A newlywed wants to know the secret.
Here’s what our elder had to say: Speak kindly to one another, pick your battles, and book date nights in your 70s.
Hello there! My husband and I dated for three great years and now we’re happily married. We’ve been married for almost four months now and we’ve had our ups and downs but other than that everything has been good. Our families tell us that marriage isn’t always sweet and that periods of hard times will come along which I guess is almost already expected. I love my husband with all my heart and our marriage means the world to me and I want to grow old with him and I want our marriage to last. What’s the secret to being in an amazing lifelong marriage? What advice could some of you give to newlyweds? Thank you bunches to the person who reads and answers this letter!
Congratulations on your marriage. I wish you both a lifelong relationship filled with caring, compassion, patience, and many blessings! As I told the lovely young women who married our sons, “I hope you like roller coasters, because marriage can have its highs, lows, twists and turns, and it is exhilarating!” So, as your families have told you, there will be hard times, but people who love each other find ways to work things out. There will also be good times and if you both respect one another, the good times can far outnumber the bad ones.
My husband and I will celebrate 53 years of marriage this year and I will share with you what has worked for us in the hope that it will be helpful to you both.
Communication is vital to a healthy marriage. Always speak kindly to one another. When problems occur, and they will in any marriage, discuss them without judging and accusing. State the facts, share how you feel, let each other know what you would like to see change, and don’t bear grudges. Of course, there are times when there may be tears, yelling, pouting, etc. Try your best to calm down, maybe even tell each other you need time to settle and think about whatever the problem is, then sit together to discuss things once you are both in the right frame of mind.
Remember that the words you say to one another could be the last words the other person hears. Do you want them to be words of kindness, forgiveness, love…or words of accusation, anger, judgment? Pick your battles so neither of you becomes a nag. He leaves crumbs on the counter. Do you freak out or do you wipe them up and ask nicely if he could try to remember to clean up after himself?
Be accepting of and respectful to each other’s family members. Never go to bed mad. Remember to laugh and smile and hug a lot. Don’t be afraid to say you are sorry. Find it in your hearts to be forgiving of each other’s mistakes. Be supportive of one another. I quit meeting the “girls” for coffee because they would sit around and gripe about their husbands. I could never do that. Even if I was mad at him, I still loved him and respected that he worked hard to support us, and I just could not disrespect him like that. I accept that he is not perfect, and guess what, neither am I.
If you are both working and eventually start a family, don’t forget to find time for each other. We are in our 70s and still try to plan a date night once a week… even if it is staying home, ordering in, and watching a favorite movie together. If you do start a family, remember that as much as you love your children, you can’t forget to love one another. Children need to see parents interacting with one another in a healthy manner because that will help them form their expectations of relationships.
Be considerate of one another. My husband surprised me the other day when I was stuck at my computer working on some contracts. I was so busy I worked right through lunch. He came into my office at home with a tray set with a sandwich, chips, a pear and a glass of sweet tea. Do thoughtful things like that for each other every so often. Even after all these years, he melted my heart with his kindness.
When my father-in-law died, we had a private viewing for family only before the big wake. I still remember my mother-in-law saying, “Good bye, buddy.” That was many years ago and I didn’t truly understand why she said that. I had never heard her call him buddy. After going through all of our ups and downs these many years, I now understand. My husband is truly the best friend I have ever had. We’ve had our tough times, we’ve been very mad at times, but we made the effort to always work through things. We’re still here for each other and I see that we truly are best buddies.
I don’t know if you and your husband are religious, but I hope you are not offended if I offer a verse from Corinthians as it pretty much sums up the ingredients for a good marriage: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Please accept my best wishes for a strong, faithful, healthy, and loving marriage that lasts a lifetime. My best to you and your husband.
Article #: 476485