How do you make your marriage last? How do you save your marriage? What is the secret to a loving marriage?
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.”
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.
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. Say it for the big things. Say it for the little things. Say it for cleaning the kitchen. Say it 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!
Stay tuned for part two! ❤