Having just celebrated my 33rd wedding anniversary, I began to ponder the reason my husband and I have endured, in spite of many ups and downs. Here are five tips that I believe helped us, and may also help other couples.
1. It takes two
In the Garden of Eden the Creator said in Genesis; The man shall cleave unto his wife, d the two shall be one flesh, and I agree. You must be committed to your spouse over everyone else. Keep parents, other family and friends out of your marriage. There are things my husband and I deal with that we do not share with anyone else. Neither of us has friends who are always hanging around our home.
Jesus said forgive 70 x 7. And not to let the sun go down on your wrath. I have learned over the years that sometimes that 70 x 7 can be in one day. Don’t hold grudges, and make amends quickly. I know women who say they cannot forgive adultery, or if the husband falls off the wagon and drinks or gables one more time.
I think of how Jesus forgives me every day, so why should I not extend the same forgiveness. By the same token, Jesus told the woman caught in adultery t go and sin no more. Whatever your spouse has done to cross that line, do your best to forgive and pray for change.
3. Honor your vows before God.
I hear so many women state; If he does this I’ll leave or if he does that I will kick him out. If you draw a line in the sand it will surely be crossed. Most vows in the old days said for better or worse, sickness and health till death. I fin it ironic that so many couple stand in churches taking vows, only to so easily discard them, because something does not go their way.
4. Keep to the bottom line
Whatever comes your way, always stick to the plan of continuing your marriage. Do not let other peoples opinions sway you. Comments like I don’t need a man, and I can do bad by myself are often made by women who do not understand working through issues and keeping the commitment.
I have had women to laugh at me,and tell me to cheat on my spouse, because my husband has been my one and only I have had women to say they would be bored with the same man for so many years. I had a man actually say I must be doing something right to keep a man so long.
I cannot let either the yeahs or nays affect me. I often wonder how many celebrity marriages would still be intact if they did not feel the entire world was watching. How many separated and divorced because of public opinion.
5. Give each other space, but always get back together
When the children are grown, priorities may change, and couples my grow in different directions. You cannot follow a 1-2-3 step outlined by someone else. You must figure out what works for you and your own husband or wife. Allow your spouse to find his or herself, without you. I run, jog, and exercise often. I am always searching for natural remedies. My husband is not quite so health conscious.
He likes to play cards with his buddies every now and then, while I am not one to go out for a girls night.
While I was loving the television shows Psych and The Haves or Have nots, my husband was enjoying the cable sports networks. Neither tries to force the other into any activity.
We do not go all out for date nights. We keep things simple. A few days before our recent anniversary we took a day drive to a nearby town. On the eve of our anniversary, my husband played my favorite slow son, Stairway to heaven, by The O Jays and we danced.
A few days later his brother and sister in law took us out for dinner. We acknowledged our anniversary on Facebook and put up each others photos for the day. This may not seem like much to couples who go for extravagance, but it has worked for us.
A hug, a kiss on the cheek, holding hands in public, are intimate romantic gestures that mean a lot more than perishable items. I think of a line from the Janet Jackson song Diamonds: “You gave me some roses but roses do die, you gave me some candy, it melted nice try”. And oh yes, diamonds when they are able to be afforded speak volumes. We recently updated our wedding rings for the next 33 years.