On March 10th my parents will have been married for 31 years. I asked them both to give me their two top secrets for making marriage last this long, which I will share below but first I want to give a little insight from my perspective as their daughter.
Growing up the biggest thing I remember is that BOTH of my parents played with me, spoiled me, never missed a game or any activity I was in, showed up to every school event or field trip and so and so on. To make the point clear they were AMAZING parents.
Even with their full time jobs, heavy involvement in Church and a little rugrat like me running around, the biggest thing I remember is their laughter together.
My parents were always the best of friends. They shared/still share common interests and most of my childhood is full of us doing things together as a family and we actually enjoyed being together.
Take Away: Marry someone you actually LIKE being with
By the time I was in middle to high school, the pressures of work and Church and even me…we’re way more apparent. I could tell sometimes just how stressful things were for my parents and especially by high school I was more aware of what their real life was like.
What do I remember most? My parents hardly ever or even at all, fought around me. Now don’t get me wrong, I know they had their disagreements and their issues. I wasn’t blind (or deaf)to their disagreements, but I do know they were capable of having communication that didn’t rely on yelling and screaming or making their child upset. My parents showed respect and restraint when they were bothered. If they did fight all nasty and ugly, they sure kept it away from me.
Take Away: Marry someone you have “good” arguments and communication skills with
Young Adulthood to Now
While I like to still consider myself a young adult, I’m pretty sure those days are quickly passing. Either way by the time I reached college all the way to now I have vivid memories of a lot of different things about my parent. As an adult I’ve obviously been able to read more into their relationship and read things like body language or have more context.
From college to now what I remember about my parents in their willingness and urgency to stick with God. Christ is at the center and forefront of their marriage and in every single thing they talk about or do, you can hear Jesus all in it. My parents relationship is full of prayer for one another, attending Church, sharing wisdom with others, serving in Church and the list goes on. I can’t imagine that anyone on Earth can last for that long in a marriage without the grace of God pulling you through.
Take Away: God HAS to be your foundation
So what do my parents say is the key to being together for 31 years?
1. Always put God first before your marriage. God CREATED it in the first place so give it back to Him.
2. Treat your spouse like you would a close friend, always Christlike to them.
1. SERVE….by this I’m talking about serving each other in love, humility, and submitting to each other. If you always have your spouse’s best interest at heart, it’s difficult to be angry or fighting. When there are difficult times and disagreements, take a moment to step back and ask if you have their best interest at heart and are you serving as Christ did for us. This is all easier said than done but so very worth it.
2. AGREE ON VALUES…I’m talking about the big values like your Faith, your priorities, your financials, your ideas and approach to parenting, and your principals of life together. Each and every one of these are Major issues and I believe when you and your spouse agree on these (by communicating) that you will find that you agree on the small things. Very important to remember to not make decisions based on emotions. It’s always best to sleep on it and let reason come into play overnight than to make decisions when you’re disagreeing on an issue.
If you’re married, single, engaged or hoping to be one day I suggest giving these a little bit of thought. Even if you’re single you can apply all of this to relationships with friends and family. My prayer is that every single marriage continuously honors God, is full of Joy, happiness and laughter and lasts forever.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD. Thank you for being a beautiful example of love for Nicholas and I and for showing me exactly how special and wonderful marriage can be.