Tuesday, April 26, 2011

30 for 30 - What I've Learned About Marriage

All right, I admit I haven't been married 30 years - this year is our 12th anniversary. But I have learned a few things in our married life (and before that by watching, reading, and thinking about other marriages).

1. It's worth it. It's worth the pain, the trouble, the work. It's well worth it.

2. God must be first and His word must be the guide. This works best if both of you believe this.
3. It's the original "friends with benefits". That's all I'll say about that.{smile}

4. Say "I love you" every day. Even when you don't feel it. Especially when you don't feel it.

5. Learn to appreciate that "hearing trouble". Maybe he won't hear those things you didn't mean to say.

6. Learn to appreciate the selective vision that doesn't see the piles of clothes that need to be washed or the dishes piled on the counter or even the dirt on a little face. If he doesn't see those things he probably won't "see" a few stretch marks.

7. Laugh. Often. Together. Don't marry someone who doesn't "get" your sense of humor. Marry someone who can make you laugh.

8. Maintain some mystery. Sure, you've seen him at his worst and the reverse is also true. But you don't always have to appear in hot rollers or your face half made up. (Word to the wise: some makeup or no makeup but never only partially finished.)
9. Try to have at least a queen size bed. King is probably better, if you have the space. Conversely, it is possible to fit into a twin when necessary.

10. He won't know what to do when you cry. And that's OK.

11. Honor the power of ritual in your relationship. Have "our song" or "our place" or whatever.

12. Eat together as many meals as possible.

13. Be honest - about money, about struggles, about sin, about just exactly where that dent on the car came from.

14. Monthly budget meetings are mandatory, not optional.

15. Discuss everything: the events of the day. Sports. Dreams.

16. Don't be passive-aggressive. I read a post not too long ago about a husband spelling out I {heart} you with some hair his wife left in the shower. Um, passive-aggressive much? Don't be that way. Let your yes be yes and your no be no and maybe just clean out the hair from the shower your own self. (Sorry. Had to get that one off my chest!)
17. Don't "parent" the other. You are not Mommy and Daddy to each other. You are husband and wife. Best friends. Lovers. He doesn't get to be Spoiled Baby Boy and you are most certainly not allowed to be Selfish Baby Princess. Grow up.

18. Buy the doggone t-shirts. Just ask Philip: he really wishes he would have just bought the t-shirts back in Washington D.C. Costly rookie mistake. {wink}

19. Buy the peanuts. Philip has a particular type of peanuts he likes to snack on. Sure, I have a limited grocery budget that I stretch to the max but there's always room for his peanuts in that budget.

20. Repeat memories often. One of my favorite things about being married so young (and also about knowing each other so long) is that many of our favorite memories are shared. "Do you remember?" are three of the best words in the English language.

21. Hold hands in public. You're never too old for this.

22. Kissing is still fun. Kiss good-bye, good-night, hello...you get the idea.

23. Your kids, if you have them, need to see you being affectionate. They might groan or hide their eyes (we did with my parents) but they secretly enjoy knowing that their parents actually care about each other.
24. Wives, never belittle him - alone or in front of others. You are his biggest fan, no matter what.

25. Submit (wives) and sacrifice (husbands) graciously. Your submission / sacrifice might not look like someone else's. That is irrelevant. And if it isn't done graciously, then it hasn't been done at all.

26. Don't keep score. Hours of sleep lost, chores done or undone, time spent away, etc. Keeping score leads to resentment or entitlement and is ultimately not worth it.

27. Love him as he is, not what you want him to be. Don't compare him to book or movie heroes and certainly not to any other real man.

28. Pray for each other. Often. Pray specifically - you're the only one that knows certain struggles and issues.

29. Choose each other. Over work. Over the children. Over your own families.

30. Be a unit. Disagree in private. Serve together. Be so inseparable people can hardly say one of your names without the other.

Linking this post to Top 10 Tuesday at Oh Amanda. Top 30 Tuesday doesn't have the same ring. {smile}

4 comments:

Elisabeth said...

this has been my favorite of your series so far. people don't know what they are missing when they choose not to get married.

Anonymous said...

How did you get so wise? Well said. Love,Aunt C

Lisa said...

I LOVE everything about this post. Thanks for the reminders. I've been out of practice ;)

Jessica said...

Great list! My kids always roll their eyes when we kiss, which makes it all the more fun.

I came over from Oh Amanda. Nice to meet you.

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