I am blessed to have a wife who loves me, that has given me a higher purpose, supported my passions, and brought two little boys into our lives. Like every couple we have had our hard times, sometimes it’s been my fault, sometimes hers, and sometimes it is just a matter of having different opinions, but going through these rough patches has made us stronger.

I am strong believer in the power of learning from mistakes, specifically on the lessons they teach us, and how they help keep us aware of what not to do in the future, so here are five mistakes I made us a husband.

1. THE HONEYMOON WILL LAST FOREVER

This is a mistake I made somewhere around the first three months of our marriage, when we were transitioning into our new lives together. I assumed the energy from our ceremony and honeymoon would keep the relationship exciting, but once you step into the real world it becomes a whole different ball game, in some cases a completely different sport, where you each have to put in time and effort to keep that excitement present in your marriage. My advice is to schedule dinner dates together, movie nights, weekend getaways, exciting holidays, half the fun is in the planning and letting your imaginations go wild together. The honeymoon may not last forever, but the excitement, fun, and intimacy that came with it can, it just needs a little more work.

2. COUNTING FAMILY TIME AS TIME TOGETHER

When we had our two boys, Khalifa and Abdullah, I learned very quickly that family time together is not a suitable replacement for time spent alone together. Spending time with the kids is amazing, but it is also time spent “on” the kids, and is not time where we are able to focus solely on each other, talk about how we are feeling, our ambitions, and just be completely content in each other’s presence. It is important to keep the two parts of your lives as a couples and as parents somewhat separate when it comes to time, because time spent solely on taking care of your kids, leaves no time for you to take care of each other.

3. ASSUME SHE HAD IT EASIER

I thought I had it hard while working a full time day job, launching a start up, writing, and helping raise two kids, but every time I take care of the kids alone I am reminded of just how much work goes in to raising children, making sure that they are not only healthy physically, but emotionally and spiritually, you are on call 24/7. To all the mothers out there who are shaping the next generation, Thank You.

4. BACK SEAT SCHEDULING

With so much on my plate I would ask my wife to just book anything anywhere for us, but when only one person in the relationship is doing all the scheduling and planning for the fun stuff you are essentially just showing up, which is not always enough. Sure it is great to show up, but it is also great to be part of why you are both there in the first place. Set a few minutes aside to sit down at the kitchen table at the end of the week and plan out the things you want to do for the rest of the week, and watch those planned experiences become that much richer.

5. NOT TAKING THE TIME TO DISCOVER

I haven’t prioritized traveling alone together, and that is one thing I am working hard on changing, but the logistics are not as easy when you are raising kids. We have a strong belief that when we go out to discover the world, we discover something new in ourselves, and each other. So if you can put the day to day grind aside for a while, and make it a point to plan out the places you want to see in the world, book the flights (and in our case the loving family member who is going to watch the kids), get on that plane, train, or automobile, and just discover everything this world has to offer. Memories are created tomorrow, by the beautiful discoveries you find in each other today, and that is fueled by discovering the world together. Go Forth.

As a husband I am far from perfect, and will forever be a work in progress, but these are the five mistakes that stand out the most as I write this post. As I said,mistakes are an awesome opportunity to learn and grow stronger, and when it comes to sustaining a loving relationship there is no other choice, because that is the only way love can truly blossom, when you are able to look at all the hard times you went through in your life, look at each other, and say “We Made It, We Are Here, and I Love You”.

This post is dedicated to my wife, you are my everything.

P.S. If this post helped you in any way please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other outlet you think would be helpful. Much love.