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What are some of the best part about marriages that have laste 35+ years?

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My wife and I have been married going on 38 years. Her parents were married for over 35 years, and my mothers second marriage lasted 35 years. My late sister was married for 35 years, and another sister has been married just at 35 years. Nobody else outside of my great aunts and uncles and grandparents have had marriages that long. Some were very spiritually oriented, and those marriages seemed to thrive, whereas the ones who had left God on the sidelines, or left him out altogether have floundered off and on. 

What makes a marriage special? What Scriptural advice would you pass along to people who have been married a long while who seem to drift apart? I've counselled many people, and it's truly heartbreaking to see some of these salvagable marriages on the rocks.

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According to many men in my country, the recipe is having young maids around. That's what kept their marriage spicy.

Women in my country are insane, they let this happen and are boastful about it. Most if not all marriages that lasted in my country were marriages between 1 man + 1 woman + 4 or more mistresses. 

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1 hour ago, Corinne said:

According to many men in my country, the recipe is having young maids around. That's what kept their marriage spicy.

Women in my country are insane, they let this happen and are boastful about it. Most if not all marriages that lasted in my country were marriages between 1 man + 1 woman + 4 or more mistresses. 

I don't think I could handle that! One woman is enough....I can see why God made it one man, one woman. 😉 No insults intended...I like it better that way! 

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Posted (edited)

Hubby and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in April, and while we are quite short of the 35 year mark you mention, in today's society 25 years is almost unheard of. I have noticed over the years that most married couples seem to be roommates with benefits rather than what I would consider "married." The husband has his interests and the wife has hers. She goes out with friends, he goes out with friends, and don't seem to spend a lot of time together as a "couple." They have a family vacation, go out for their anniversary, but their relationship isn't a priority. Most of these couples are unchurched, but churched couples seem to only have church attendance as their common interest. As a teenager, forming ideas about relationships and dating standards, I could see that having the standard of only dating Christians or guys who attend church would NOT be enough to have a good relationship. I saw women who attended church alone because they had married unsaved men, or men who had only gone to church while they were dating and once married it was no longer a priority. There were also men who desired to be more active in the church, or even felt a call to preach who did not pursue those things because their wives did not prioritize church. I quickly realized that while being a Christian had to be the number one priority as to who I would date, secondly that guy had to have the same level of interest and commitment to church I did, and had a calling on his life that complimented the one I knew I had on mine.  Hubby and I are best friends and share a deep love of God, the Bible and ministry. We make spending time together a priority, and especially studying the Bible together.

Edited by trapperhoney
noticed i left out a very important word! lol
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We are today heading home from a trip celebrating our 35th anniversary (it was this past Monday).  We were 25 (him) and 26 (me) when we got married - it seems hard to think that we've spent over half our lives married to each other.

The number one tip I would give is to always put the Lord first. Of course, if the couple are not interested in spiritual things, that won't mean anything to them. But it is actually the most important thing. As two sinful humans, a married couple has to learn to work things out together in order to live together...without the Lord, it is nigh on impossible nowadays (I say nowadays because in the past even the lost worked to keep their marriage intact).

Second tip: spend time together, doing things you both enjoy...and if you don't like what your spouse does, grin, bear it, and learn to enjoy at least his/her enjoyment. Example: My hubs is an avid Buckeye fan (he and our son are both born-and-bred-til-they're-dead Buckeyes 😜 ). I have never cared for football...but over the years I have come to greatly enjoy the season. I enjoy watching my hubs' (and my son's) reactions to the different plays. I love teasing them about the outcome of the games (they watch it on DVR so they can skip the commercials - I get play-by-play notifications on my phone...not asked for, but I looked them up once and now I get notifications about the Bucks all year long). I enjoy choosing OH state ornaments for them for their Christmas stockings. I enjoy fixing them "tailgate" type foods for them to eat while they watch the game. And hubs likes that I have opened my horizons to enjoy what he does.

On our trip, there were some things I wanted to see. A couple of museums - which he does not typically enjoy, but enjoyed them for me this trip. We both enjoyed Ruby Beach (a Pacific Ocean beach - hubs got to touch the Pacific ocean for the first time...) and Ocean Shores beach (again, the Pacific, stretching on to what seemed infinity). The beaches (nobody was badly clad at these - they are not swimming beaches) were sites we both wanted to see.

Third tip: pray WITH and FOR each other; read the Bible together daily; find a ministry to serve together

Fourth tip: remember why you learned to love your spouse to begin with. Write down what you love about him/her. Thank God for those things. Pull memories of loving actions your spouse has done that showed the love for you. 

While you pray with and for your spouse, pray that God will work in your own life to help you grow to become the person God wants you to be and your spouse needs you to be.

Fifth tip: Read Bro. Scott's book on marriage together and discuss it. 

I know a lot more can be said...

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18 minutes ago, HappyChristian said:

Fourth tip: remember why you learned to love your spouse to begin with. Write down what you love about him/her. Thank God for those things. Pull memories of loving actions your spouse has done that showed the love for you. 

THIS!!! As I've watched friends' relationships disintegrate the common theme seems to be that they have forgotten what attracted them to each other, the fun they had dating, etc. I like to revisit the unfolding of our love story frequently to help keep from losing touch with falling in love with my husband.

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For my wife and I, our first date was going caroling through a retirement high-rise in Augusta, GA with the Southgate Baptist Church college and career class. I was engaged to someone else when I met my wife, but because of the long distance between my fiance and me, the engagement didn't last. She found someone in her home-state of Michigan, and I was put in touch with my wife through the sneakiness of my little sisters. They both worked with her at McDonalds. Vivian left to go to Pittsburgh to visit her older sister, and while she was away I became deathly ill and hospitalized with a burst appendix. She nearly came home when she found out, but my sisters convinced her that this wouldn't make me happy at all..they were correct. So, Vivian stayed in Pittsburgh until the day after New Years 1984, the same day I came home from the hospital. We have been together ever since. We were going to get married on Valentines Day, 1984, but we both had to work and we didn't get to the Justice of the Peace's office in Aiken, SC early enough to get a marriage license. Her grandmother and my parents talked us into waiting until at least the last week of April. We got married the first week of May. I had just turned 22 the day before, and Vivian was 20. 

We both worked two jobs...her at Kroger on 15th Street in Augusta, which they just tore down, and me at Handy City Hardware and Lumber. We also worked in my parent's cleaning business cleaning newly constructed homes before they were moved into. My wife cleaned on the insides, and I cleaned the windows and mirrors of the houses. We did that off and on for several years. We were together so much that at times people thought we were brother and sister. We've spent nearly every day together since we've been married.

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Since we married hubby and I have almost always been together, except for his weekend drills with the Army.  His last few years in the military he ended up in a unit where he had to go away for annual training, the first was three weeks and that was rough. Most of the time he was able to stay local and come home each evening. The last unit he was in he took me to drill with him. I sat in the lobby and crocheted until the supervisor of the survey team (who is a Christian and lay preacher) took pity on me and put me up in a corner of his department. When hubby retired I gifted him a blanket I had crocheted while camped out there, lol. Hubby takes me on the road with him when he has to work out of town, one of the main reasons is for me to navigate, but also because he doesn't want to go without me. The trips are fun, the travel gives us time to be alone and talk.

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I thought this was interesting, in light of this thread. From Shelly Hamilton earlier today.

BEST FRIENDS FOREVER
Today is crash day for me. It’s 2:00 PM and I’m still sitting on the couch in my pjs. Adam and Megan went to the studio with Ella while I stayed behind with Hamilton, for him to take a nap. I made no protests. I’ve already had two naps myself today.
Now that Hamilton is sleeping, all is quiet around me. My mind is reminiscing about Ron’s and my life together. It is a lovely thing to do.
Early on in our marriage, I remember Ron telling me that Ken Collier was his best friend. Ron and Ken worked together for many years on the Patch adventure stories. They would call each other back and forth while putting together song theme ideas, character name ideas, and story plot ideas.
Ron would drive up to The Wilds where Ken worked and lived. The two of them sat down together and collaborated all things Patch the Pirate adventure. Ron took copious notes on yellow legal pads. Ron would then come back home, sit down somewhere quietly for about a week, and write the story's first draft. Mind you—Ron wrote every story and song lyric on yellow legal pads.
After he completed this first draft, he would fax the yellow pages to Ken. After Ken read it, he would call Ron with tweaks he thought helpful. Ron would also give me this first draft and I wrote my thoughts and suggestions in the yellow margins. (You might remember the first yellow cassettes? Well, they were written on yellow paper. LOL)
After Ron thought through every critique, he would sit down and compose the story’s final draft. Every word was carefully and meticulously handwritten on those memorable yellow legal pads. (I still find extra unused pads hidden amongst his things.) The legal pad would go to his administrative assistant, Christiane Emory, and she would type it up on her computer.
Yes, Ken Collier was a best friend to Ron. Not only would they discuss Patch adventure ideas, but life problems and joys as well. If you know Ken, he is a godly and thoughtful confidant. I am so grateful for their friendship bond.
About 15 years into our marriage, Ron began telling me that I was his best friend. He told me this often. Now that he can mostly only communicate with me with his eyes and his touch, his words echo in my mind.
Sadness and happiness are a chaotic mix in my heart. Why didn’t I appreciate this wonderful medal of honor more? Why didn’t I enjoy our moments together more? Tears are flowing down my cheeks as I reminisce. All is well. No need to worry about my mental state. These remembrances are good for the soul.
What do I remember?
I remember Ron running across the Bob Jones campus between classes. I remember him singing in my dad’s vesper choir. I remember him asking me to marry him on Valentine’s Day, 1975. I remember us traveling the US in a motor home with our newborn baby, Jonathan. I remember Ron and me singing at multiple weddings and Valentine’s banquets. I remember Ron taking me to Atlanta or New York City for weekend getaways. I remember him taking each of our children on special trips—just him and them.
The status of best friend is a coveted one and should not be taken for granted. As I think upon it, how could I have been blind and ignorant of its implications? Ron was a faithful husband for certain. He was always the same gentle and sweet temperament. He was the physical rock for our family. He remembered special anniversaries, I’m ashamed to admit, more than I did.
Then why did I sometimes get upset at him for being a saver, when I wanted to spend? Why did I focus on him being stubborn, when I wanted to be flexible and impulsive? Why did I not appreciate his healthy eating habits, when I wanted to indulge in sweets?
I can’t even think of one good reason—now that he can’t save his money, can’t control where he goes, and can’t control what he eats.
My friends, be careful what you think about your close loved ones, especially your husband or wife. Focus on the reason you married them in the first place. Don’t heap coals of fire on their heads because of their faults. I am fully aware that some of you wish you had your mate to appreciate. But numerous unfortunate circumstances make this impossible.
So while you can—make your spouse your best friend. You’ll never be sorry.
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On 8/19/2021 at 9:07 PM, HappyChristian said:

I thought this was interesting, in light of this thread. From Shelly Hamilton earlier today.

BEST FRIENDS FOREVER
Today is crash day for me. It’s 2:00 PM and I’m still sitting on the couch in my pjs. Adam and Megan went to the studio with Ella while I stayed behind with Hamilton, for him to take a nap. I made no protests. I’ve already had two naps myself today.
Now that Hamilton is sleeping, all is quiet around me. My mind is reminiscing about Ron’s and my life together. It is a lovely thing to do.
Early on in our marriage, I remember Ron telling me that Ken Collier was his best friend. Ron and Ken worked together for many years on the Patch adventure stories. They would call each other back and forth while putting together song theme ideas, character name ideas, and story plot ideas.
Ron would drive up to The Wilds where Ken worked and lived. The two of them sat down together and collaborated all things Patch the Pirate adventure. Ron took copious notes on yellow legal pads. Ron would then come back home, sit down somewhere quietly for about a week, and write the story's first draft. Mind you—Ron wrote every story and song lyric on yellow legal pads.
After he completed this first draft, he would fax the yellow pages to Ken. After Ken read it, he would call Ron with tweaks he thought helpful. Ron would also give me this first draft and I wrote my thoughts and suggestions in the yellow margins. (You might remember the first yellow cassettes? Well, they were written on yellow paper. LOL)
After Ron thought through every critique, he would sit down and compose the story’s final draft. Every word was carefully and meticulously handwritten on those memorable yellow legal pads. (I still find extra unused pads hidden amongst his things.) The legal pad would go to his administrative assistant, Christiane Emory, and she would type it up on her computer.
Yes, Ken Collier was a best friend to Ron. Not only would they discuss Patch adventure ideas, but life problems and joys as well. If you know Ken, he is a godly and thoughtful confidant. I am so grateful for their friendship bond.
About 15 years into our marriage, Ron began telling me that I was his best friend. He told me this often. Now that he can mostly only communicate with me with his eyes and his touch, his words echo in my mind.
Sadness and happiness are a chaotic mix in my heart. Why didn’t I appreciate this wonderful medal of honor more? Why didn’t I enjoy our moments together more? Tears are flowing down my cheeks as I reminisce. All is well. No need to worry about my mental state. These remembrances are good for the soul.
What do I remember?
I remember Ron running across the Bob Jones campus between classes. I remember him singing in my dad’s vesper choir. I remember him asking me to marry him on Valentine’s Day, 1975. I remember us traveling the US in a motor home with our newborn baby, Jonathan. I remember Ron and me singing at multiple weddings and Valentine’s banquets. I remember Ron taking me to Atlanta or New York City for weekend getaways. I remember him taking each of our children on special trips—just him and them.
The status of best friend is a coveted one and should not be taken for granted. As I think upon it, how could I have been blind and ignorant of its implications? Ron was a faithful husband for certain. He was always the same gentle and sweet temperament. He was the physical rock for our family. He remembered special anniversaries, I’m ashamed to admit, more than I did.
Then why did I sometimes get upset at him for being a saver, when I wanted to spend? Why did I focus on him being stubborn, when I wanted to be flexible and impulsive? Why did I not appreciate his healthy eating habits, when I wanted to indulge in sweets?
I can’t even think of one good reason—now that he can’t save his money, can’t control where he goes, and can’t control what he eats.
My friends, be careful what you think about your close loved ones, especially your husband or wife. Focus on the reason you married them in the first place. Don’t heap coals of fire on their heads because of their faults. I am fully aware that some of you wish you had your mate to appreciate. But numerous unfortunate circumstances make this impossible.
So while you can—make your spouse your best friend. You’ll never be sorry.

Hi HappyChristian, My wife had a b-day recently and we have been thinking about how blessed we are to have had the Lord lead us over the years. It's wonderful... 🙂

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