In December of 2009, my grandpa passed away after over 50 years of marriage. Even as a child, I could always see the love that was between my grandparents and wanted to model my own marriage after theirs.
Yes, my grandparents disagreed, argued, and fought at times. But they also laughed, rejoiced, and brought love, inspiration, and blessing to the lives of their family members. They had many wonderful times in their marriage, but they also went through extreme hardships, including an accident that left my grandfather disabled at a young age with five children and a wife to support.
In the last months of my grandpa’s life, he was an invalid and my grandma stood by his side, caring for him, loving him, and singing hymns to comfort him in his last days. (For a hilarious story about my grandparents, please check out my post https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/grandparents-do-the-darnest-things/ ).
So what makes a marriage succeed? I asked couples all over the globe to weigh in on their secrets to a lasting marriage. Here’s what they said (serious suggestions first, followed by a few humorous ones!)…
Laugh and play together. Pray and put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. Do things God’s way ~ D. Jayne
Never take each other for granted. Never leave the house or go to bed without saying your sorry and love one another. Never be jealous and always laugh and find humor in all you do together. And never, ever miss a chance to dance in the kitchen in your jammies and end with that look that leaves butterflies in your tummy just knowing you have been blessed with one another ~ Bobbe Hadley
My idea of what makes a marriage last; 2 people moving in 1 direction together in 5 important areas: God, money, family, love/sex & leisure. Getting to this point took a lot of merging in our thinking; it didn’t come overnight. I find the longer you stick with it, the longer your marriage will last because really, agreeing on issues is ongoing, which I’m sure, will last until the end ~ Maria Morton, married 16 years
Equal parts prayer and laughter ~ Kerry Johnson
Marilyn and I seek to bring God into every aspect of our married life. I’m convinced that if it was not for God’s intervention those who prophesied a disastrous short marriage would have been proven correct. Over the past 45 years we have faced many difficult periods. But through it all God has sustained and protected our marriage…God gave me the right wife and without her my life would have been so much poorer in every way ~ Ray White
We argue but don’t hold grudges. We communicate and respect each other and different opinions ~ Jeannie Walker, Author, married 30 years to husband Frank Giambalvo
Always living a life where you have stories to tell on each other and trying to stay ahead of the game where you have more stories to tell on him than he has on you. If you can’t laugh with your husband, how can you cry with him? ~ Fay Thompson Lamb
We feel that a husband and wife that pray together, stay together. We always start our day off with a daily devotion and prayer ~ Judith Schreibeis
We have been married 50 years July. Our secret is trust each other completely and never go to bed angry with each other. Tell each other “I love you” every day. A good sense of humor never hurts either ~ Mary Jelly
Marriage must be a commitment. A lifelong decision to remain in that same one and only loving relationship. If there’s an attitude of “we’ll end this if things don’t go my way” on the part of either person, there will always be a reason to end it ~ Melinda Watterson Evaul, Author of Grow Old With Me, and married 32 years
And some humorous thoughts:
A friend of mine says says that their secret is that each week she and her husband go out for a nice dinner, candlelight, flowers, the works. She goes on Tuesdays and he goes on Fridays, hehe ~ Anonymous
When I am asked the secret of a lasting marriage I am reminded of a comment made by Henry Ford when he was asked the same question. His reply “Do what I did with the Model T car…. stick to one model” ~ Ray White
Separate bathrooms! ~ Dena Ratliff Dyer
They say the first fifty years are the hardest ~ Kevin Parsons
Feel free to share your secrets for a lasting marriage. Also, be sure to check out my post 4 ways to draw closer to your spouse.