Monday, April 15, 2013

A Marriage Post: Learning Through Our Mistakes



I've been married for just over eight years...& I have to admit, we've had some pretty AMAZING seasons as a married couple!







However, that being said, we've also been through a myriad of trials...hardships...and overall challenging circumstances....I'm sure like 100% of other married couples.


If I could sit down with a young girl, about to enter into the lifelong commitment of marriage, and she asked for my advice...although I realize there are people WAY  more qualified to answer her questions, I could still share some principles that I've learned through my marriage.

Most of them I've actually learned through mistakes...

But...mistakes can become lifelong teachers if we allow them to.

So without further adieu I want to share with you:

***FIVE principles that will lead to a successful marriage:

1) You are NOT always right!!!

You may think you're RIGHT in a given 'discussion', but you may not be. Later knowledge that you become privy to may prove you actually to be in the wrong. Nonetheless, even if you are 'right', it is much more productive to focus on positive communication, and maintaining unity.

2) Get a LONG-TERM perspective!

Some situations require decisive changes...and others simply time & prayer! There have been some very distressing circumstances where I've felt like "things are NEVER ever going to change!!"...yet, 2 weeks, or 2 months, or even a year later, things can totally turn around. We need to watch our decision making in a time of testing. One wise person I know has said, "Don't make any major decisions when you are sitting in the dark."

3) Selfishness is the greatest killer of intimacy!

Not just physical, but emotional, and again affects the unity between a couple. Learn to serve one another. Serving one another breaks down 'walls' faster than any other activity I've found!

4) Be on guard for bitterness!

Bitterness is another destroyer of intimacy in a couple. If your spouse has hurt you (and believe me, you will hurt one another! Sometimes, & often, quite unintentionally) you need to choose to forgive. Forgiveness brings great healing, and although it takes humility, it will result in a stronger marriage. Of course deeper hurts may require outside trusted parties to give unbiased advice and support.
(***note: abuse & infidelity are much more serious, and will require more drastic measures to see if the marriage can be repaired. Those topics are beyond my scope of discussion today)

5) Learn to simply ENJOY one another!

Sometimes, life can be so busy, so serious, and so overwhelmingly stressful that we forget just how to 'play' together. Sometimes, we just need to learn how to sit together & enjoy one another's company. I have totally been guilty of NOT doing this! For us, with the very busy season of life we're both in, we need to schedule time for: date nights, short weekends getaways, and evenings alone. 

There you have it; that's the advice I would give a soon-to-be married young woman.

Question for the comments: if you've been married for any length of time, what have you found beneficial to the growth of your relationship?


51 comments:

  1. 19 years this month! I'm finding that it's so much easier now to know that dh isn't being mean when he says something dumb, I'm just being sensitive or taking it the wrong way. Having a shared history really makes life sweeter.

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    1. 19 years? That's awesome! I hear you about the sensitivity thing...I've learned the hard way that sometimes I can be way too sensitive.
      Thanks for stopping by!!

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  2. Visiting from WJIM. Thanks for sharing. I have found this all to be too true in our marriage.

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    1. I am glad you were able to stop by Judith :)

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  3. These are awesome! And I love the pictures too, you are such a cute couple! ;)

    We are going on 30 years of marriage and I would have said exactly what you said. Good advice, my friend.

    But since you asked.....lol! I think I would say, to a young mom, accept that your husband has a brain in his head and don't think that YOU know it all when it comes to your child.

    So many young moms, me included, have a hard time letting go and letting daddy have a say and let him parent. We tend to think that daddy is just "babysitting" and what mom says goes.

    Because I learned to trust my husband's judgment and parenting, I think that my children had a richer, happier childhood because I would have "protected" them to death, lol!

    Of course, I still had things where we had to compromise and sometimes we had to agree on certain boundaries and stuff because I DID worry, but they were allowed to climb trees (eeeek, dangerous!) and ride bikes (eeeek, dangerous) and even play flag football (eeeeek, dangerous!), lol!

    Thanks so much for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

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    1. Good advice. I agree...sometimes we think we are the 'better/safer parent'. But Dad definitely brings a good balance in our home :)
      Thanks for sharing!!

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  4. A great post! Wonderful advice you have shared! My husband and I will be celebrating 23 years of marriage this year, by the grace of God. Choosing to forgive does bring healing.

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    1. Congrats on 23 years! That's an amazing accomplishment.
      Thanks so much for stopping by Beth :)

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  5. great blog post Rachael!
    I believe, that if we have God first in our lives, everything else will be right. As God says, treat your husband as the head of your family and love will flow over... I struggle daily with my thoughts & emotions, but once I stop, pray and leave it with God, EVERYTHING else falls into place. It literally makes everything better!
    {of course, there are limits - ex. when abuse is involved}

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    1. Good advice Jen! I totally agree with putting God first in our relationships.
      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  6. Yes, Rach! I've been married 38 years. My husband always says almost every marital problem can be traced back to selfishness. What good points you have shared.

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    1. Congrats on 38 years of marriage! A great accomplishment :)
      Thanks for sharing & stopping by Pamela.

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  7. I'm glad the Lord has given you great insight into a marriage that works together. You have learned some great advice that you have shared.

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    1. Thanks Marlece! Glad you could stop by :)

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  8. Hi Rachael, great post,and I would love for you to guest post on Encourage 24/7. I have looked and maybe I missed it but i can't find your email. Could you please email me at teekaytee2@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. I just emailed you! Thanks so much for getting back to me Tracy :)

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  9. Such wisdom! Marriages are so under attack lately! Believers need good, practical truths like this to aid them...aid us...as we navigate the road to, "Happily ever after!"

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    1. I totally agree about marriages currently being attack! I have never seen the entire family unit so criticized in the political spheres as it seems to have been in various ways in the last few years. Thanks for sharing & stopping by!

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  10. We are celebrating 18 years this year, and I have to say , forgiveness is the corner stone of us making it this far! I wish you many more years of bliss. Visiting from Sol Deo Gloria

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    1. Thanks so much Stephanie! I am believing we'll have many, many more joyful years to come :)

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  11. Your points are well taken especially about not being selfish and not needing to always be right. Thank you for sharing at "Tell Me a True Story."

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    1. You're welcome! I really enjoy that link-up.
      Thanks so much for coming by again :)

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  12. Hi Rachael,

    Thank you for linking up with us today at the Hip Homeschool Hop! I love your blog! :) I too am thankful for my wonderful hubby, and I thought your suggestions in your post were very good ones. I've been married for 22 years. Some of them have been very difficult years, and others have been great. No matter what, though, my hubby and I try to keep the other's good in mind. That makes such a huge difference and helps us keep a happy marriage and family. Blessings to you and your family. ~Wendy

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    1. Thanks so much Wendy!! Congrats on 22 years together; that is an amazing accomplishment :)
      Glad you could stop by, Rach

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  13. I think for only 8 years of marriage you have learned a lot of valuable lessons about having a healthy relationship. I've been married 41 years, and I can't really add anything to what you've written. It really does cover all the important aspects. Bless you.

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    1. Thank you Gail!! I have to add that I love your blog as well....so simple to follow & a quick read. I try to look for it almost weekly :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. I'm getting married in January so this is perfect timing! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Super exciting season for you then!! Blessings on your marriage & glad you could stop by :)

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  15. Hi Rach!
    Long time no see. Congrats on 8 years. You have some excellent perspectives here.
    Thanks for Linking up with Marriage Moment @ Great Peace Academy

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    1. You are most welcome! I always enjoy your link-up :)
      Thanks for stopping by again!!

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  16. Great advice! Stopping by on the Friday Flash blog.

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  17. Love these principles! Congratulations on your eight years of marriage. Maintaining unity through forgiveness, selflessness and productive discussion is right on target. Even though I'm not married yet… these have to be true for any relationship. Friday Flash Blog sent me here!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by & sharing your thoughts :)

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  18. Hi im a new follower from the blog hop. Love your ideas and I think you are right. I have been married 34 years this year and it takes work at times lol
    If you have time please come visit me at
    www.jollyjillys.blogspot.com
    love to met you

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    1. On my way to visit you right now!

      Congrats on the great accomplishment of 34 years together :)

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  19. following you on bloglovin from Aloha Friday

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by!! Love the Aloha Hop as well :)

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  20. "Get a long term perspective." YES! That is so key and so many miss that. I'm happy you included that in your top 5 essential things.

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    1. I think the long term perspective is so important in not only our marriages, but all of our relationships.
      So thankful you could stop by Fawn!!

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  21. Married six years. :-) Thanks for this encouraging post. Thanks for linking up at Family Fun Friday. Sincerely,
    Monica
    http://happyandblessedhome.com

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    1. Thanks Monica for stopping by and for the feature!! I did try to copy the featured button, but for some reason it wouldn't work on my blogger layout. Any thoughts?

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  22. Featured at Family Fun Friday - http://happyandblessedhome.com
    Monica

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  23. Love the advice! Here's mine ( not original to me, of course): don't let the sun go down on your anger.
    Thanks for linking up at From House to Home. The new party is up this week-- hope to see you there.
    --Gena

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    1. Great advice!! I wish I had always followed that model and maybe I wouldn't have lost so many hours of sleep in our more difficult seasons...the bible truly is a great guide for our marriages :)

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  24. Lovely post - and such wonderful advice! This is a great reminder for me! Thank you - and thanks for linking up at the Lovin' the Weekend Blog Hop!

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    1. Thanks Rebekah! Glad it encouraged you :)

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  25. Great points for all of us! We have a large family and our married children have heard a similar list from us.

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    1. Thanks Sherryl! Glad to hear even though we're somewhat 'newly' married still, that we're in good company :)

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  26. Excellent post (and really great pictures!!). This handful of advice is potent and powerful! Thank you for seeking to encourage and inspire people to invest in their marriages! And thank you for linking up with me last week at Walking Redeemed!

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    1. Thanks Kasey for your encouragement! I am praying that each post will speak to whomever it needs to :)

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