‘Marriage is about getting up and trying again, day after day.’

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Jer and I have been together since we were teenagers. After thirteen years of being together and eleven years of marriage I’ve had people ask me, “So, what’s the secret to a successful marriage?”

I usually laugh.

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I know the typical responses from the “Don’t go to bed angry” or the “Always say ‘I love you’ when they leave”.

You guys, do you know how many times in eleven years Jer has taken residency on the couch prior to us having kids because we were mad?

Do you know how many times he’s left without us saying “I love you” because kids and life? His way of saying “I love you” some mornings is letting me sleep in when he leaves and everyone is still asleep

Tina Arena talks to Mia Freedman about marriage. Post continues below.

All the “secrets”? We’ve broken them.

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The secret to a long lasting marriage is there is no secret at all.

It’s a get up and try again over and over every damn day. It’s hanging on tight when you are young, newly married and living on frozen dinners because it’s all you can afford.

It’s staying up all night in tears with your first newborn child because you both are over tired, overwhelmed and scared to death but you are in it together.

It’s counting pennies when you are young so that you can build a life together for your future family. It’s about knowing that nothing is going to turn out perfect, that your marriage won’t be a highlight reel because that’s not real life.

It’s about being deep in the trenches of so many obstacles that life could throw you and getting to look over and know that you aren’t alone and that your best friend is walking it with you.

Jer and Nikki Pennington. Image via Facebook.

It's about knowing that you can never be prepared for the burdens you might have to help your partner carry but you do know you are willing to be there when they need rest from the burden.

Just try every single day, in the trenches and on top of the mountains don't ever stop.

Because stopping, that's one thing that isn't a secret, it will make you fail.

Nikki Pennington is a blogger at Grief To Hope. Her post about marriage has been shared more than 100,000 times. To read more from Nikki, you can follow her on Facebook here.

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