13 Tips for a Long-Lasting Marriage

We are celebrating our long-lasting marriage this week — thirty-one years of marriage, love and friendship.

I don’t know how this happened, but time has flown by. We met 32 years ago, dated for seven months, and got engaged. Quick, but it has lasted. A long-lasting marriage.

long-lasting marriage

We got married, one year to the date, after we met.

We knew.

I knew after I met him for the first time. I told my mom, “I just met the man I am going to marry.” And I did.

July 18, 1987

long-lasting marriage

We were babies. He was almost 25 and I was almost 22.

How has it been 31 years? How have we stayed together happily? How have we managed a long-lasting marriage? How does a couple, living in the age of divorce, never consider it, never consider walking away and calling it quits?

We have a long-lasting marriage for many reasons, but the biggest reason is that we went into our marriage knowing this was it. There is no walking away. There is no calling it quits. We knew when we said “I do” it was forever, and we would grow old together–loving and enjoying each other. Forever and ever, Amen.

Til death do we part!

And, that’s just what we are doing. Plus, there is that love thing!

long-lasting marriage

You can’t go into a marriage thinking if this doesn’t work we will get a divorce.

And, you also can’t think there might be someone else out there for you if this marriage goes sour. My friends and I have always joked that there might be other men, but they all burp and they all fart, and you would just be trading in, not up.

In other words, keep what you have and work at the relationship. Make it perfect and happy for the two of you. Forever.

You will have fights. You will have moments when you drive each other crazy. We are all human, and we are all riddled with complicated issues and behaviors. We are all a bit selfish. But, the point is to be the best roommate, best friend, lover, and life partner you can be and hope the one sleeping next to you forever will do the same.

Our marriage is not perfect, but 32 years ago, I met my best friend. I married him 31 years ago, and now we are starting our 32nd year of wedded bliss.

What is wedded bliss? Usually thought of as supreme happiness, utter joy or contentment. Bliss is also perfect happiness or great joy. I doubt that married bliss is 24/7 for most couples. Like I said–we are all human. There is no such thing as perfect, so going into marriage with your reality in check will help you to not be disappointed.

We are not perfect and our marriage is not perfect. We have had the lowest lows and the highest highs. I learned more about my love for Mark in the lows. I learned that I will be in this with him forever.

Life and marriage are not all fun and games. I learned in the lows, more so than ever, this is real. Often you learn more from the bad times, than the good. This is us. Good and bad, forever.

Thankfully, I can say I have been happy, utterly happy, in my marriage, and I strive to stay that way for another 31 plus years.

Going into the marriage knowing you will be together forever is only the beginning. Here are a few more great tips for a long-lasting marriage. These tips are obvious, but must be a priority:

  • You have to make up after fights.
  • You must watch your tongue and never say hurtful things because you are mad.
  • You must forgive and forget.
  • You must try to make each other happy every single day.
  • You need to laugh. Laugh at each other, laugh with each other and laugh at life together.
  • You need to be selfless. If you are each selfless, you will always be happy.
  • You need to have interests together, and also apart.
  • You need to watch TV together. Having more than one TV is a marriage downfall.
  • You must give from the heart everyday, not just on special occasions. Think, “What would make him/her happy?”

Also, you must spend time being together, without the kids.

long-lasting marriage

Because one day, the kids won’t be there, but you two will be. Remember, you, and he started out as two. You started out dating. No matter how long you have been together, you must still date. The point is to fill up your time together, doing activities you both enjoy.

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” Friedrich Nietzsche

The key, before you find yourself alone in an empty house together, is to never lose each other in the first place. Never stop dating. Never stop talking. Never stop laughing. No matter how busy life and schedules get, spend time together.

Even if that time spent together is cooking together, brushing your teeth at the same time, or stealing a few minutes before you both fall asleep. Talk together. Not about the kids and schedules and teachers and all that stuff that has nothing to do with you as a couple, but talk about couple things.

Don’t ever stop the conversation about the two of you.

“When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.” Friedrich Nietzsche

We also try to listen to each other.

When he is talking about sports, I will admit—sometimes it is hard to follow. The truth is, I don’t like sports. I tolerate sports. Why? Because Mark loves sports–almost all sports.

I often wish Alex, our son, was still home so Mark would have someone to talk sports with, while he is watching all the many forms, on tv. Alex is not here–I am. So, I listen.

But as I am not a sports fan, I know he is. I know he loves all sports and I understand and respect that sports are in his blood. I “put up” with sports 364 days a year, because I love him.

One day a year, there is no sports. This one day a year usually falls around our anniversary. (Funny how God blesses you in tiny ways!) That one day with no sports is the day the ESPY’s air on TV, and I enjoy watching award shows, so it is a win for both of us.

Listening is sometimes hard when you don’t understand, or necessarily care, about the topic, but it is so important.

Listening, like marriage is a give and take.

This goes both ways. I know there are many topics I speak about he doesn’t care for either, like shopping, decorating, writing, and my friends who I have met (online or in real life) through my writing adventure.

We both try to remember, and comprehend, what the other is talking about. The point is we both try.

“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.” Andre Maurois

My anniversary gift to Mark is the Waco sky, the night we married. (A picture of it, anyway!) I think this customized star map is perfect to hang in our bedroom. Mark has always loved the sky, as have I.

long-lasting marriage

When the kids were growing up, especially in the summer, he would make us all go outside, lay on the driveway and look up at the stars, constellations, and satellites. The kids always fussed about this family time, especially as they got older. But, it is a happy memory for me. The sky—the moon and the stars, symbolizes our love, our interests, our marriage and our future.

There will always be stars in the sky, if God allows, and there will always be us. This is us.

And ending with a joke…

“Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.” -Henny Youngman

Don’t ever stop the conversation about the two of you.

I hope for you 31+ years with your best friend. I hope for you laughter and friendship with the one you love. I hope for you a long-lasting marriageForever and ever, Amen.

love and blessings~dd

To make your own custom star chart, or any map of a city, go to ModernMapArt.com and see all the many options and ways to make it custom for you. OR, for a gift–graduation, birthday, baby’s birth, anniversary, or any reason! And, go to my favorite’s page to check out other items I love!


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