Common marriage advice often includes “never go to bed angry” or “always say ‘I love you’ when they leave” but one couple has slightly different ideas on the secret to a happy marriage. Having broken both of those rules before, they choose to abide by this one instead: “Get up and try again over and over every damn day.”
Nikki and Jer Pennington have been together for 13 years. In a lengthy Facebook post, Nikki wrote that through 11 years of marriage and the births of 3 children, they haven’t always had the time, energy, or money to be picture-perfect #marriagegoals, but they’ve found strength and love in the tough moments.
The 'secret' to their marriage is “hanging on tight when you are young, newly married and living on frozen dinners because it's all you can afford,” she wrote. “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.”
Nikki often shares her thoughts and reflections on her Facebook page, usually with a simple photo captioned with a few paragraphs. And she doesn't stop at marriage advice: She is particularly vocal about moms and families resisting the 'Pinterest perfect' approach to raising children. In addition to these musings, Nikki started a blog called Grief to Hope, where she tackles the challenges of the grieving process—something she dealt with firsthand when her own mom died six years ago.
In her post about successful marriage secrets, Nikki implied that Jer's love and compassion helped her through that tough time of grief: “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. 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.”
She left her friends, family and readers with a final thought: “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.”
See the full post below.