Girls Write Out
Monday, October 31, 2011
Dave and I celebrated our 40th anniversary on Sunday. It seems impossible that we've been married that long, mostly because I still feel like the 19 year old girl he married. LOL I look older and my body lets me know I'm no spring chicken, but I don't feel any older.

So from the depths of my great wisdom (ha!) I thought we could talk about what makes a marriage last. How do you get through the tough times that every couple faces? I'd like to hear from you too, but here is my personal list for building my marriage.

1. Appreciate all the things your spouse does for you. Verbalize it in front of others too.

2. Focus on your spouse's good qualities. If you dwell on the things that bug you, that's all you'll see. If you have to, write out a list and remind yourself.

3. Say "I love you" every day. Many times. :)

4. Don't try to change your spouse. You have rough edges too. We all do. You will NOT change them and you will only frustrate yourself if you try. Reread #2. :)

5. Love is not a feeling. It's daily choices that we make on how we treat each other. Practice love and thoughtfulness.

Now it's your turn. What tip can you offer for a lasting relationship?


Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:00 PM  
  Comments (18)
Delicious Delicious
At 11:57 PM, Blogger Tracy Ruckman said...

Respect. If there's no respect - for each other and for self - every other aspect of the marriage falls apart.

Congratulations on your anniversary!!

At 1:30 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

Congratulations! Forty years is a big milestone. How many couples do you know...say, in your church...who have been married that long? Few, I would imagine.

What advice would I give? Never, and I mean NEVER, use the "D" word! Do not make it part of your vocabulary. Do not let it into your hearing. Run. Avoid that word at all costs. It's an insidious word that worms its way into your brain and get you to think of it all the time until it's all you think about. By then it's too late and you follow through with the actions. Not a good word at all.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Timothy Fish said...

I'm in no position to offer advice, though I'm happy for you guys. I especially like your statement, "Verbalize it in front of others." Oddly enough, my experience has been that men tend to be better at this than women. (Granted, I've seen some nasty exceptions.) At church the other day another guy and I were standing at the back of the room while his wife was talking to the Awana kids. I've forgotten what she was doing, but I remember him saying, "I like how she [whatever it was]. She's really good at that kind of thing."

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

Don't make a big deal out of little things! That works in a lot of relationships––with children, friends, extended family. But it especially makes a huge difference in marriage!

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Richard Mabry said...

When my oldest son got married, he asked the secret of Cynthia's and my great marriage. Without conscious thought, I answered: "Fight fair and don't keep score."
That marriage lasted 40 years (we would have celebrated 50 a couple of years ago had she lived), and I still think those two rules are paramount.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Margo Carmichael said...

Congratulations! We made 42 in September. I guess I'd say it's, marriage is not 50/50, it's 100/100. Don't count. Don't keep score. Do all things as for the Lord. And it will all work out in the long run.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Ooh good stuff here, friends! Thanks!

At 2:12 PM, Blogger lilgirl said...

Communication!!!! My husband and I have been married 17 1/2 years and we talk about everything. There isn't anything I don't talk to my honey about. He is truly my best friend!!!

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keeping a 1 Corinthians 13 perspective on love smack dab in the center of my perspective on my husband is a must for our marriage to thrive! Congratulations on a long (and hopefully joyful) marriage!

At 2:54 PM, Blogger LadyRed said...

While me and my husband have only been married a short time, we both believe that in order to have a lasting marriage that you need to be best friends with each other. Its fine to have friends that are hers, his and ours, but you should be each others best friend. Be honest with each other, even if it means hurting each others feelings because if you are more comfortable lying to each other than worrying about hurting each other then you will never be able to work through those really hard times. Learn to compromise equally, if one person is compromising consistently and not at all that is NOT a good way to keep the peace. Put things in this order, God first, then spouse, then children, then self but STILL make sure you don't neglect yourself either because if you are neglecting yourself you are no good to anyone else. Make sure to laugh when you can but not at the others expense. Lastly, remember why you fell for each other in the first place!

At 2:55 PM, Blogger LadyRed said...

Correction: If one is compromising consistently and the OTHER not at all...

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Canter Family said...

My husband and I have been married 14 years and had some tough times. I took a bible study called For Women Only by Shaunti a few years ago and it changed my marriage! I learned that men need respect and women need love and if we only give those when they/we deserve it then we are not modeling Christ's sacrifice for us. I started focusing on what I could do for my husband instead of what he wasn't doing for me and found I was happier than I had ever been. His behavior didn't change; my attitude did. I put my eyes on Christ and not my hubby and the world was a different place.

So my advice is to keep Christ the center of your marriage, never criticize your spouse in public, don't nag your husband and meet him with a kiss every time you see him. :)

At 5:12 PM, Blogger jel said...

Woo HOO, way to go on 40 years together, may the next 40 B just as sweet :)

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Laura J said...

I have no tips since I'm single, but it's nice to read everyone's comments. :)

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Congratulations, Dave and Colleen! My best advice to the women is that you must first marry the right man.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Colleen, we'll celebrate our 41st this December. The biggest thing beyond what you already said (# 2 being the MOST important) is pray. God can make all things new every single day! That's my secret. :)

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I would say don't shut down when communication gets uncomfortable. There is nothing worse than keeping a spouse "safe" from the truth when they need to grow up sometimes.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I should also add, be willing to hear what you need to hear!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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