Forty-three years of wedded—well, quite a bit of the time–bliss. Hard to realize so much time has passed since that most eventful day when Terry and I tied the knot and started life together. Hasn’t been without it’s ups and downs, because we’re human; but over all, I’d say we’ve done pretty well, especially considering the disparities in personality, interest, backgrounds, and so on. I’ve been looking for a picture someone posted on FaceBook, but haven’t found it yet. An older couple all cuddled up together, with the caption saying, ‘We come from the generation where, if it’s broken, you don’t throw it out; you fix it!”
So now I do a lot of marital counseling, and I thought maybe you’d enjoy reading some of the things I find myself saying a lot.
1. Get over yourself.
2. It’s more important to resolve than it is to be right. It’s more important to reconcile than it is to win. If you have to win all the time, you’re the biggest loser.
3. Your children are NOT the most important people in your lives. YOU are, you two who are married. When you believe that and act upon it, you give your kids the most incredibly stable, safe, and secure matrix for their own growth that you possibly can.
4. Of course, this should have been #1: God is the most important Person in your marriage. Never forget it.
5. Church is a great place to get preaching, teaching, fellowship, service, and a safe place to rear your kids. Find a good one. Stay there until it’s not a good one any more.
6. Divorce is not an option. The only time I change my mind on this one is when there are dealbreakers such as:
abuse of any type
There are probably others, but these are the main offenders. And I need to say here that God never approves of divorce, but He does allow it under certain circumstances which I choose not to discuss because I don’t want this to devolve into a controversy. I tell people, usually women, that you don’t have to divorce him, but you don’t have to live with him, either. The biblical injunction to respect one’s husband does NOT mean you have to accept being used as a punching bag or that you have to endure any other kind of abuse. If either partner indulges in any type of abuse, that’s a dealbreaker. And I could spend a lot more time here. Yes, I believe in Ephesians 5, and someday I’m going to write all about that. Not today.
7. Neither set of in-laws belongs in your marriage. Each partner is responsible to control his own parents. Never ever allow them to come between you. Ever.
8. After the first two years of marriage, money is the most common cause of divorce. Get help. Get financial counseling. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses and handle your finances accordingly.
9. Always function as a single unit in regard to issues with your kids. Don’t let them see any light between you–no cracks that they can weasel into and wedge you apart. If you disagree about something, do it privately, not in front of them.
10. Understand that your children are NOT sweet innocent little angels. They’re born with the same sin nature you have, and they will treat you however you allow them to. Jeremiah 17:9 is still true, even for YOUR little darlings 🙂
11. You have to love each other on purpose. Love is a choice, and it will die if you don’t choose to keep it alive.
12. Date nights are important. And you’re not allowed to talk about money, in-laws, or kids on a date.
13. Rest is not just important; it’s vital. Sleep-deprived people can’t take care of themselves, each other, or their children. You probably need to de-stress your lives by letting something go. If nothing else, turn off your iPhone, your iPad, iPod, TV, TIVO, DVR, gaming device, and computer and TALK with each other. If you can’t think of anything to say, you know you need to disconnect from the electronics more often. If nothing else, play a game of UNO or something just to get some time away from external communication. Seriously. Take a walk. Take a drive. Take a break.
God created marriage, so we know it’s good. He even gave us some instructions: The Song of Solomon; I Cor. 7; Eph. 5, and many other places in His Word are full of good advice about relationships.
Enjoy marriage. Enjoy each other. Nothing is more satisfying, toward the later years of life, than to have built a solid, stable, longlasting relationship with the person who made your heart go all fluttery 45 or 50 years ago.
7 thoughts on “Musings on our Anniversary”
Happy Anniversary, and Congratulations!! My hubby and I celebrated our 43rd on January 25 of this year, and I can agree with all of your points. It has been a struggle sometimes, but we’ve always known that divorce is not an option, and the word has never passed between us. With God, all things are possible, and I hope that our children have seen that enough to follow it in their own marriages. There were several years when Hubby’s parents, particularly his mother, tried to undermine our efforts as parents, but we were able to use those as “teaching points” to help them understand that some people just don’t know how to accept others as they are. So far, our son has been married for 16 years, and out daughter has 6 under her belt, and neither show signs of stopping. God has been very gracious to all of us. Thank you for this timely post, and I hope that God will grant you MANY more happy years together as one! 🙂
Probably my “Cinderella” syndrome set in today thinking that I am so tired of taking care of myself. I want someone else to take care of me, but my someone else is taking care of someone else, not me. Fortunately, those times usually don’t last long. But they do come. When I saw you did a “like” on my status, I knew you understood, and boy, that alone boosted me. Facing June 20 every year since 1995 has been incredibly tough. My sincere congratulations to you and Terry.
And I hesitated to post what I did today, partly because of knowing what you have been through along with some others that I know, and not wanting to cause pain. But then, I thought, all of these friends of mine who have experienced such pain would NOT want me to avoid saying what I felt God had given me!
I appreciate you so much.
Going back through some old blogs and came upon this gem. Needed it this week. God knows just what we need, and prepared you to give it long in advance!
Becky, it’s now been nearly 45 years, and this is still appropriate.Thanks for reminding me of it. I think I’ll repost it on June 7 🙂
And you and the marriage are never too old to learn a new truth from the Holy Spirit. My most recent “light bulb” moment involves how I listen to my husband of nearly 48 years. He does not feel “listened to” unless I stop what I am doing, turn and face him, and give him my full attention. And, after all these year, we both have the time for me to do this. I am thankful for him and for this recent truth.
Blessings and congratulations, Linda and Terry!
I read about a child who, sitting on his mother’s lap, took her cheeks and said, “Mommy, listen to me with your eyes!”
Thanks, Aunt Marilyn. Wise words.