Since we got engaged, Mr. Wonderful and I have received a lot of advice. Some solicited and some unsolicited, of course, but it’s all welcome – both the sweet and the sarcastic. If you’ve got insight, I wanna hear it. In fact, I wrote last year about a sweet old woman who shared some very pragmatic advice with me about her marriage of 52 years. I appreciated her honest wit because this is how we learn, y’all. Ask questions. And then listen – even if you didn’t ask the question.
From incredible foresight to a cautionary tale, you’ve probably seen more than a few of the pearls of wisdom I’ve compiled here. (Actually, I’m sure you could find some of them hand-painted on a wooden pallet on Etsy.) These thoughts represent knowledge acquired from friends and family. Some single. Some over the course of decades of marriage. Some after painful divorce. But each statement holds meaning for someone. And all have been passed on to us. I’d love to add yours, too.
– Say “yes” as much as possible.
– Always keep God first in your life and all else will fall into place, including your golf swing.
– Be patient with each other. Never go to bed angry and say I’m sorry when you know you should. Don’t let pride get the best of you. Be best friends and laugh together. Be goofy. Be fun!
– Always kiss hello and goodbye.
– Make time for each other. Let God be your guide in all things that you do. Remember: For better or worse!
– Communicate often and don’t hold things in.
– Lean on God and each other to get you through hard times. Celebrate the good times and give God all the glory.
– Decide which battles are worth fighting about.
– Always date each other.
– Say I’m sorry first.
– It isn’t important to always be right or get your way. It is important to make sure that your spouse knows how much you love and respect them.
– Don’t defend yourself.
– Keep God first in your marriage. A chord of three strands will not break.
– Forgive one another.
– Pick your battles. Don’t major on the minors.
– Remember to say, “Darlin, this is the best burnt (insert food here) I’ve ever had.”
– Always laugh at yourself.
– As the old adage goes, “Happy wife = happy life.”
– Learn to do Lou Bega’s “Mambo Number 5” dance together and you’ll be in good shape.
– Read together.
– A couple that plays together stays together!
– Remember that you always have each other and cherish every moment.
– Laugh. A LOT.
– Keep Christ as the most important person in both of your lives. He will bring you closer together as you draw closer to him.
– Display a random act of kindness/thoughtfulness at least once a month to keep your partner guessing.
– Remember to date each other. And put your love first above everything else.
– Don’t be afraid to get help when you need it. You don’t have to work through the rough patches alone.
– Show love in the language you each receive it.
– Marriage is hard work and not something to give up on easily. Fight for your marriage!
– A marriage is a partnership and partnerships are harder with distance. Whether emotional or physical, strive to be close always.
– Think before you speak. Once something ugly comes flying out of your mouth, saying “sorry” doesn’t take away the hurt that the words caused in the first place. Sometimes it’s better to just walk away and come back when you can think straight and have a level-headed conversation.
– Choose him. Everyday choose each other. Choose to be his wife. Choose to be his lover. Choose to be with him. Choose to fight with him and for him. Choose to love him. Some days it will be a struggle to choose him and on those days he’ll choose you and remind you why you chose each other.