Thanks to our long-time friend, Keith, we met on a blind date on October 7, 1979 for a University of Georgia home football game. Today, my husband, Donny and I are celebrating 35 years of marriage on October 2, 2017. The Dawgs conquered Ole Miss that day with a score of 42-3. What an awesome omen, a sign of good things to come regarding our future together.
We all know that a successful marriage doesn’t just happen. There’s no denying that this is a frightening time for couples. More than half of all first marriages end in divorce; 60 percent of second marriages fail.
Today, I have for you some musings on marriage, 12,775 days since we said “I Do”.
- Marriage is hard work. This relationship is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards are great.
- You cannot change your spouse. Don’t even try! “The greatest roadblock to a great relationship is trying to force a change through bribes or threats.” Jonathan Lockwood Huie
- Keep your dreams alive together. “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together becomes a reality.” John Lennon
- Respect and love your spouse! A good, strong marriage is based on respect.
- Don’t keep secrets from your spouse. “The fewer secrets you have, the happier you will be.” Jonathan Lockwood Huie
- Give your spouse attention. “Gift the love of your life with a hold on social media, undistracted, untelevisioned, unhurried attentiveness.” Mary Anne Radmacher
- “…do not let the sun set upon your anger.” Ephesians 4:26 “Make sure you never, never argue at night. You just lose a good night’s sleep, and you can’t settle anything until morning anyway.” Rose Kennedy
- Arguing and disagreeing is perfectly normal in a good marriage and fusses make the reunion so much sweeter. I believe we grow in our relationships by reconciling our differences. That’s how we become more loving people and truly experience the fruits of marriage.
- No one deserves unfaithfulness in a marriage! If a person is not happy enough to be faithful to the chosen one, one would hope they would just be honest and make their unhappiness known instead of sneaking around with another.
- Each spouse should have the room and freedom to be who they are as an individual. “Love allows your beloved the freedom to be unlike you. Attachment asks for conformity to your needs and desires.” Deepak Chopra
- No one, absolutely no one should be verbally or physically abused in a marriage relationship. Take a firm stand against this kind of treatment. We teach people how to treat us.
- If this appeals to you and your love, take occasional, brief trips away from one another. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. We’ve been doing this since the beginning of our 35 year marriage and believe it to be a great thing.
- When choosing a guy, take note of how he treats his mother. This may be a good sign about how he treats women, in general.
- Develop true love and an alignment of the same fundamental values in going for a successful marriage. “…a cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
- At all costs, avoid criticizing your spouse, especially in the presence of others. It NEVER helps, and often makes things worse.
- Listen To Each Other. “No man is truly married until he understands every word his wife is not saying.” Anonymous
- CARE deeply for your spouse. “Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
- Share and grow a common faith. “Faith is the highest passion in a human being.” Soren Kierkegaard “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12.
- Persistence always pays off! “Don’t give up. There are too many naysayers out there who will try to discourage you. Don’t listen to them.
The only one who can make you give up is yourself.” Sidney Sheldon “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize
how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison
- No matter who the bread-winner is, share the chores in the home and the care of the children. This builds both teamwork and camaraderie. “Many hands make light work.” A Proverb
- A good marriage is an intimate and loving relationship which gives both partners security, friendship, companionship, support, comfort, and deep love that penetrates every aspect of life. None of this can be achieved without work and sacrifice.
- For a marriage to succeed, both partners must be committed to its success. Marriage is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. It is the mystery of living as one flesh with another human being (Ephesians 5:31-32). Henry Cloud; John Townsend, Boundaries in Marriage
- Once your children are married, try your best not to give unsolicited advice. And if they do ask for advice, help them with that one thing, without bringing the subject up again. (unless they do)
- Look Around. Who are the ones you hang out with most of the time? Be sure they are folks who are as committed to a long-time marriage as you are.
- Say “I Love You”, when you say “Good Night.
- And another great tip added by my friend, Jan Kelly: Practice good manners with your spouse: please, thank you, excuse me, I’M SORRY (often!) Forgive Every Day. (thanks, Jan!)
What are some of your thoughts on how to build a successful marriage? Post your comments below or on my Facebook Page: Pages From Joan
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