A few months before our wedding, I sent out a plea on Facebook:
“MARRIED COUPLES: I want to know your best marriage advice/biggest lesson you’ve learned through marriage!”
In honor of today being a day dedicated to love, I thought I would dedicate this post to the replies I received.
1.) Married for 9 months. Make everyday living an adventure. Grocery shopping, bike rides, picnics and watching tv can all be adventurous when it’s with the one you love.
2.) Married for 5 years. Never go to bed angry with each other (Eph 4:26). Forgive easily and often (Col 3:13. Seek always your spouse’s needs above your own (Eph. 5). Also, learn to communicate. Words have power, and often times your spouse’s perception becomes their reality. (Aka, doesn’t matter what *you meant* by your words, it matters how your words are taken by your spouse.) Learn to stop in the middle of an escalating argument, and find the root of the matter. It’s oftentimes a very simple miscommunication, and the angrier we get, the more impatient we become.
3.) Married for 1 month. Frustration. It happens . . . I need to allow myself to hear him and listen well enough that I can genuinely reflect back what it is I hear him expressing. (read more of this friend’s advice here!!)
4.) Newly wed. Remember the moment. The nerves you have the deep heartfelt feelings. The way you look/looked at each other the day you say I Do. Remember that moment when times get hard when your so angry and upset at each other think is the argument worth it? Think back to the little moments that made your relationship become what it is to this day.
5.) Married for 12 years. Know each other’s differences and embrace these differences, without trying to change each other. Be honest with each other, and do not hide anything in order to protect each other’s feelings. Transparency and openness regardless.
6.) Married for 2 years. Fight fair? Aka [I need to] chill out and don’t be so passionate and fiery? Or just know that people come with baggage, sometimes you don’t even realize you’re carrying it, and be open to working through it. (Even when it’s really hard)
7.) Together for 9 years. I learned the key to a permanent relationship long before I was ever married.
There are two things that if are found lacking in a marriage, will result in the marriage lacking a strong foundation.
The balance of wants and needs between the two people and communication of thoughts and feelings between the two people.
With balance comes compromise. When both people consistently show their compassion through giving their partner something that is important to them, this fosters love. Many relationships begin to fail when you can see one of the two people slowly but surely no longer giving up small things to make their partner happy. Eventually, many small things can build into big resentment.
Every day a person needs to work to give up the small things to show their partner that they are the BIGGEST thing in their life. When someone does that for you, you will never want to let them go and so in turn, you return the same kind of love.
A couple has to be willing to communicate all feelings no matter how trivial or how life-changing. If you begin to think, “oh it won’t be a big deal if I don’t tell her this”, that kind of thinking opens the door to misinterpretation, which then breeds further actions that were born in the misinterpretation.
8.) Married for 8 years. I would say knowing each other’s Love Language…I highly recommend reading Gary Chapman’s book on Love Languages if you haven’t done so. Also, COMMUNICATION! A lot of disagreements or arguments revolves around someone not communicating, and not being honestly open. Most of all, keeping Christ as the center- as HE is your SOLID foundation. Finding a church that fits both of you and your relationship…who encourages a strong household foundation centered around God.
9.) Married for 6 months. Always forgive right away. ALWAYS.
Learn to listen better.
Say I love you A LOT.
Do whatever you have to to keep your lines of communication open.
Never speak badly of each other.
Prefer your spouse over yourself.
Thank God for your spouse often.
10.) Married for 2 years. I would say communication is key..make time to hangout with both sides of family..have a set plan that you both agree to see who’s side for holidays..always listen to each other’s thoughts, opinions about certain topics..always make time for each other in your busy schedule either take a mini vacation, camping or go do some fun activity you both would like to do together.
11.) Married for 40 years. Treat the other as you wish to be treated.
12.) Married for 9 years. Enjoy the company that you provide each other. never settle down (what I mean is be relentless at trying to give more than what your spouse can give back to you and feed off of the energy it creates). Take time to be alone together and have an occasional date night. Listen, don’t be petty, and learn 4 words…I’m wrong, I’m sorry. It seems as if no one else will say this so I will. Have sex. It is healthy, fun, and it draws you close.
13.) Married for 27 years. Have low expectations . . . seriously!
14.) Miserable Wives by Douglas Wilson.
“And so what I am building up to is the fact that you need to stop listening to your own heart, and start listening to your husband. Whatever doubts you have about him as a husband, he will treat you ten times better than your emotions treat you. You need to break up with your emotions. Talk about an abusive relationship.”
BONUS from our wedding marriage advice box:
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!
Let me know of any other advice you have in the comments below 🙂