Today Dave and I have been married 41 years. Hard to imagine that so much time has gone by since I was a bright-eyed nineteen year old and he was a handsome Air Force Tech Sergeant. I love him more now than the day I married him. God knew just who I needed. So in honor of our anniversary, I'm going to share our tips for having a lasting marriage. And not just one that endures, but one that thrives and gets better with the years.
1. Always put the other person first. My Dave is great at this. He would move heaven and earth to please me.
2. Say "I love you" every day. Not just once but multiple times a day. Touch your guy when you pass him on the way to the kitchen. Just a hand on his shoulder as you pass is enough to let him know you're thinking about him.
3. Don't argue just to win an argument. Sometimes it's better to just shut up, even if you think you're right. Is being right worth any harm the argument might bring to your relationship?
4. Don't let the kids play you against each other. We've all been there. Enough said. :)
5. Take some time to do things together. Go out to eat, go to a movie or for a drive. Even going for a walk after dinner to talk alone together helps.
6. Praise him when he does things around the house. No one likes to be taken for granted. When he finally fixes the faucet, lavish on the praise. And MEAN it. Don't say, "Well, you finally did it." And don't immediately point out the next thing on the honey-do list.
7. Take time to dream together. What would you like your future to look like? Talk about your goals and encourage him to reach for his. Sometimes it's hard. Dave went to college when the kids were small. He worked full time and went to school full time. He was gone 4 nights a week, and I had the responsibility for two toddlers. With working full time, he didn't have time to read all his homework either, so I read it onto tape and he listened to it on his two hour a day round trip drive. Now it's his turn, and he is my biggest encourager with my writing.
8. Every year get away from the day-to-day grind and take a vacation. If money is a problem, plan something close by for a few days.
Now how about you? What's your tip for making a relationship thrive?