10 Things You Can Do Today to Make Your Marriage Last

10 Things You Can Do Today to Make Your Marriage Last

My husband Gene and I sat at the outdoor table of our favorite restaurant. A warm Orlando breeze lifted my hair as we reviewed the menu. I smiled across the table at the married couple, our friends for years. We all had a hard time choosing from the delicacies offered.

But what wasn’t difficult was finding topics to talk about. We laughed and chatted until the issue of chores came up.

“I think a bomb could go off and he’d not notice if he was in the middle of watching a football game,” the wife said, “and you’d think he would clean the mess he makes. But no, guess who has to do the cleaning? Me, of course.”

An uncomfortable silence hovered over the four of us.

The husband gave a nervous chuckle. “”I guess I’m just a bad guy.”

I took a deep breath and changed the subject. But that night I remembered a powerful advice we once received in a marriage weekend. ‘Never criticize your spouse in the presence of others.”

Did I do that? Swallowing my shame I confess I did. That’s why I was forced to find the instructions that could correct my mistakes.

The best resource for this was God. It was His Word. It was His outline of what love should be.

Based on 1 Corinthian 13, here are the ten steps Gene and I followed for our marriage to last nearly 42 years:

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1. Practice Patience

While hubby relaxed on the couch, I handed him a plate of veggies with low-fat dip. “Honey, just in case you get hungry before dinner.”

That was a big improvement from the stop-eating-junk-food nagging I had done for way too long.

And what results did it have? None. Even worse, my comments sparked arguments.

Of course they did. I was right. He was wrong. I knew the consequences. But what I didn’t know was that criticism and nagging fed us both with frustration.

After uncomfortable self-reflection, the adjustment had to happen inside me. I vowed to change frustration for patience.

Happy moments came back when, all on his own, he chose to eat differently.

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