by Renee Birchfield
I went through a lot of thoughts to figure out what exactly I wanted to say here. I watched the I’ll Be Loving You Forever video and had some interesting thoughts while watching. I was originally thinking of a good list of romantic movies that you and the man in your life will enjoy with some great snack ideas, but I had another idea hit me. I was driving to work and thought wouldn’t it be cool to talk about how to love someone forever and stayed married that long. So I asked over on the Arkansas Women Bloggers Facebook page, and I was blown away by the number of responses I got.
With a group as big as ours, with amazing women there are many marriages that have lasted the test of time. From the responses I received, I have the youngest marriage of almost 3 years and we have some ladies that have been married closer to 50 years. I am so excited to share with you the tips they have and a few of my own.
Marriage is not an easy adventure sometimes. You see when you bring two imperfect people with different histories and ideals then they will not always mesh together perfectly. The thing is it’s ok for it to not be easy, the trick is to love hard and never ever give up. Because when it is easy, it’s amazing and there is no one else other than your husband that you want to share that with. And trust me most marriages the good times way outweigh the bad ones.
Here are the tips I got from members along with how long they got married.
Shea married 5 years – “I know it’s cliche, but don’t go to bed angry. If we are upset, we get everything off our chest and then that’s that.”
Dorthy married 43 years – ” We talk things through. The one that needs to do that most, usually me, watches for the right time and politely asks. It isn’t always easy, but we’ve learned to trust our love for one another. It’s about sharing your heart, not your anger. Listening to the other person, apologizing when you should, and then figuring out how to compromise or make the change necessary to restore trust and harmony ”
Brittney married 7 years – “Try to out-serve one another every day ”
Anita married 49 years – “Speak to your spouse as kindly as you would a guest in your home. Your tone of voice, more than your words, is what causes friction.”
Amanda married 12 years – “Don’t point out all the little annoying things (like leaving a dish rag in the sink). Be thankful instead that he helps with the dishes. Complaining about the little things is a waste of breath and energy. Being thankful and joyful is always the better choice because in the end—- that little stuff doesn’t matter. Save complaints and concerns for things that actually matter. ”
Heather married 10 years – “Always assume the best in your partner. They pledged their life to yours, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. You’re on the same team – remembering that isn’t always easy but it is worth it! ”
Michelle married 24 years – “Don’t let the tiny things get under your skin and take the time to “date” your spouse. ”
Heidi married 11 years – “We consistently thank each other for all the little things each day, which keeps us wanting to do them for each other.”
Jill married 15 years – “Love bears all things” — let the little things go. Bring up contentious topics when tempers aren’t on edge. Express gratitude for what he does. ”
Sharla married 18 years – “Learn each other’s communication styles. It helps so much when you disagree. If my husband is helping me with something, I never point out that he did it wrong or how I would have done it differently. ”
Jacqueline married 13 years – “Keep laughing. Don’t say things you can’t take back ”
Nacy married 41 years – “Honor each other, cherish each other. ”
Conway married 24 years – “Communication is the key (neither of you are mind readers), never assume anything and Jesus.”
Helena married 41 years – “Appreciate the little things, build him up. Forgive quickly. Don’t compare him to other men and laugh together. Pray for him and respect his position as head of the family. I don’t always get this right, we don’t have a perfect marriage but then who does. ”
Laci married 19 years – “Don’t sweat the small stuff and learn how to laugh a lot! Especially when your husband is cracking jokes at your expense. That’s how they flirt ”
Sarah married 10 years – “Have separate hobbies. Enjoy things separately (as well as together). Having your own interests and your own space will allow you to have a mental retreat when you need it. ”
Lyndi married 27 years – “We are committed to spending lots of time together. ”
Natalie married 12 years – “We have made it our mission to take one week away from the kids every year. Sometimes we plan an elaborate trip and sometimes we just send our kids to the in-laws so we can work on the house. It’s a good way to reconnect without having to worry about the kids.” & “Tell your spouse what you want. You have so many relationships where they just expect the other to know what they’re thinking. My husband is not a mind reader”
Heather – “A motorcycle. My parents have been married 42 years and I’ve been married just over four this year. A man who takes good care of his motorcycle will take good care of his home. If you trust someone with your life in his hands (while you’re on the back of that bike), that’s big. ”
Sarah- “Read the The 5 Love Languages.”
Adria married 4 years – “Supporting his interests and hobbies (financially and with time spent together). Loving his family and friends.”
Debbie married 47 years – “Life isn’t perfect and neither are you. Don’t expect your spouse to be perfect either. When the times are great, you rejoice together. When times are difficult, you stay together. Most of all, you pray together. Sometimes, it’s best to walk away and just take a deep breath. Whenever you possibly can, never, ever go to bed apart or angry. Never give your spouse a reason not to trust you. Trust is earned and is easily lost. Remember at all times, why you fell in love with your spouse in the first place. Grow with, not apart. ”
Kimberly married 12 years – “Hold deep respect for the person your spouse is, their strengths, ambitions, skills, and how they love not just you but those who are important to you. Those are all the qualities that made you fall in love in the first place. ”
Eileen married 15 years – “Be kind to one another and make an effort to show interest in what the other is interested in. Some of his interests may not be at the top of my list, but I take the time to learn about them and enjoy his joy (and vice verse).” &” No secrets and undermining. ”
Rhonda married 15 years – “Keep the commitment. During the tough seasons and the really hard days, understand that “I do” means there are no other options. And if you’re an extrovert married to an introvert, talk less ”
Mari married 25 years – “Take turns being strong. We’ve been married 25 years this year and we both break occasionally. When I break, he picks up the slack, when he breaks, I do. Marriage is a partnership made of hard work, and no matter what, that partnership is something we respect. ”
Melissa married 25 years – “Call each other out on your BS and be willing to work through it and forgive. When you forgive never let it come back up. Let it go. Talk about things before you’re angry when possible. ” & Melissa married 25 years – ” Call each other out on your BS and be willing to work through it and forgive. When you forgive never let it come back up. Let it go. Talk about things before you’re angry when possible. ” & ” Never let your kids divide and conquer your marriage. They’re temporary residents in your home, never forget that. ”
Brenda married 35 years – “I remember when my husband and I got engaged, my father-in-law told me something I will never forget. He said, “you know he won’t change. The way he is today is the way he will be 50 years from now.” In other words, love them the way they are and don’t think you can change them. He was so right. We are going on 35 years now and told both of our daughter-in-laws this, too. ”
Jeanetta married 19 years – “We do our own things. He goes to events he wants to but I don’t and visa versa. We don’t begrudge each other when we do. “
Cassie married 3 years- “Open, authentic communication. If we have the slightest feeling of not wanting to share something with each other we make even more effort to do so. This could come from a place of not wanting to feel that vulnerable, fear of judgment, or not knowing how to share the feeling we are having. When those things or other things come up that make us think “Oh maybe I just won’t share that.” we have come to understand those are the most important things to share!”
Renee married 3 years- “You said I do with the intention to always be with that person. There are hard times because life isn’t easy but sticking it out and loving each other through it will make your marriage last forever. Remember why you fell in love with them and that you two are in it together as a team. ”
These are all great and many touch on some common topics. When you read this I hope you take away that good communication, spending time together and appreciating them will make your marriage strong and you will last the test of time.
PS: To my husband who is amazing to me in the best of times and the only one that I want to annoy for the rest of my life, I’ll be loving you forever!
Do you have another tip to add? Comment below, I would love to hear from you.
Renee blogs over at If Spoons Could Talk where she shares her kitchen adventures. With a focus on healthy recipes that taste great and new in 2017; cooking techniques broke down so even a beginner cook can do them. Along with kitchen tips and tricks and cookbook reviews. Living in Central Arkansas you can find her in the kitchen or in her office working towards her teaching degree. Visit her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.