Here are some tips I’ve learned for a happy, long-lasting marriage.
1. Forgive each other as soon as possible. Don’t wait a week or a month.
2. Don’t leave when times get hard. This is a biggie. Wife puts on 80 pounds because she is stressed at work and at home. The husband feels like his needs are not being met. The wife feels like her needs are not being met. Resentment sets in and someone walks away. Love stays, selfishness walks away.
3. Pray for your spouse. We all have negative or annoying personality traits. Instead of constantly nagging your spouse about their flaws, start praying for your spouse. I would get very annoyed when I’d ask my husband to take out the garbage, but he would forget. I told him each week of his failure. I realized that nagging wasn’t working, so did the task myself. Each week, I’d ask him to remove the garbage and he would agree to do it. If he didn’t do it by the next day, I would do it, without nagging. I prayed that he would be a man of his word and help out around the house. Eventually, this was no longer a problem area. You can’t change your spouse….but God can. Don’t nag…. pray.
4. Make an effort to stay in love. Go on dates. Play a sport together. Do an activity that you both enjoy. Watch movies you like and laugh together.
5. Challenge your spouse (in love) to be the best they can be. When you married your spouse, you were in love. Maybe you saw untapped potential. Practice speaking encouraging words to your spouse. Build them up, don’t tear them down.
6. Have a buddy. If you are a woman, find another trusted woman with whom you can share your feelings, thoughts, joys and emotions. This may be over a cup of coffee or in a restaurant. The same is true for a man. Men, I’ve found, like to do an activity together such as fishing or golfing. You should only have physical intimacy with your spouse, not your buddies.
7. Be faithful. Go where you say you are going. If your eyes tend to wander, train them to be faithful. There is so much peace and satisfaction in knowing you have someone who loves you, and only you.
8. Compliment your spouse and mean it. Only say words that are helpful. Labels such as “Beautiful”, “Honey”, “Genius”, “Sexy Beast” (like that one? :)) are complimentary. Sentences like, ”You are a really good father” are beneficial also. Avoid negative thoughts such as “What’s wrong with you?” or “That pimple makes your nose look much bigger than it already is.” Negative comments don’t help. It will drive a wedge between the two of you.
9. Spend time together. Listen to one another. Go for walks, Work in the kitchen together, if that’s your thing. Plan a vacation together, play a video game, laugh together and don’t forsake physical intimacy. A happy, long-lasting relationship demands nurturing, time, energy and devotion. You will never stumble upon this. It must be cultivated.
10. Cooperate. If you are really good at managing finances and your wife is really good at managing social activities, then let the one with the strength lead. Don’t feel like you need to do it all. Operate in your strengths, if at all possible. In our house, my weaknesses are my husbands strengths. He does what I find very difficult and vice versa. Together, we make a good team.
If you are married, I wish you a vibrant, lively, long and faithful marriage.
True love is not found, it is formed.
What tips on marriage have you learned along the way?