7 Tips to Staying Happily Married
The word marriage can conjure up hurt for a lot of people. Divorce is like a business partnership that went wrong but 100 times worse. Sometimes the person you married changes and becomes violent or has an affair, and anyone in those situations should feel free to walk away from such abuse. I also want to acknowledge that someone can stay happily single for their whole life if they want!
In saying that, when two people model a successful marriage they can become a light for others. We know a couple in their 60’s who are successfully married. They had moments when they wouldn’t talk to each other for a week when their kids were young and they were stressed with a mortgage. They worked through their issues and now find themselves in ‘the golden years’, where they’re debt free, their kids are married, and they just enjoy life. They’ve travelled the world and give back to the community. My number one tip: find marriage mentors; copy the example of a couple experiencing the golden years. Take note of how they talk to each other and how they put one another first.
My second tip: be a whole person before you get married. Two half people together don’t make a whole relationship. They make a mess! Be ok on your own before you consider being with someone else. If you’re not, work on it.
My third tip: marry the right person. The top character trait you should look for is kindness. The quickest way of sorting out the studs from the duds is by telling them you won’t sleep with them until they are committed and have a ring on your finger as evidence. Those who are only interested in a fling will scat, and anyone remaining is a potential prospect. Be with someone who loves you for who you are.
My fourth tip: think of marriage as a covenant. I read about ancient Jewish covenants where two betrothed children watched their fathers walk in animal blood, and this was a sign to the children that they had to stay married or someone’s life had to pay for it- intense paraphrasing! When hard times come, it’s desirable to quit. The covenant idea inspires me to aim higher and do everything in my power to work through issues.
My fifth tip: maintenance. Cars get serviced once a year but with marriage we say ‘I do’, cross our fingers and hope for the best. My hubby and I do a marriage course once a year. I also went through a stage where I read every single book about marriage on the planet and we watched marriage DVDs. We didn’t know how to be married successfully so we had to find out ourselves and fast!
My sixth tip: explore positive and negative consequences before taking action, e.g. If you divorce, how would you feel about sharing Christmas, Mother’s Day, the child’s birthday, etc. with your ex and their new partner’s family? I know people in this situation- it’s HARD! Avoid it if possible.
My seventh tip: set up the generations. When you master the art of being successfully married, you're teaching your children how to be married successfully. They will pass it on to their kids, who will pass it on to their kids, etc. You’re helping generations of G-babies!
My hubby and I are a great team and we can achieve more together than we could on our own. Anyone who has been married knows there are seasons of hell, but the golden years are your reward and you are setting up the generations!