Marriage tips may not be the answer to everything, but the right ones can make the going a little smoother. Marriage requires work.
I love my husband – but I confess I don’t always like my husband. He can be annoying. He can be short-tempered. He can push my buttons until I want to hurt him.
I, on the other hand, and always calm, cool, and collected . . . and only a little bit delusional.
My husband and I met in 1982 while on a youth trip. He was in High School and I was still in Middle School, so our paths rarely crossed. I never forgot a moment when they did, though. He always made my heart beat a little faster and my stomach turn.
He still does. Only now sometimes my heart is beating faster out of frustration and my stomach turns because he has annoyed me to the point of snapping.
This past December 31st marked 22 years of marital bliss. Bliss on the good days of not being able to see any negatives. Bliss on the bad days of being able to see to the next day and not staying focused on the bad.
I have learned a LOT over the years (and I still learn more daily) and I know that I will continue to grow in my understanding and walking out of love in this marriage, through this marriage, and because of this marriage.
Top Secret Marriage Tips
1. You never see it in yourself. My husband complains that I take too long to tell a story – but only because he would prefer to be somewhere else. His timetable correlates DIRECTLY to who is telling the story. When he tells his stories, he starts back in the stone age and works his way up from there – but he will never admit it. I suspect there are things I see in him that I don’t see (or refuse to see) in myself as well.
2. You will never change your spouse. Believe me, if this were possible then I would have done it long ago. When we were in pre-marital counseling we were asked to name the things we didn’t like about each other. The pastor leading us through the counseling wanted us to recognize ahead of marriage what might become issues down the road. We both explained to him that there was nothing we didn’t like about the other because what makes us up (the good, the bad, and the ugly) are what we loved. There are days when I have to remind myself that I love the whole man and not just the pretty parts. When I remember that and accept that, then I am able to accept that I am not able to change him nor responsible for changing him.Marriage is not just an adventure, it IS a job. You have to work at it to make it work Click To Tweet
3. You are the spouse and not the parent. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I wanted to “teach” my husband how to act correctly in certain moments (like when dealing with an uncooperative teller at the bank). It took practice to stop trying to make him act the way I wanted and to accept that I was here to help and support him – not to teach him. I will confess that there are still moments when I have to go back to the sandbox with this lesson.
4. You will always be different. Yes, there are things that have shifted to the middle in our lives, but no matter how much things shift he is still HIM and I am still ME. We do things differently. We see things differently. We express things differently. We deal with things differently. We are still learning how to accommodate the differences.
5. You will never be in control. Life happens. We do our best each day to take it one step at a time and move through the ups, downs, twists, turns, and roadblocks. In our life, my husband has gone on mission trips, walked away from jobs, gone through major surgery, become the primary caregiver for spouses (taking him away from home for nights at a time), and completely changed vocations without so much as a “how do you do” to me. I am fortunate that I am a “go with the flow” person, but even if I needed law and order in my life and for my life, marriage has taught me that there is more coming at me on a daily basis than a schedule and plan could ever prepare to handle. I have to be okay with “making it work” on those days when that is all I can do to get through.
6. You must remember those courting days and recreate them when possible. I LOVE to tell the story about when my husband put his arm around me for the first time. It takes me back to that moment and I can literally feel myself there. I get all “warm and fuzzy” sharing the story. I get downright giddy when he is the one with whom I am sharing the story. Going back rekindles the flame of love and that is a flame that needs regular tending.
My marriage is not perfect because there are two people involved. A person might possibly be perfect, but add another person into the mix and things will get crazy quick. My marriage is still growing up and growing strong. We are each invested in this relationship and on some days we are both invested together (on the other days one of us is caring the heavier load). We work together and because of that investment, together we work.
Do you have some great tips for how to survive and even thrive in the marriage relationships? Take a moment and share your marriage tips or ideas in the comments below.
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