Part 1: 12 Secrets for a Lasting Marriage

How do you make your marriage last? How do you save your marriage? What is the secret to a loving marriage? Read below for my grandmother’s 12 secrets for a lasting marriage!

(Be sure to check out Part 2 to this wonderful conversation with my grandmother!)

When you meet a couple who lived out sixty-two years of loving each other to the max, you wonder, “What is their secret?” My grandparents were that, and even after my grandfather’s passing last year, my grandmother continues to show her unending love in the way she speaks of him. My husband’s goal and mine has been to walk in their footsteps since the day my husband met them and said, “I want to be like them. I want to be so in love even when we are gray and old.”

My grandmother has a heart for sharing what made their marriage last–and not only last–but be strong and love-filled the entirety of it. She sat down with me and shared her heart.

What I give you is part one of her “12 secrets for a lasting marriage.”
12 secrets for a lasting marriage, love life, waves and lilacs

1. Let all the “small stuff” go!  Most differences of opinion are not significant enough to address.  But if you feel strongly about something, then it does need to be discussed. (Addressed in next point) A funny story my grandmother tells begins with my grandfather saying, “I have something important to tell you. Sit down.” This was very out of character for him. My grandmother says she couldn’t fathom what he had to tell her and was worried she had done something drastically wrong. My grandfather looked at her very seriously and said, “I do not like the way you put cookies in the cookie jar.” He proceeded to explain he liked a certain number of cookies in the jar at a time and was adamant that the cookies would go stale if done another way. While my grandmother did not agree with his reasoning, or this being a huge issue, she decided to relinquish power of the cookie jar over to him.

2.  Wait to talk about major issues. The important thing about major issues would be to wait until the “right” time to calmly and patiently talk it out. When my grandparents had a major difference of opinion, God gave them the wisdom for how to settle the issue.

3. Think before you speak. If upset or annoyed about something, THINK before you speak! Words can never be taken back.  Memories of hurtful words will be remembered for a long time.

4. Give 100%. This applies to BOTH individuals. Some people believe that if they each give 50%, it will total 100%. This is incorrect thinking. Give 100% of yourself, each of you. Give, receive, give, receive. The husband and wife both need to try to do what blesses the other — back and forth, back and forth.

5. Express gratitude to one another. Say “thank you” frequently. So,say it for the big things and the little things. Say it for cleaning the kitchen or for running an errand. Say it for dinner being cooked. Say it for everything.

6. Acknowledge communication differences. Acknowledging reality of the differences in male/female basic communication desires, my grandmother says she tried to keep conversations of general nature to a short duration. She knew my grandfather didn’t really care about all the tiny details. Figure out what those differences are in your marriage and choose to communicate in effective ways. This is not to say that you should not share your heart or have long meaningful conversations–you should!


Be sure to read the rest of the 12 secrets over on part 2!

xo, bethany rose


  1. Raising Rome and Rio

    February 22, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    I love the knowledge of their generation.

    1. waves + lilacs

      February 28, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      It is so wonderful to receive!

      <3, B

  2. thesemamamoments

    February 22, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Aw I love this!! So many good things to think about and keep in mind! What a special post.

    1. waves + lilacs

      February 28, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks for reading, Alex!

      <3, B

  3. Bee

    February 23, 2018 at 9:08 am

    She hit so many of the things that we are working on in our marriage! I love learning from marriages that last and marriages that are so inspiring! Thank you for doing this post with your Grandma! Give her a hug from me cause I loved it!

    1. waves + lilacs

      February 28, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      You are SO sweet! I love learning how to make marriage better too.

      <3, Bethany

  4. livewellplaytogether

    February 26, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    These are all such great tips! I especially love letting small things go and waiting to talk about some if the bigger things. I always have to wait until I’m not upset anymore, and/or I’ve had time to think through something from his perspective! I love this, Bethany!

    1. waves + lilacs

      February 28, 2018 at 8:55 pm

      I need to learn to be more patient! It is a challenge. I am so glad you enjoyed it!

      <3, Bethany

  5. Enele Ogah

    February 27, 2018 at 3:57 am

    Thanks for this post!
    At least, it will help me when I get married 😊

    1. waves + lilacs

      March 2, 2018 at 10:59 am

      That will be an exciting day <3

  6. michaeladaisy

    February 27, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    I love this so much! It really sounds like your grandmother and grandfather had a loving, understanding relationship. I am very excited for part 2!

    1. waves + lilacs

      February 28, 2018 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you Michaela! They were incredible together!

      <3, Bethany

  7. Part 2: 12 Secrets to a Lasting Marriage – Waves + Lilacs

    March 2, 2018 at 10:13 am

    […] grandfather weathered the storms together and were happily married for 62 years. If you missed the first six secrets, be sure to check them […]

  8. 5 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong - These Mama Moments

    March 6, 2018 at 9:07 am

    […] Also- my friend Bethany did some AWESOME posts talking with her grandmother about her grandparents’ 60+ year marriage- make sure to check that out here! […]

  9. Sunshine Blogger Award – Waves + Lilacs

    March 21, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    […] your favorite blog post you’ve written so far? I am so proud of my two part mini series where I interviewed my grandmother on her 62 years of marriage and why it was SO successful. It was a super inspirational post for me […]

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