"After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here's the advice I wish I could have had..." This is his advice...
In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.
Don't sweat the money.
Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.
Always grow together.
The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.
Let yourself be vulnerable.
You don't have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.
Be open and transparent.
If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING: Especially those things you don't want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don't know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK: If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.
Don't be stupid.
Don't be an idiot and don't be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You're not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.
The dating never stops.
NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
Protect your heart.
Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
Fall in love every day.
You will constantly change. You're not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don't take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.