Tips for a lifelong marriage
We recently celebrated our 32nd marriage anniversary. I know for some, that isn’t long, but with statistics like 40-50% of first marriages end in divorce and 60% of second marriages end in divorce, many couples have not made it to 32 years.
That actual rate of divorce has gone down in recent years, but that is due to the fact that many couples choose not to get married.
We are actually certified SYMBIS facilitators (Save Your Marriage Before It Starts). However, Pam often tells people that we have never been to a marriage conference. She thinks our marriage is fine, as it is, and is afraid that if we attend a marriage conference, we’ll find out that it isn’t!
We do have some tips that we share with couples considering marriage, newlyweds, and couples going through tough times. Here are some things that work for us…
- Never shout at each other, unless the house is on fire
- Have a budget, and follow it equally
- Make big decisions together
- Parent as a team
- Speak kindly about your spouse in front of the children
- Whenever possible, eat meals together
- Put your spouse before your kids (WHAT?!) Yes, you had your spouse first, and will have them after the kids are gone
- Do fun things together, they don’t need to be costly
- If you both work, share the chores equally
- If a discussion becomes heated, take a break to calm down before continuing
- Support and encourage each other to greatness
- As much as possible, put the needs of your spouse before your own
- Do not withhold your affections to manipulate a situation to your desired outcome
- If you have time, volunteer together
- Go to church together
- Love each other, unconditionally
We’re not perfect, we’ve made mistakes, and we’ve had some tough times, but we have worked through them. We made a commitment to each other and we determined we would stay together, “…for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part…”
*Note: We know some marriages are far from perfect. If you are in an abusive situation, be safe. Leave if you need to, until you can determine what you want your next steps to be.