulting ground beef. Coarse, but you have to admit it makes sense. I like to get all dood-ed up alone, and then burst out of the bathroom with a loud, "Ta-Da!" It lets him know you've made some effort, and you'll get a compliment, too.
Shut the bathroom door. Along the same lines. Familiarity breeds contempt.
Ask for an opinion, even if you intend to do what the hell you want anyway. Especially if it's about a sport you intend to take up. Or money you intend to spend. People love to be consulted. (Hey, I said these tips were sleazy.)
Keep 'em off guard. Do something totally surprising, just when you think he thinks he knows you. Cut your hair, learn a language or take up woodworking.
Treat marriage like a religion. I'm throwing this in because marriage isn't available to all couples, and because I think it's a wholly religious/spiritual idea that has no place as a civil institution, and it's thinking about it that way that gets us in trouble. So get all gooey and lovey and spiritual with your partner, and often. Guardians, wills, car loans -- that stuff demands paperwork. Marriage is more ephemeral. It demands daily worship, not town hall.