Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Morning Grandma: How to Have a Long Marriage

Today is our 47th anniversary. People may ask how we have stayed together for so long. For every couple it’s different. Most important: STICK WITH IT.

I say that with a disclaimer: Abuse mental or physical. Infidelity. Other extreme things can happen, even those can be overcome sometimes, but be careful. Do not put yourself or your children in a dangerous situation.

Having said that, here are a few things on my mind:

You may have had “perfect” parents who always agreed on every detail of their lives. That isn’t real life, they just did a better job of talking behind closed doors than my husband and I did. It is best if children don’t see their parents argue; however, this can lead to a false sense that if you and your spouse disagree your marriage is broken.

Remember you are 2 different people with 2 different backgrounds. However strongly planted in your being, some things are neither right nor wrong, just different. Traditions (especially holidays like Christmas), for example. Discuss these before marriage. Take some of his, some of hers, and then create new ones of your own.

Live as far from both families you need to in order to prevent their interference. It might be next door, in the next state, or on the other side of the country. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife.” Mark 10:7 That goes for women too.

If you really need advice, go together, or go to your clergy, or a marriage counselor.

Do not have e-mail, social media, or any other electronic or telephone accounts your spouse doesn’t know about. Don’t snoop all the time into the other’s stuff either. If you run into an old flame say so. Generally speaking, if you don’t want your spouse to find out about it, don’t do it. I planned my husband’s surprise birthday party with our children from my individual account, so there are some good things to temporarily keep private. (I’m writing this Sunday evening, and I’m very curious where he’s taking me at 10:00 in the morning, but I can wait.)

I could say so very much more, but that’s a start. Maybe I’ll do this again next year with some other advice.

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