Because today is Tuesday (Five Favorites day) AND it’s our 25th wedding anniversary, it seems like the thing to do is to post five marriage tips. Because 25 years qualifies me as an EXPERT, y’all.
1. Never ask “whether,” only ask “how.”
This one comes straight from the homily at our wedding, and it’s the one thing that John and I both remember. To expand, Father Spitzer said that once you are married, you should never question whether you should have gotten married, but only ask how you could STAY married. That advice has helped us stay committed through some difficult times. Whether is a pointless question if you want your marriage to last forever.
2. Grow together, not apart.
So how do you do that? Most important, make time to be together. Don’t tell me it’s impossible. We had three kids in four years, and we got a babysitter and arranged to go out regularly. When I had a nursing baby, we just brought him or her along. Our life as a couple did not end when we became parents. We’ve made it a point to celebrate not just our wedding anniversary but also the anniversary of our becoming a couple. We hold on to little rituals and traditions. But at the same time we don’t just cling to the past. We make it a point to be involved in each other’s lives, so that even as we have separate friends and pursuits, we each know about and are interested in each other’s passions.
3. If you are really mad at your husband and you need to vent, call his mother.
Maybe you are laughing as you read that, but I’m serious. Complaining about your husband to your friends and family can be very destructive to your marriage, and to the relationship you want your husband to have with the important people in your lives. But your mother-in-law is going to love your husband no matter what he does. And if you have a really good mother-in-law like I do, she’ll fuss at him on your behalf.
Well, duh, right? What do I mean? Talk about everything, good and bad. And if you are having trouble with this, don’t be ashamed or afraid to seek professional help with your communication skills. Problems don’t just go away if you don’t discuss them.
It’s hard, hard work to live day in and day out with another person, someone who is not your blood relative and who you are bound to by choice. There are bound to be times when you don’t get along at all. But check this out: “on average unhappily married adults who divorced were no happier five years after the divorce than were equally unhappily married adults who stayed married when rated on any of 12 separate measures of psychological well-being. Moreover, two-thirds of unhappily married people who remained married reported that their marriages were happy five years later. Even among couples who had rated their marriages as very unhappy, 80 percent said they were happily married five years later.” So hang in there! Chances are, things will get better, especially if you are using tips 1-4.
Those are my top five–at least today! For more favorites, visit the linkup at Mama Knows, Honeychild!