My Best Marriage Advice
I’ve been considering this post for a while, and wanted to get it done before my surgery. This is a collection of all the best advice I can vouch for from the 25 years DH and I have been married. I’ve divided it between what was given to us before we got married (we actually interviewed couples of 50 years or more of marriage before our wedding) and what we have learned along the way. I hope it is helpful to someone.
My Best Marriage Advice:
From the beginning (much of it from couples who had been married over 50 years):
~Strike the word Divorce from your vocabulary; if you have problems, solve them. Decide that if you can’t solve them you will just be miserable; you will then be much more likely to work hard enough to solve them! (Every couple we interviewed said this!)
~Pray for each other every day.
~Never make a commitment without checking with each other.
~Don’t put a TV in the bedroom; keep it for sleep and sex.
~There is no mine and yours; everything is ours. Put all accounts in both names.
~It’s better to be loving than to be right. Apologize first after a fight.
~Distribute household chores according to strengths and then do more than your fair share.
~No matter how you feel about your in-laws, they produced the person you love so respect them.
~Romantic love ebbs and flows; build a solid friendship to remain partners between the times of fuzzy feelings.
Learned over time:
~Be sure you KNOW your spouse won’t mind sharing that funny story about him/her before you share it.
~The way you speak about your spouse to others affects the way you feel about him/her; (the more you complain, the more you find to complain about but the more you praise, the more you find to praise.)
~Whatever faults you each have before marriage will likely remain long after marriage, sometimes even if you both try very hard to change. Make sure you can live with them.
~It’s preferable not to go to bed angry, but if you get angry late at night, sometimes it’s better to sleep on it and make up in the morning.
~Never stop holding hands.
~Don’t compare your relationship to that of other couples.
~Don’t keep secrets unless they involve wrapping paper.
~Learn to appreciate or at least tolerate each other’s interests, even if at first you hate them, and be gracious about giving each other opportunity to enjoy them with and without you.
~Always make sex a priority and every so often try something new.
~Have fun together and laugh often.
~Work on projects together.
~Never assume you have learned all there is to know about your spouse; there is always something new.
~Go to bed at the same time and touch each other while you sleep. At least sometimes, sleep naked together.
~Letting the dog sleep on your bed will seriously impede your sex life; resist the temptation.
~Having kids will seriously impede your sex life; (you thought I was going to say resist the temptation, didn’t you! No, it’s worth it, but try not to let ‘em totally destroy it!)
~Don’t look at anniversaries as an obligation to “be romantic” and risk disappointment from unattainable expectations, but rather celebrate them as an accomplishment and the romance will follow.
~However you behave toward each other in the first five minutes after you have been apart sets the tone for your interactions the entire remaining time you are together.
~Never part without telling each other, “I love you.”
~Put God first, spouse second, children third, and everyone else comes after. Aim to distribute your time accordingly!
~Never forget just how much you love each other.
Thank you for that post, Duchess. It is very inspirational.
I have a few things to add mostly for those who have found themselves in difficult spots in their marriage, regardless of fault.
Never give up. You will never know how good it could have been if you quit.
Never be the last to apologize and make amends. It doesn’t matter who did what first. Two people waiting on the other to go first NEVER makes a difficult marriage better. Learned that from Paul
Never give up
Telling your wife she is beautiful is always the right thing to say, but you have to say it so often that she believes you mean it, not just to get out of trouble.
The best way to “get even” is to love unconditionally. You never truly feel better by answering hurt with hurt.
I could go on a long time on this list, but I don’t want to hijack your post.
Prayers for your upcoming surgery.
Very good advice Duchess! Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom with others. If we had done what you and your husband did (interview long-married happy couples) before we married and taken their advice to heart, we could have saved ourselves some difficult times. My FOO was very unstable and had been for a while so I was guided by a strong desire NOT to relate to my DW in the way I had seen growing up. Thankfully, I had some grandparents whose marriage was healthy and my grandfather was the most influential male mentor I had as a late teenager and young adult. I will always be thankful that God gave me him to guide me when life was so confusing.
OUTSTANDING LIST! 26.5 years later and I will say we have seen the same things as important. Not that we accomplished them, but agree fully with all you shared sister. #1 is in the proper place too in our opinion. We’ve told that to more than one young couple. That sets the tone for everything else and unless it is an ingredient in the foundation, it will crumble. There are a few things in the list that could be negotiable, but that one is not. I would only add one thing to that particular advice – evaluate the reason for taking that position and make sure it is a positive motivation and based on the absolutes of God’s word. I say that because although I went into marriage with the sentiment of “I’ll never divorce”, I had some negative FOO issues that was part of my motivation. That at times has clouded my view of the blessings of marriage.
Oh,….TV in bedroom…I agree, wish it was that way in my home sometimes, but I do think relegating the bedroom for sleep and sex only might also suggest that sex is only for the bedroom – which somewhat flies in the face of the “try something new” suggestion. But…..just a thought, to each their own.
May God bless you in your upcoming medical situation.