How do couples who have been married a long time stay together? What are the secrets to a happy marriage, and where can we learn them??
June 7, 2012, is our 32nd anniversary. Here’re a few things we’ve learned about one another along the way:
He can sleep anywhere, under almost any conditions.
I need darkness and quiet.
He makes the bed.
I pull up the covers.
He thinks tools should be kept where he last used them.
I think they belong in the toolbox.
We both agree dirt + mud + hardwood = NO-NO.
He thinks dinner consists of lots of meat. And hot. Vegetables and Carbohydrates are optional.
I think dinner has all food groups, with meat as a side dish. Salad dinners in the summer are acceptable. Menus should read, “Take it or leave it.” “Silly Suppers” (pancakes/waffles or omelets) are acceptable at the chef’s discretion. Picnics are acceptable.
He thinks cooking measurements are done with the spoons one eats with, and the glasses one drinks with.
I think we own multiple sets of measuring spoons and cups for very good reasons.
He thinks ice cream is a food group, and chocolate is a dessert.
I think chocolate is a food group, and ice cream is a dessert.
He thinks cheese is optional.
I think cheese is a necessity, even mandatory.
He thinks toys for our 4 grandchildren belong in the living room, where they play with them when they visit.
I think toys belong in the room where they sleep when they visit, and can be brought down.
He thinks any towel hanging from the stove is acceptable to use on hands, dishes, cookware, or whatever.
I think hand towels are for hands and dish towels are for dishes, and that’s why we have both kinds.
He thinks dirty socks go on floors and the guest bed is an acceptable closet/bureau when unoccupied.
I think all dirty clothes go in the laundry basket, and clean ones should go on my closet door. (We both have issues with putting stuff away!)
We both agree physical mail is for greeting cards and packages. Whatever can be done online, should be done online.
He thinks ice cream is eaten from the box, in the living room.
I think ice cream is eaten from a bowl, at the table or a soft serve stand.
We both think strawberries are the world’s best fruit. We both love asparagus.
He thinks our backyard needs a cover for our pool filter and a shed for our garden/lawn supplies to be perfect.
I think it also needs a gazebo down to be perfect.
He thinks our 4 cats are enough pets.
I think we need to look for a small-ish dog. And set back up the fish tank.
He thinks leather, velvet and modern are best for decorating our house.
I think English Country is best for every area of the house except his office. He can do what he wants in there.
He thinks a painting with fake water and motion in it would look great in our living room.
I think they make me seasick. If he wants one, he can keep it in his office.
We laugh at a lot of it, talk over some, agree to disagree on some, don’t make major decisions until we have come to a conclusion we can both live with and don’t go to bed mad. We understand if we agreed on everything in our marriage, one of us would be unnecessary. We know compromise is an essential part of living happily together.
We don’t talk over potentially stressful stuff when we’re tired, hungry or distracted. We try to talk to our spouse’s personality and say and do things that show them we love them in their love language.
We tolerate each other’s families and sympathize when they drive each other nuts. We back each other’s decisions about our kids/grandkids, and we try to talk those decisions over first. If one of us is away, we talk several times daily.
We tolerate each other’s foibles, faults, and failings. We remember why we fell in love and what we still love about each other and finding new stuff to love about each other at every available opportunity. We look for humor in every disaster, knowing a funny story makes suffering worthwhile in the long run. (Tragedy + Time = Humor, and you get to pick how long the Time part lasts!) We cherish our friendships, and accept each other’s friends. We begin and end every day thanking God for each other.
Sometimes, it’s been work. Sometimes, it’s not. It’s always been worth it. And we’ve learned all of this. How? Ask me about LIFE. All comments asking for information will be kept confidential.
One more thing:
He thinks “Happy wife, happy life.”
I think, “Happy spouse, happy house.”
PS — He not only content-approved this post, he encouraged it!