“Love is the common thread that makes life worth living and forever a real possibility. I believe the real purpose in anyone’s life is love. I hope each and every one of you find love in your life, today and always.”

February 14, 2017 marks my 30th wedding anniversary. It doesn’t seem possible. Aside from a few aches, pains, and wrinkles, I could still be thirty years old. Time has a way of passing quickly and without warning. I can’t even rationalize how that much time has passed. It doesn’t seem possible.  It doesn’t seem real. It happened way too fast.

My husband no longer has long, thick, wavy, black hair, but he still looks damn good. He makes staying in shape a priority, as I do. Letting our bodies get heavy and unfit are not an option. I like to think I’m working out to attract a guy. And I am. I want my husband to continue to be attracted to me. I refuse to let the aging process be an excuse.  That is why we both work out on a daily basis. We want to keep that attraction strong. And it works.  Are we the same people we were in 1987? Not exactly. Do we look the same? Not at all. But are we as committed as we were on that memorable day thirty years ago? Absolutely.

After thirty years, people change. I get that. I can understand when couples change and grow apart. There are life events and circumstances that make some couples incapable of keeping a marriage intact. And that is okay. I don’t think all marriages are destined to last forever. My prayer is that when marriages dissolve, each person in the relationship finds someone to share their life with that makes him or her truly happy.

Every once in awhile, couples can make forever a real thing. Mark and I feel extremely blessed that our marriage has survived all of the stressors that life has bombarded us with. I know we are lucky. But it has also taken a lot of work. Do I want to punch my spouse in the kisser once in awhile? I sure do. And I’m sure he’d love to shove a sock way down his wife’s throat more often than not. But the good times have most definitely outweigh the bad ones. Besides, we made a commitment. That commitment means something to us. Maybe it was our Catholic upbringing. Maybe it’s the fear of starting over. Or maybe it’s just the fear of getting an STD from a new partner after all of these years. All I know is that we agreed to make it work, until death…

So what is our secret? I think the most important thing that I tell my clients and what I want to share with you is that we make our relationship a priority. Ever since our children were little, we made time for one another. When the kids were young, we would have grandparents, babysitters, or aunts and uncles watch our kids so we could go to dinner, the movies, or just hide in our bedroom with the shades drawn and the phone turned off. Making our busy lives an excuse to not spend time together was never an option. We refused to forget why we got together in the first place. And it has worked.

Couples aren’t making their relationships a priority, and I think they are sabotaging their future by making their careers and often their children the most important things in their lives. At some point, the kids will move on. Where will you be then? Will you even know the guy next to you in the bed? If you spend all of your energy on your job, your kids, and your home, you won’t even know the person you’ve grown older with. That is sad. Please don’t let that happen.

Then a few more years will pass and you will retire. I think it would totally suck to be living with a stranger that you don’t really know and aren’t sure you like. In many cases, you won’t even be having sex with that person you share a home with. That is also sad. I counsel women on their relationships on a daily basis. I may not have a degree in psychology, but I have found success in the whole relationship department and I have spent years listening to women complain about their significant others. There are countless women in unhappy relationships out there. It saddens me more than I can say. I wish I could do more than share some of my secrets with my clients. If I could help every woman fall in love with the right partner, I’d be very happy.

I know what has worked for us. When women tell me they are too tired to go out at night for a date, I tell them our not so brilliant secret: day dates. My husband’s parents used to take the kids on Sunday’s for a few hours in the afternoon so we could have some time alone. I LOVE day dates. Unlike nighttime, I’m not as tired. I found our private time during the days to be exciting and very fulfilling. I felt naughty putting aside housework, bookwork, and errands in the middle of the day to focus on my marriage. We would shut off the phone, pop the cork on a champagne bottle and focus on each other. We didn’t allow anyone or anything to disturb our private time. Our time together was priceless. We would laugh, love, and lust together. It was as necessary in our relationship as the food we would eat or the hours we would sleep. We craved alone time. We still do. It became a vital part of us and still is today.

I love my job. I love my kids. More importantly, I still love my husband. At the end of the day, our kids will be grown and we will retire. All we have is each other. Love is the common thread that makes life worth living and forever a real possibility. I believe the real purpose in anyone’s life is love. I hope each and every one of you find love in your life, today and always.

M.E. Nesser is the co-owner of the Mark & M.E. Salon with her husband Mark. She has written a humorous, nonfiction trilogy about her career called The Happy Hoo-Ha Trilogy and is currently finishing the third book in her sexy romance series called A Promise of Passion.