Today is my 29th year with my Valentine. We have been married for over 26 years but we traded silly bears holding hearts, chocolate and flowers for a few years before we married.
What is the secret to keeping a Valentine that long? Here are my top four:
1 ~ Go to bed mad sometimes. Yes, I just said that. And I can hear the collective gasp from the Biblically astute folks and know they are asking, “Doesn’t she know the Bible says not to let the sun go down on your anger?”
Yes, I do know that. I know it well. It’s that teaching that caused one of the longest fights and sleepless, tearful night during my first married year. But, I discovered what is a big deal at 2am often is not such a big deal at 9am the next morning after a good night’s sleep. Sometimes you have to agree to revisit the argument the next day. I know I have woken up the next day and could not remember what I was so upset about. Fatigue has a way of making me mad!
Having said that, don’t ever go to bed mad two nights in a row!
2 ~ Have marriage short-term memory. The bible says love keeps no record of wrongs. That is a wonderful truth to put into practice.
One time, my sweetheart and I got into a big enough argument that he got out of the car and started walking down the highway ~ with his briefcase! To this day, neither one of us can remember what the fight was about! Imagine that! A fight big enough to cause such a drastic measure and we cannot remember what it was about. Thank goodness for marriage dementia!
(Though neither my husband nor I can remember the reason for the fight, I have a girlfriend that can ~ And I have made her promise to never tell us!)
Do not let little things become big things. Do not hold grudges. Do not stew on things. Do not let things fester.
Develop short-term memory in your marriage.
3 ~ Be friends. In most marriages, couples struggle at times to “feel the love” for one another. Life’s pressures and stresses have a way of bumping that loving feeling out of our day-to-day relationship.
If my husband and I are honest, there have been times throughout the past twenty-six years that we have not felt the “newly married love” where we longed to stare into each other’s eyes over dinner. More often then not, we are wolfing down our meal in order to get to the next event or deal with the next crisis.
But we have always been friends! We enjoy each other’s company. We like working in the yard together, cooking together, doing projects around the house together and, even, running errands together.
We enjoy most of the same things but if we have different interests or hobbies, we try to share them as much as possible. I’m not going to be as into football as he is and he’s not going to crochet but we respect each other’s choices. We have had many years of going to football games together and, on the rare occasion of a cold game in Texas, we have stayed warm under the blanket I crocheted.
We love to talk to each other about deep – and shallow – things. We love just being together. We are best friends.
If your spouse is not your best friend, change that!
4 ~ Be committed. That’s all. Just…be committed!
Recently, I saw a great quote that said:
“The couples that are “meant to be”
are the ones who go through everything
that is meant to tear them apart
and come out even stronger
than they were before.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Comments? Let’s hear ’em!
I like that – marriage dementia. I agree – sometimes we need to cool down and let the ideas settle – and we find it wasn't as big a thing at all. I learned long ago that when I'm really angry – 90% of it is my issue – and 10% of it he provoked. BFFs – my husband is that to me! Great points her – whether you're newly married or been married forever! LOL