Welcome to Part 3 of our series “How to Be Married”. Having a good marriage takes hard work and I know 40 years ago, Brad and I had no idea what was involved. Perhaps if we parents and grandparents encouraged young people to spend as much time planning their life together as they spend planning the wedding, divorce rates would decrease.
I love the wonderful advice that our friends have shared-advice that came straight from the heart and years of experience learning the give and take of living life with someone. It’s my prayer that these posts will be an encouragement and blessing!
You can catch up with the other posts here: Ray and Debbie Diel, Kevin and Leah Colclasure, and Lisa and Bill Teichmiller, Rosemary and Steve Stone, Tamara and Richard Phillips.
Here we go……
First up today is Diana. This girl is SOOOOOO SPECIAL to me! We have been best friends since we were very little girls and she knows ALL my secrets. When Dave took her all the way to Tennessee after they got married, I didn’t know what I would do. But our friendship has survived the many miles and years and I’m so thankful for her! I hope my granddaughters all have a “Diana” in their lives.
My dearest friend from childhood has asked me to write a bit of advice on the topic of marriage. I truly admire the relationship that Susan and Brad demonstrate in their marriage which is encompassed by love, laughter, and a lot of faith. Before the advice, I will share a brief summary of how my dear husband and I began our relationship! Dave and I began dating in high school at the ripe age of sixteen. Our time together prior to marriage was a total of five years with a few breaks now and then to experience “college life”. On June 18, 2017 we plan to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.
From a priest…. Religion and the marriage were concerns for both sets of parents. Dave’s family are devout Catholics and my family are members of the Church of Christ. Because the wedding occurred in his church, (the only church in the county that would hold approximately 400 guests) we were required to attend marriage counseling with a priest. It blew my mind that a priest would be advising Dave and I on marriage! However, the priest was well prepared and the advice which struck closest to my heart was that marriage is not a 50/50 partnership. Each partner should strive to give 100% to the relationship and if you’re lucky you might hit the 50% mark. Where is your mark?
From whose view??? Perception is a crucial element to any relationship! With all the books that have been written with regards to the differences between men and women, it is very important to take the time to discuss the way each spouse views the issue at hand. During the discussion, both spouses should be willing to listen openly without being critical. (Sometimes easier said than done!) Communication is another key element in striving for a successful marriage. Dave is quiet by nature and sometimes I am guilty of “reading his mind” instead of asking him directly. Needless to say, I have been wrong more times than right! Am I the only one guilty of reading my husband’s mind?
From our heavenly Father!!! The Bible is the best guide on how to live every aspect of life including marriage! Don’t get me wrong, being a Christian does not exempt one from a life without difficulties and trials. However, including faith and prayer in your marriage along with seeking understanding through God’s word should bring you and your spouse closer to the “happily ever after”!
Hugs from Kentucky, Diana
I sure hit the jackpot in the sister-in-law department-Bev, Nancy and Rosemary have been true gifts to me. Bev is a beautiful person, inside and out, and runs a sewing machine like none other. I’m sure she made her wedding dress and would make yours too, if you asked her.
My advice for a happy marriage starts before the ceremony. Simply put, you are entering into this partnership for richer or poorer, in sickness and health. Neither Craig nor I can remember the rest! But basically it is thru thick or thin. It is for the rest of your life. There is no thought of divorce. If it doesn’t work is not a consideration. This is forever.
We were both 22 when we got married. We did not think it at the time, but now I realize we were pretty young. I distinctly remember waking up on our 30th anniversary with such a weird feeling. I knew when we got married it was forever. But, wow, 30 years! I didn’t have any idea of what 30 years was. That is a long time. Well, no wonder it seems like a long time. When we got married we could actually remember being alive less than 17 years or so. Happily, I can say we have been married 42 years now.
What is the secret to a long marriage? Work. It takes work. Each partner needs to give about 110%. You have to let each person win some battles. You have to communicate your feelings.
But, do not let words come out of your mouth that you will regret later. Remember, once it is said, you cannot take it back. It is out there. So think about how what you are going to say would make you feel if your spouse said that. The I Corinthians 13:4-8 verses come into effect here. We all know basically what they say. But, to make it easy, remember the Old Testament verse of ” do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Stop and think about how you would feel if your spouse was treating you the way you are treating them.
And lastly, it takes prayer. Tell God your troubles and your thankfulness. He is there to help you. And Lady Luck seems to play a part also.
The whole institution of marriage is an amazing thing. It takes hard work, and a little luck!
Thank you, Diana and Bev!
I have one more love story to share with you. Stay tuned…….