I have been married 27 years. When I think of that, I am amazed. We married young … so full of hopes and dreams and ideas of our future. Nothing has gone as our youthful hearts had hoped for. We have had many ups and downs. Many hurts. So many times I have wished for a do-over. But, as I sit here typing this, I can honestly say that we have made it to this point stronger as a couple. More assured in our future together. We still have our hopes and dreams for our continued future together. But, they are more realistically drawn from where we have been than our young minds could have ever created.
My parent’s have been married for almost 55 years. Sure, I have had a front row seat to know that my parent’s have weathered their fair share of issues through the years … including several long term separations due to a military career without the conveniences of staying in contact through cell phones, facebook, e-mail. But my mother has always said that no matter what, she knew God meant her to be with my Dad.
As I skimmed through facebook today, I came across a shared post from a friend … A Divorced Man Wrote These 20 Epic Marriage Advice He Wished He Could Have Had. A Must Read. Good advice for all stages and ages of marriage. Although this was written by a man, it can be adapted for the wife to do her share to keep her marriage strong.
Number 2 on his list …
Protect Your Own Heart
Through these technological advances that my parent’s (and even myself) did not have in the early years of our marriage, the same one’s that we use to communicate with each other clear across the other side of our world, I have witnessed so many seemingly “ideal” couples marriages crumble in an instant. Old friends reconnecting innocently online. We have to be so careful to guard our hearts from the temptations out there. Even those that appear seemingly innocent.
Number 1 on his list …
Never Stop Courting. Never Stop Dating.
I have a friend that goes on a date once a week with her husband. They do everything from simple short dinner dates to elaborately scheduled weekends away. I’ll admit that I am so jealous! To be ever present in your marriage, I truly feel that you have to work at it. Even if that “work” is fun. I have been having a difficult time convincing my husband that now that our boys are grown, it is ok for us to go out alone … to date. When our boys were young, he felt guilty leaving them for us to go out. So, we often took a weekday while they were in school to have a lunch date at someplace we had never been before. Now that they are older, he wants to spend that extra time keeping them included in all aspects of our life. While I agree that these things are important, I also feel that our time out alone is a much needed time to stay connected and to keep the spark alive. I am still working on him!
Now that I have revealed one of my husband’s flaws from the list, I will be accountable for one of my own.
Number 19 on his list …
I can hold a grudge with the best of them. If I go to bed angry, I wake up just as angry the next morning. I will stew over it. And even when I forgive, I have more difficulty forgetting. This has been something that I have been working on. Truly! I am trying to admit my fault in these disagreements that we have and allow my husband the right to have his own thoughts and feelings without placing blame on him for how he feels. So many of Gerald Rogers’ other tips are helpful when it comes to forgiving. I encourage you to give them a read!
In the end, his advice is to
Be the type of husband that your wife can’t help but brag about.
Truth is … with all of my faults, my husband still brags about me all of the time. My goal is to actually be that wife that he already brags about!