After 35 years( so far!) of a very happy and successful marriage, I would love to share with you how some choices my husband and I made at the very beginning have led to years of joyful union. Many people will tell you that marriage is hard work, and you do have to be purposeful for sure. Others talk about how difficult it is to stick together through ups and downs. However, being together is the point. Having a partner for the journey through life is such a relief. Too many couples will tell you to avoid marriage altogether. Today I want to talk about ways to have wonderful life together. You and your spouse can be each other’s best friend and place of peace. Your home can be your respite from conflict and difficulty. It’s never too late to start. Here are our top 3 tips for a good marriage.
Top 3 Tips for a Good Marriage
1. Marriage is 100/100
I have always heard that marriage was 50/50. That never made sense to me. Why would I only give 50 percent of my effort to creating a successful relationship to the most important person in my life? Why would he only give 50% to creating a lasting marriage with me?
My husband and I decided that our lives would be so much better if we both gave 100% effort to creating a good marriage. That decision took our marriage from good to great! You can have a great marriage too!
What does it mean to give 100%? For us it means putting the other person first. The only thing that comes above my husband is my relationship to God. God created marriage and he loves marriage. When God is first my life, my marriage has a greater chance of long lasting happiness. If you want to know how to have your own relationship with God, click here.
2. Only Look for the Best in Your Spouse
If you want to have a happy spouse who looks forward to being with your everyday, then offer encouragement and do not criticize. The world is hard on people. Your husband/wife will encounter plenty of stress outside of your home. You should be your spouse’s safe place. Your home should be a peaceful haven. Never make it difficult for your husband or wife to please you. Just be pleased with them. Let them know how much you love them. Encourage them to be all of the great things that drew you to them in the first place.
My husband tells me that I am amazing and I tell him that he is. All of the beautiful and encouraging things that he tells me I am motivate me to become the person he sees. And he is motivated to become the person I see. I fell in love with him because of the wonderful person that he is. We only look for the good things in each other and never ever criticize. So together we have grown into much better people than we ever would have been if we had not committed to putting each other first, high above the other things in our lives. Encouragement is so much more effective than criticism.
3. Divorce is Not an Option
Before we got married we agreed that divorce would never be an option. That word would never be used in any conversation about our marriage. Of course , I am not saying that if your spouse cheats on you or is abusive to you that you should stay with them. That is another discussion altogether. I am talking about two people who agree that they want to have a good marriage for a lifetime. Read more about safe proofing your marriage from divorce here.
Taking divorce as an option off the table allowed us to bask in the warmth of a committed and loving marriage. We knew that we were both in it for life. That is a precious and beautiful gift that must be nurtured and appreciated. For the love of your life to say that they will never leave you is an amazing and life giving statement. To commit fully to one another is a freedom that can’t be explained.
When we were newlyweds, I heard my husband talking to a friend on the phone. He said, “What you don’t know about marriage is that is is like jumping into a black hole, but once you do, it is the brightest light you ever saw!”
The first part of that sentence made my heart sink, but the second part gave me joy that has lasted all of these years. The best part is that joy just keeps on growing day after day. That is because we have committed to these top 3 tips for a good marriage.
We are not perfect people, but somehow we have created a marriage in which we are each others’ best friend, soul mate, work partner and parents of two of the most wonderful people God ever made.
You can have a marriage that goes from good to great. Or from bad to great. It is worth the effort. Your life can be full of the joy a successful marriage can bring.
We invite you to watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU Video on this page to find out how God can change your life forever. If you and your spouse know God in this way, your marriage can be a great one!
If you would like to speak to qualified marriage counselor, please fill out this form and someone will contact you.