I am not a counselor. I am not a therapist. I don’t have a degree in anything to do with marriage. However I have gone through a divorce and I am currently watching two people I love and adore go through divorce.
There is a lot that people could do. There is a lot that people do. There are however some things I think are really important for a marriage to make it through good and bad times.
How do you go from wedding day to old age?
- Communication: this isn’t just talking to your spouse. It is really listening to what they are saying. It is being honest with your spouse even when you know it will hurt them. Don’t assume you know what they are saying or feeling, don’t assume your spouse knows or understands what you are saying or feeling, make sure they can repeat back to you not only your words but what you actually meant. Do not correct their feelings or their words; even if they are not truth they are theirs. Hear them, absorb them, communicate the truth to them; but only after you actual understand.
- Laughter: you have got to be able to laugh at yourself, your spouse and with each other.This doesn’t mean laughing at your spouses expense, there is a huge difference here.
- Respect: always respect your spouse. Let them finish talking. Hold them when they are crying. Out in public and don’t agree with them? Stand by their side anyway and take it up in private. In front of your children or family and don’t agree with them? Still stand by their side and then take it up in private.
- Time: all of us need one on one time with our spouse. If you do not continue to date after you are married, you are missing out on a huge aspect of marriage. We all change as we age and if you stop dating how are you going to change with your spouse and keep going in the same direction. Each spouse also needs time alone or away to be with friends. There is no need to suffocate each other but there is a huge need to be with each other.
- Forgiveness: not only do you need to be able to forgive your spouse, you need to be able to forgive yourself. No one is perfect. We are all going to do things that hurt our spouse and they won’t be intentional. So forgive your spouse. Anger does nothing but break down what goodness there is. Did you make the mistake? Forgive yourself because when you keep on beating yourself up you are breaking down the goodness and dwelling on all things negative.
- Selflessness: marriage is not 50/50, divorce is. Don’t stop being the selfless person you were when you were courting and getting to know each other. Don’t stop the little things like putting gas in her car, picking a flower on the way home from work, or some kind of contact from you in the middle of the day so that your spouse knew you were on their mind. Continue to be that selfless person you were because when you lose that and turn selfish, you lose a bit of your spouse.
- Trust: is so hard to come by so continue to be open and honest with your spouse so that trust is there. Trust takes time and over the course of dating you learned to trust the person you were with. Continue to do things to encourage the trust on both sides. Sometimes not doing what you say breaks your trust. It can be rebuilt, but it does take a lot of time. So always continue to strive to keep the trust with your spouse.
- Patience: is always going to be needed. We all have our moments when we pray, “God give me patience”. Are you trying to learn a new skill from your spouse? Are you trying to teach your spouse a new skill? Maybe it isn’t going well. Maybe sports or cooking do not come easy for your spouse. Remember they want to learn, they want to do this with YOU because they love you and know you love whatever it is. Maybe your spouse has something big to tell you and is struggling to get words out. Be patient, hold their hand, let them know it is okay and wait.
- Love: always recall when you first fell in love with your spouse. Love is not easy. Love is an action. Love is a choice. Love is something you wake up each morning and decide you are going to do. Sometimes we feel love. Sometimes we feel blah. Sometimes we struggle when we look at our spouse. Go back, recall when you first fell in love. There are days you may want to run away. There are days you may wonder why did I get married. Go back, recall when you first fell in love. Your love as you age and grow with each other won’t always be the same but your love, if you wake up each morning and choose to love this person will always get you through.
- God: when you and your spouse are on the same page and husband, wife and God become one it makes it harder for anything to fall apart. Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop going to church. Don’t stop reaching out to Him alone and together. Find and stay and pray and serve with your church family and your spouse. Don’t ever let God be left at the alter while you and your spouse walk away. If He was there when the marriage started, He will always be there to keep the Three of you together, if you let Him.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ~Ecclesiastes 4:12
It is not always easy. Things are thrown at us in life. We for the most part are a toss away society and that includes marriages. Do not fall into that trap. Do not allow things to come between you and your love. Be strong and practice and date and never give up.
I have watched a lot lately and I do not have all the answers. Still:
I am praying for you and your marriage today, even if I do not know you personally!
Would you like to talk to Jack or Amy ?
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
*I only recommend one brand for ingesting essential oils. Young Living has a Seed to Seal commitment and promise. They are a pure therapeutic grade essential oil. Always be sure to read the label for directions on usage for each individual essential oil.