Today’s my 13th wedding anniversary!
When I got married I thought I knew a lot about marriage. I had heard it would be “hard” but, deep down, I believed I was smart enough to hack it.
Boy, was I wrong!
So, in honor of my thirteenth, here are 13 things I’ve learned about marriage:
13) Fights over toothpaste tubes, dishwasher loading, and cleaning habits are usually about much deeper issues.
Deal with those issues and the petty fights will (mostly) go away.
12) You can either be on the same team as your spouse, or you can try to be on your own team.
If you’re not on his team, marriage will always feel divided.
11) Let your own sin bother you more than his.
When you see yourself as just as big of a sinner as your spouse, grace comes in and allows you to forgive trespasses both big and small.
10) Neither one of you married a perfect person.
The sooner you allow him to be imperfect, the better.
9) Expectations kill honeymoons (and other vacations).
Before you go away together, have a conversation about how you see the trip going, what you’d like to do, and what you “expect” from the time.
8) Keep dating. Whatever it takes.
7) Go to bed at the same time.
Don’t miss those few minutes together at the end of the day. Take this time to pray, reconnect, and listen to each other. (Night owls, just stay until lights out then you can get up and clean the house or whatever you do!)
6) Don’t take your phone to bed.
(Connects with number 7!) Ask him to do the same.
5) Treat him like you’d want to be treated.
When you mess up, do you want him nagging you about it every hour?
4) Use your words to edify, build him up.
Every investment into him is really an investment back into your marriage. There is no such thing as wasted effort.
3) Stop comparing your marriage to the marriage of others.
You DON’T know what happens at their house. (Really, you don’t)
2) He married you. Not her, or her, or her.
Stop comparing yourself to those other women. Enjoy intimacy with the man who chose you.
1) Get help if you need it.
Whenever you feel yourself circling the same issues, having the same fight, week after week, it’s time to get help. Seek out a good biblical counselor. Participate in a program like “Re-engage” or a marriage enrichment program at church. Your marriage is like a plant, it’s either growing or dying. Counseling is a whole lot cheaper (and healthier) than a divorce lawyer.
What piece of marriage advice would you add to this list?