The picture above is of my brother Paul Brunson & sister Jill Brunson on their wedding day. They are the real deal! Read what Paul has to say in his latest Essence article :)

Via Essence 12 Things I Learned From 12 Years of Marriage by Paul C. Brunson.

Next month, on July 21st to be exact, my wife and I will celebrate 12 years of marriage. (That’s us on our wedding day above.) It’s truly amazing for me to think about how long we’ve been together because it honestly feels like it was just yesterday that we jumped the broom.

Our 12-year journey has been the greatest teacher of my life. The lessons have come in moments of pain and pleasure. Through “ups,” such as the birth of our son Kingston nearly two years ago, to ebbing events, like the loss of family and friends.

As I reflect upon the journey, there are 12 lessons that most standout that I believe apply to everyone desiring a healthy relationship. Perhaps you can learn from them too. Here they are.

A Fire Doesn’t Stay Lit Without Tending To The Coals

You have to put work in to keep your marriage hot. This means periodically doing novel things together. Boredom is like weeds to your relationship — if you don’t eliminate, they’ll kill it.

Your Friends Are Not Relationship Experts

Don’t involve anyone in your relationship, unless they are an expert.

You’ll Never Complete Them But You Should Complement Them

Searching for completion from anyone but you is futile. You are responsible for your own happiness.

Healthy Sex Life Is Critical

Keep in mind “healthy” is subjective. This is why communication is key, the elements that both partners deem important in sex (frequency, positions, etc.) must be discussed.

Click the pink link to read the rest of The 12 Things I’ve Learned from 12 Years of Marriage