The Grief to Hope blogger and mom of three took to Facebook to reveal the real key to a happy, long-term relationship.
A post by a mom named Nikki Pennington is going viral, because her thoughts on marriage are so on-point. Pennington, 32, took to Facebook to address the question she's frequently asked by those in awe of her long-time relationship with her husband, Jerred. The pair has been together since they were teens.
"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?'" Pennington notes in the post. "I usually laugh. I know the typical responses from the 'Don't go to bed angry' or the 'Always say you I love you when they leave.'" But the reality of the matter is different, she acknowledges.
"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?" she continues. "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. All the 'secrets' we've broken them. The secret to a long lasting marriage is there is no secret at all."
Pennington goes onto explain that making marriage work is about getting up and trying "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," she writes. "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."
She emphasizes that there's what might be considered a dark, difficult side to every marriage, but that's because there's a dark, difficult side to life! But when you're committed to your partnership, you're facing those challenges together. "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," she writes. "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." Ultimately, she concludes: "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."
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The mom of three -- Dylan, 7, Cohen, 5, and Neil, 3 -- isn't super-surprised that her post is going viral, having been shared more than 113K times -- because it came from the heart. “I think it’s resonating with so many people because it’s honest. So many of us don’t want to talk about the bad times in our marriage because then we are failing. But in reality, we all go through difficult times,” Pennington tells Us Weekly. “I’ve also received lots of messages from young couples with people around them doubting if they can have a successful marriage. My post gave them hope that they can make it.”
Cheers to that!