I don’t know as though there are really too many marriage secrets, but I’d like to think that the ideas I’m sharing here today are part of what helped us get to the milestones we’ve celebrated over these years! I feel incredibly blessed that God has given me such a wonderful husband. He has been supportive of me, and loved me through many ups and downs, as we have raised our 8 children.
Sometimes people will comment on how unusual it is for a couple to stay together for so long. Other times they ask, “How do you do it? How do you make it work?” I don’t have any fancy formula to give, but do have some marriage secrets that have helped us over the years.
MARRIAGE SECRETS FROM Almost 50 YEARS
We made a promise before God committing to each other for life, through good times and bad. Regardless of our feelings at the time, or how things may be going, we have never wavered on that.
We need to on purpose, intentionally CHOOSE to focus on the good. If we don’t, we face the danger of letting little petty irritations creep in and grow. Negative thoughts then consume our thinking and focus, allowing bitterness or indifference to hurt the relationship.
Sometimes those negative thoughts come because we have expectations of our spouse. Perhaps we look at what other husbands do for their wives, or what they do with the kids, etc.
Those expectations can be SO dangerous for two reasons.
- They set us up for disappointment. (Blessed is she who expects nothing, for she shall not be disappointed!)
- They often cause us to lose sight of the many things our spouse DOES do for us – things we often take for granted. (Yes, I know this from personal experience!)
Recently I caught myself grumbling under my breath about my husband and the expectation that hadn’t been met as I thought it would or should be. God gently spoke to my heart about all I had to be thankful for in our marriage and our relationship.
I immediately realized that I could focus on the little things that irked me, and disappointments I’d brought on myself from my expectations, OR I could choose to focus on all the GOOD things.
I could focus on all the things I admire in him, all the things he DOES for me that I can and should be thankful for.
It’s a CHOICE.
It’s not a one-time choice either, but one you need to make every time you feel those negative thoughts starting.
I actually wrote myself a list as a reminder:
THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR IN MY HUSBAND:
1. He loves God with all his heart and lives to please Him.
He demonstrates this by his faithfulness to church, and by serving God in various ways.
2. His faithfulness to God’s Word.
He not only reads it, but he believes it and has always tried to apply the principles he learns from it to everyday situations.
3. I am thankful for His faithfulness to ME!
Sometimes I am just amazed that he loves me, because, at times, I don’t even love him!
All those years ago he made a commitment to God and me and has remained faithful to that commitment to love and cherish me, through the good and the bad.
He has never given me a reason to doubt his faithfulness, and has been and still is very careful to guard his heart and mind.
4. I’m grateful for His strong work ethic, and hard work.
My husband works hard. He is a truck driver and does a lot of heavy unloading every day.
Often he has 10-hour days or longer. In all the years we’ve been married, he has probably only called in to work ONCE due to sickness. He goes in whether he feels good or not.
My husband works hard and comes home tired, but NEVER complains about working to provide for us. My adult kids have a great work ethic, thanks to his example over the years!
5. He was willing to help me, even when he had a long hard day. When the kids were younger, he found ways to help whenever he could.
For example, he would:
- Give the kids their baths, and get them ready for bed.
- Take the kids to the park, when I needed some rest or quiet time.
- He loves history and taught all the kids history for me one year.
- After our first baby was born, he took over the grocery shopping for me. Every week, for years, he bought all the groceries. When the kids all got a bit older, he would stay home with them, and I’d go buy the groceries. (Yes, going to the grocery store was like a vacation!)
- He often cooked, cleaned, and helped with laundry. (still does!)
Those are just a FEW of the many things I have to be thankful for. Your list will probably look different than mine. However, I want to encourage you and challenge you to make a list! Refer to it often, and use it to CHOOSE the thoughts that nurture your marriage.
Related: Two Keys For A Good Marriage
I am truly blessed to be married to a wonderful man, and I thank God for these marriage secrets that have helped us over the years we have had together!
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Thanks Judy! Your 35th will be here before you know it. 🙂
Happy Anniversary!! You got married about 7 months before we did!! We are at 34 years 🙂 and it is a blessing. This is so encouraging. I love all the things that your husband has done for you over the years.
Great post and congratulations! Love what you have written about the expectations we have in our marriage and how easy it is to complain when they are not met. Changing this attitude to thankfulness is wise advice.
Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
Mel from Essential Thing Devotions
Congrats on making it 35 years! The reminder to choose to dwell on the good things and be thankful for your husband is such good advice for gals like me who still haven’t married. My boyfriend & I are planning to get married next year and I’m looking forward to being committed to one another & choosing each other every day!
What a sweet testimony of love along with excellent marriage advice! And what a great suggestion from the comment by Steve as well.
What a beautiful post!
Thankfulness is the key to a Joyful heart and a good marriage.
Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!
A while ago I read Marcus Buckingham’s book, The One Thing You Need to Know. He worked for the Gallup organization and based on research he concluded that the ONE THING, above all else, that makes for a happily married, life long couple is this: Find the most generous explanation for each other’s behavior and believe it. Simple, elegant advice that sounds a lot like yours. Great post!
Yes, I so resonate with your words here, Kathie! I was very discontent early on in my marriage simply because I focused on all that my husband didn’t do or did wrong. When I learned to trust God with what my husband failed at and focused on what he was already doing right, I was able to love him unreservedly and my discontentment was kicked to the curb! Funny, once I stopped myself from listening to the negative critic in my head, and intentionally focused on the good in my husband, I was blown away by all that he really was doing for me and our family. Eye-opening to say the least. Congrats on 35 years! Quite the milestone and one to be proud of, my friend!
Congrats on 35 years, WOW! God Bless you both. Marriage does take commitment and a choice every day to love and move forward, without letting negative emotions destroy your relationship. Like you said, it will. I am your neighbor at Wedded Wed. Great message!
Your marriage is an inspiration! Congratulations on 35 years and may you enjoy many more together.
What a fabulous post! I loved your list and everything you had to share! What great marriage advice ! Congratulations and happy anniversary ! You have reached quite a milestone !