Marriage is not easy, and anyone who tells you it is is either the luckiest person alive or has not a clue what he or she is talking about. I first went into marriage thinking, "As long as I do my best not to anger or hurt her, it will all work out." Here's the thing: no matter how hard we try, there will always be anger or hurt, whether it is intentional or not. I'm no expert, but I feel like I have some experience in this marriage stuff that I could pass along to younger "knot-tiers", if you will.
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we (as men) do stupid things. Whether we forget an anniversary or leave a mess or even leave the seat up (to be honest, who even does that????), men always do something that will cause tension. In my almost 10 years of marriage, I've always had her best interests in mind. I always ask her "where do you want to eat?" or "what do you want to do tonight?" I include my wife in ALL decisions, big or small. It doesn't help that we are two of the most indecisive people ever (but that's another story for another day). It may irritate her sometimes that I do this, but I will never stop asking for her opinion.
Here's another thing some men are unable or unwilling to do: listen. I'm quite guilty of this in the past: she is telling me about her day or some kind of issue and I'm nose deep in my phone or a video game ("I swear I am listening; I'm a great multitasker!") Women want to know they are heard and understood; so fellas, put the controller down, step away from the iPhone, and be there for your wife; It helps to earn brownie points, I promise!
One more tip for you, and to me, this is the BIGGEST one I can offer: LOVE THE LORD! I cannot stress this one enough! What kind of husband and (eventually) father can you truly be without God in the center of it all? My wife and I have recently dove headfirst into the Word and the ministry, and it is doing wonders in our relationship! Don't get me wrong; we have always went to church and (at least for a few years now) have paid our tithes: basically, we went "through the motions". But until you know the Heavenly Father's love and feel His hand guiding your way, your relationship will never blossom into the beautiful flower God wants it to become. Pray for each other often; it makes a HUGE difference in your marriage!
To those of you who are newlyweds or about to be, congratulations! Enjoy your new lives together and God bless! To those who are already married and may be having problems, don't give up. I've been to the point of almost throwing it all away, and trust me, it is not somewhere you want to be. Do whatever you must do, speak to whoever you must speak to, to make it work! Pray often, love always, be forever.