Monday, October 19, 2009

Words of Wisdom

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A few weeks ago I met B at the Laguna Hills Civic Center (which is beautiful by the way- and had no lines- all you OC'ers I'll never go back to the Santa Ana Civic Center and neither should you).


The sky was blue, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping and I got a rush of excitement. We were there to get our marriage license!

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We had filled out the forms online and made our appointment so we just walked right in with not a person in line. We checked and double checked the forms and signed our names.


We raised our right hands and said... I can't remember what we said... but it was all very official. We were in and out in less than 10 minutes. I stood outside in the sun just looking at the offical document.


It seems like each day there is a new reality that we are getting married. I have a sort of nervous excitement growing inside of me. When we got engaged it seemed like we had so much time and now here we are with the wedding around the corner. I cannot wait.

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I'd asked Mrs. E to share with me some advice about having a long happy marriage and I love her responses. Now its your turn.

What are your words of wisdom in surviving a marriage? Did I say surviving? I meant thriving... a marriage that thrives.

20 comments:

  1. I haven't been married all that long (8 years this past July) but I like to put in my two cents, and you asked!

    I think it's important to realize from the beginning that "growing apart" is a choice - it's something you and your spouse let happen. And I can see how it happens easily: you both could have jobs and friends and maybe kids and everyone is going different directions, and it is fine (and important) for each of you to have pieces of your lives that kind of remain your own. And in ten years, neither of you is going to be the same person you were when you met, and your relationship is not going to be the same either. So you have to make it a point to keep "getting to know" your spouse through your whole marriage. THIS IS NOT A CHORE. This is an excuse to extend the fun dating stage indefinitely. Even when life isn't perfect, or money is tight, or the kids break something valuable, or the dog pees all over the house, or the roof is leaking, or jobs are stressful, whatever. Allow yourselves time to do things that have nothing to do with the practicalities of living. You're not marrying a business partner - you're marrying your love!!

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  2. I haven't been married long either (3.5 years) but what Amber said is right on.

    In my marriage, the most important part of thriving (AND surviving!) has been our faith and trust in God. The Bible says a cord of three strands is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12), and that is the truth if I've ever read it with my own two eyes. When the gale force winds of life come blowing in (because they surely do...) you have to have a cord that you know will never fray, even in the slightest. For our marriage, Christ as our foundation and "third cord" has been what's held us together in the midst of many a raging storm.

    Lastly- don't ever stop having fun. It's not hard. What made me laugh 4 years ago still makes me laugh today. I'll let you know if that changes at the 5 year mark...ha! :)

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  3. Oh yes, well being an old married woman of nearly 14 years, I have scads of advice. But it all boils down to this:

    Are you ready for this?

    Get our a pen and paper. You'll want to write this down and never forget it because it could literally save your marriage.

    Let him open a tough jar for you every now and then.

    I know. It sounds so archaic and simple. But trust me, men... they love this sort of thing.

    And of course, let him be your best friend, don't keep secrets, laugh often, play together, give him respect even when he doesn't deserve it, never talk about him in a bad light to others, don't stop being nice to each other, and get naked while you fight. (I'm sorry, I try to stop myself, but I just cant...)

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  4. OK, I see I am the old lady of the comments so far. We have been married 26 years and raised two wonderful children (19 and 22).

    To me the most important thing has been making time for each other as a couple. When our kids were little about 1 and 4 we decided we were not having any alone time. So to remedy this we have had a date night. Every Thursday evening for the past 18 years Mark fixes dinner, we have wine and we spend the evening together (no tv). We were living in a small community so eating out was not a romantic option and we did not find it easy to regularly find a sitter for the kids. So our solution was to switch rolls a bit. The kids were put to bed, Mark cooked (including planning, shopping, prep and cleanup) I had to dress for dinner which included heels. It made the evening feel special even though we were in our home and we both put effort into making the evening special. By doing this we would remember why we were attracted to each other and keep things on track. It is easy to let life get in the way but do your best to make time for each other. On a side note even when the kids were teens and were up later than we were they knew on Thursday night they had to go to their rooms so we could have our time.

    I wish you and B the best!!!! Love and Marriage are grand!

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  5. Well alas, my marriage didn't last, but that's because I wasn't honest with myself about it... or my ex-husband. So far I think you're winning at that part, you and B are obviously fully honest with each other. I mean, you can unabashedly eat a turkey leg like it's going to run away from you in front of him - and you let him take pictures of you doing that very thing.

    You guys are permanent.

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  6. Seein' as I'm going to be getting married this Sunday, I will have to get back with you on that question. LOL

    Every moment is precious....including the trip to the civic center. Good thinking in taking pictures.

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  7. Wow, all the advice you have gotten is fantastic. People can and do grow apart. Know this that marriage is not always easy. Early on we decided that divorce was not an option. We do not throw that idle threat around if we argue, and sometimes we do as all married couples have conflict. Commit to working it out! Men need respect also for you to look pretty, remember this when kids come along. It's not always easy when you are tired but it's important. Have fun and treasure each day and continual courtship needs to be a high priority. I wish you many happy years of married bliss, we are several weeks away from our 7 year anniversary!

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  8. I'd say going in knowing there is no out! When I said my vows I meant every word. Divorce just has never crossed our minds and in 17 years of marriage that is something to be very proud of. That said...it's not always easy, but if you really love each other and treat one another with respect there isn't anything you can't work out. I'm so excited for you. I can feel your excitement right through the monitor. Only 46 days left:)

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  9. After 30+ years, you'd think I would have some wonderful nuggets of wisdom? All I can think of right now is... be there through thick and thin. "Just be there." How simple, but so important. -Tammy

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  10. One of the most important things we were told when we got married was that no matter what we (as a couple) come first. Even above children. They grow up and move away, you'll always have each other.
    They also gave us the idea of a monthaversity. We got married on Aug. 1st. So the 1st of every month we have a date night. It makes it so that no matter how busy we get we make that time for ourselves without excuses. Now with children and a handful of jobs between us we look forward to these nights all month.

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  11. I'll say what I said on our 37th anniversary ...
    I don't know about others, I can only speak for us ...

    1. Respect
    When in an argument, and there will be arguments, we've always been careful of our words. ... No name calling, or anything else that could cause deep hurt. Once words are out there, they can never be erased.

    2. Play
    We've always liked to play ... not regular games per se, but just a million little games like tag, or last word, or who can sing the most lyrics of Christmas songs, etc.

    3. Touch
    I am a touchy-feely kind of girl. Most of the time when we pass by each other in the course of the day, we acknowledge each other in some way.... We give a booty pat or we have this weird thing that we do ... we give each other a quick little cluck cluck sound. (Whooo -- that sounds weird!)

    4. Laugh and laugh and laugh!

    5. We were aware that there will be hills and valleys ... Some days you will be so in love that you feel as if you'll burst. Other days you question yourself on why you married the man.

    6. Commitment. Knowing that we were in it for the long haul made us work out our problems.

    I'm so happy for you, Dandy! Can't believe that your wedding is 46 days away!

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  12. I have been married 18 years and I have to say that my husband and I are friends. Best friends! We laugh every day and we know our places in our marriage. I am totally the 50's wife and he is head of the household. He is the King and I am his Queen. I think marriage is easy. Everyone says that it is work but I don't think so. (I was married before and I thought everyone was unhappy in marriage) LOL Then I found the right man. Best wishes to you!

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  13. I'm not married, so I probably shouldn't comment, but I will say what I have learned from my mom and stepdad (happily married for almost 20 years). Communication, and not going to bed angry are two big things, and I follow both in my relationship.
    Also, making time for each other, and reminding each other of why you fell in love. Just little things like that. And like Melanie said, laughing. That's the key to any good relationship isn't it? How exciting to be "official"!

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  14. I have enjoyed each and every one of your comments and have read them several times... and I will keep coming back to them I am sure.

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  15. You could start a book with this great advice! (And may I say that may be the most awesome place I have ever seen to get a marriage license!! Beautiful!)

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  16. One of the best pieces advice I can tell you is that to always respect each other...no matter what. Men also feel adequate if they feel you respect them, and us women feel adequate by feeling loved. Yes,there will be trials. No marriage is perfect. And there are times where it's better to say nothing at all. There's a proverb that says a gentle answer turns away wrath.

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  17. Sounds so exciting...as for advice...hmmm, well I probably shouldn't give any considering my track record so let's just leave it at...choose your battles, don't sweat the small stuff and leave little love notes here and there....I'm tapped out, how sad! love my cd, thank you again missy! xo

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  18. Breathe deeply.
    Give space, take the time to think before you speak, especially if you're upset.
    Keep holding hands.
    Start at the beginning praying together, for if you don't it's harder to do later. (Maybe you already do this?)
    Don't try to guess what the other person wants you to do/say...assume they want you to be honest and hope they are being honest too.
    Two people becoming/being one flesh is at least confusing at times and could be considered a real impossibility at others...for sure, laugh together, and remember that the things that you have to work for are often the most worth it.
    You guys seem to have a pretty solid foundation on which you are beginning to build...it's fun to be a part of it. Thanks for having me (us)!

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  19. Me and John laugh alot, we laugh so dang hard...and we try teenage pickup lines to hit on eachother...

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