Sometimes it’s hard to believe that my husband and I have been married for almost 32 years! I still remember my wedding day as if it was yesterday. No, I don’t recall every word spoken by the minister during the ceremony, but I do remember how humid it was on that 9th day of October and how my veil was sticking to my face as I entered the vestibule of the church and how nervous and excited I was!
The above picture is from daughter #1’s wedding, but I remember that my photographer, the most sought after in the area, forgot to load the film for my reception. What the heck??? I have zero, nada, no professional pictures of my wedding cake. None. Let’s move on before I get upset all over again. And for those of you not old enough to remember film, sigh. Just Google it.
My husband and I have an anniversary coming up soon, but I’m not one to wax poetic on my husband’s Facebook page. I mean, hello, he’s sitting here beside me on the sofa. Why can’t I just tell him what I think – face to face?
So, after much contemplation, here’s some of the things I think are important to make any marriage last.
6 Keys to Making a Marriage Last
Here’s a bit of revelation: In order to communicate, you have to talk to each other! My sister and my cousin are my best girl friends. They know it. I know it. We can talk about anything, any time, any place. We’re always there for each other. But, my husband is my BFF! True friendship is a vital part of making a marriage last.
2. Don’t be so Quick to Throw in the Towel
Some people jump in and out of marriages so much that it makes me dizzy! When I married, it was for life. Period. We made a rule from the get go: Divorce is not an option for us nor is that word mentioned when we argue or are angry. I wrote about divorce here!
A good marriage that lasts is built on trust! When you trust someone, you don’t have to snoop through their phone or email. He who has nothing to hide, hides nothing.
Once trust is gone, can it be regained? Of course, all things are possible, but not necessarily easy. It takes time, but you can learn to trust again.
4. Never Stop Dating
It’s so easy to get busy with life – church, work, children, hobbies – that sometimes it’s easy to forget to spend time together as a couple. You were a couple before kids and you’ll (hopefully) be a couple after the kids are grown and gone.
Did you know that divorce rates are skyrocketing among older couples? More Americans 50 and older are divorced as opposed to widowed! Why? I believe it’s mainly because they got so caught up with other activities and forgot to maintain their marriage.
Dating doesn’t have to be expensive, but you and your spouse need time together alone, without the kids and without the best friends. I can’t wrap my head around a couple that can’t vacation together or go out to dinner without taking another couple with them. I love my children and my grands, but I also love date night!
I double dog dare you to plan a date with your spouse and spend some time talking about your marriage, your plans, your wants and desires. Don’t talk about the kids or work. And never stop dreaming about your future together!
Your marriage is important. Treat it with respect!
Laughter is good medicine and is good for a marriage! When is the last time you laughed together? Stop taking life so seriously and learn to laugh at yourself.
[Tweet “Proverbs 17:22, “A happy heart is good medicine . . . , but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”]
Forgiveness is such an important key to any relationship! Never go to bed angry! Anger and strife will make you bitter and resentful and not very fun to be around.
Even when you know that you are right (I’m always right, aren’t you?) and you want to stay mad all day, forgiveness not only makes you feel better, it’s just the right thing to do!
Mark 11:25 – And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.
No marriage is perfect, what fun would that be? But always remember, love is a decision. When you are not feeling too lovable, look back on your wedding day and remember how much you love your spouse!
[Tweet “What you feed will grow and what you starve will die.”] If you feed your marriage with love, communication, trust, laughter, fun times, longevity and forgiveness, your marriage will grow, thrive and last a lifetime!
Side Note: After speaking at our church one Sunday morning, a single lady came up to me afterwards and told me that the message was just for her! She went on to explain that she was dating someone halfheartedly, but my message had convinced her to put more effort into the relationship. The one thing that was holding her back was the fact that they were opposites in many areas and something I said made her look at the relationship in a new light.
What did I say? Right in the middle of speaking, I said (not knowing why) “Some of you are so picky when it comes to dating because you want someone just like yourself. Why in the world would you want to marry yourself? That would be really boring.” Then I went on with whatever I had been saying.
I didn’t know it, but she had been praying for an answer to her dilemma! Isn’t God good? Oh, and by the way, she is now happily married to that wonderful man that she didn’t have that much in common with.
Do you have any additional tips to add? Please share!