Mike and I recently celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary. We were visiting our son, daughter-in-law and grandson up north. They took us out to celebrate, and at dinner they asked us, “So what are some tips to help make a good marriage?” These were some of our responses.
- Take time for yourselves as a couple. We get so busy with the children that if we don’t deliberately take time with each other then it will not happen. To keep the flame alive you need to spend alone time with our spouse. It may be a simple walk together or a dinner out. Time together!
- Remember anniversaries and when possible go away overnight alone as a couple to celebrate that very special day.
- When you are angry with the other – go alone awhile, pray and regain perspective.
- Repentance and forgiveness is a lifetime marriage saver. Without it, I don’t really see how a marriage can survive.
- If you are bickering about something stop and think, “Is what we are talking about really that important?” If it is then work it out together, but if it really does not matter just yield to the other. Tomorrow you won’t even remember it. Mike and I always had a saying raising our children, “Major on the majors – Minor on the minors.” This bit of wisdom really relates to our spouse also.
- As we grow older we recognize that our weaknesses and virtues get magnified. Be aware of this. It is a good idea to work on those weaker traits (or sins) throughout your life so they improve with age rather than grow worse.
- Laugh a lot and have fun together! Be silly! I have said this many times to couples but it’s so true. I believe it important to laugh together. Don’t miss that funny thing with the children, or the crazy incident that happened, or just family life in general. Laughter is so therapeutic and healing.