Nikki Pennington and her husband, Jerred, have been together since they were teenagers. And he still gives her goose bumps. So it’s only natural that people often ask the 32-year-old: ‘What’s the secret to a successful marriage?
The mom of Dylan, 7, Cohen, 5, and Neil, 3, shared her answer to the age-old question in a Facebook post published on Saturday, August 19.
“I know the typical responses from the ‘Don’t go to bed angry’ or the ‘Always say I love you when they leave,’” Pennington began. “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’re mad? Do you know how many times he’s left without us saying ‘I love you’ because kids and life.”
Though none of the traditional “secrets” have worked for Pennington and Jerred, she happily shared what has. “It’s a get up and try 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,” wrote the Florida-based social media coordinator. “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. “
The Grief to Hope blogger went on to explain that marriage is not a “highlight reel” because real life is messy. “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 wrote. “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 that you are willing to be there when they need rest from the burden.”
She signed off with an important message: “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.”
Pennington’s post has been liked more than 62,000 times and shared more than 85,000 times so far.
“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.”
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