Advice from the Trenches

Being married is not always easy. The landscape of your relationship can go from tunnel of love to battlefield quickly, leaving you looking at you partner and wondering, “Just whose side are you on?” What makes a relationship last through the inevitable mine fields time and intimacy bring in relationships that survive? Here is some advice from couples in the trenches of marriage:

“You have to put something in every day. It’s work and both people have to keep working at it!” ~ Emily and Brad, 6 years

“Our best advice is to have understanding, not winning, as your primary goal during an argument. It helps to place yourself in the other’s shoes when trying to understand where your spouse is coming from. Pride has no place in the midst of an argument with your life partner. You do life together!” ~ Hollie and Justin, 13 years

“Keep dating your spouse, making it a priority. The days are long and busy, particularly with young children. Never put your marriage second; date your spouse and be creative.” ~ Michelle and Matt, 13 years

“The best advice we would give is to love, respect, and have a sense of humor.  Don’t try to change the person that you fell in love with!  Accept each other and have patience.  And don’t forget to listen to each other!” ~ Gwen and David, 27 years

“Marriage is most satisfying when couples understand the emotional needs of their spouse and they give quality time to one another. Basic training for marriage preparation should include conflict resolution and setting priorities for the new couple. (God first, then kids, job, and hobbies). Our best advice is to seek out activities that provide tools for strengthening the relationship, like conferences and weekend retreats.” ~ Becky and Toby, 35 years

“It is important to never take each other for granted. Say ‘Thank you’ for even the simple things, like mowing the grass, having clean, fresh towels in the bathroom …and NEVER go to bed angry!” ~ Carol and Tim, 37 years

“One of the best bits of advice came from my grandfather. He said, ‘Once there was a newlywed couple. The man took his wife out to the barn and threw a rope over the roof, and told his wife to pull as hard as she could on one end while he pulled as hard as he could on the other side. Of course, they did not accomplish much. Then he said, ‘Now you come over on my side and we will pull together.’ They did and the rope slid right off the roof and down to the ground. ‘See what we can do when we pull together?’ the man told her. That example has always stuck with us. It is so true!” ~ Carolyn and Jeff, 44 years

“Just one thing: always kiss goodnight!” ~ Adrienne and Herb, 54 years