Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Best Marriage Advice

When I got married 28 years ago we went to counseling and as I sit here today I can't remember anything I learned in those sessions. I did a sanity check and asked a friend who also has been married for a long time and she also had the same response. Though premarital counseling was valuable there's nothing that beats experience. So here's what I've learned along the way:

Keep the doors of communication open. By any means necessary, communicate. Sometimes it will be loud, sometimes soft, sometimes nothing will need to be said. Sometimes you may use therapy speak, you know..."I feel this way when you say XYZ ....." but most times you'll be who you are. Sometimes you'll text and sometimes you'll leave notes around the house. The point is to communicate, communicate, communicate even in the mess.

Communication leads to other things - intimacy, knowledge, growth. Sex is a form of communication that is fun and messy and complicated! Enjoy it but just know like everything else, over time it will change. Drives change, bodies change, frequencies change - it's all good.

Hug and laugh often though there will be times when you don't feel like hugging and there's nothing to laugh about. Ride it through.

Grow duck feathers and let each other's offenses roll off your back. If you don't deal with an offense but try to smother it, it will lead to resentment. Resentment can start from the stupidest stuff and it just grows until you wonder why you're so angry with each other. Resentment is the third party that you don't want in your marriage, so learn to forgive without holding a grudge and forgive often. Have a short memory when it comes to offenses.

Learn each other as the person you marry today will change. We all change. Learn and grow together and do nice things for the old person and the new ever evolving person. Do nice things.

All men don't cheat or have a desire to; all women aren't domestic or automatically know how to change a diaper. Don't bring generalizations around marriage and gender roles into your marriage, instead, continue to figure each other out in the context of your marriage and work with what you have.

Most importantly, have the same spiritual foundation. Take divorce out of the equation. You're stuck with each other like peanut butter and jelly so figure it out because peanut butter is so much better with jelly!

Marriage is a wonderful thing. I don't say that lightly or because it's the thing to say. I am the person I am today because of my marriage. Marriage has allowed me to develop and grow in ways  I did not know I was capable of.  The preparation isn't what made it work but rather the commitment to each other and to the marriage. This commitment cemented in love has allowed my marriage to blossom for marriage is love in action.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

What was your premarital counseling experience like? Do you remember any of it? What's the best advice you received prior to getting married? What's the worse?


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  1. I remember the couple saying to always be on the same page. But I can't remember much, lol.I love your marriage posts. Best advice? Have a joint AND separate accounts. The worst? Hmm, I honestly can't recall.

  2. I don't remember a word! We were so confident in our maturity! HAHAHAHAHA
    Excellent counsel. Why don't write each point into its own blog - we don't mind your repeating! and create an ebook series or Bible study for your tribe? okay - you didn't ask for my input, did you? I'll re-read this one in the meantime and share on fB. great post.

  3. Hug and laugh often! Amen! Those two things plus a relationship with God through Jesus can get a marriage through the toughest of situations. God bless you!!

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