Today marks 8 years of marriage (to each other) for Dixie and I. It’s kind of a bittersweet day: our anniversary, Dixie’s granny’s funeral. We got married in the same church as where Granny’s funeral will be held. 20 years ago this year, when Dixie was 9 years old, Granny gave Dixie a journal of pictures and memories. In that journal, Granny said that one day she would see Dixie walk down the aisle. Dixie always remembered that line, worried that maybe Granny would never see that day. But she did. Dixie remembered those words as she walked down the aisle. She looked at Granny as she passed her by; Granny winked.
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I know 8 years is not all that long as these things go—Granny and Grandpa were married 67 years!—so this might be premature, but I feel it incumbent upon me to share some wisdom for a lasting marriage. At least, a marriage that lasts 8 years and counting. (And it’s not my intention to put a damper on the bittersweetness that pervades this day.)
In no particular order:
1. Assume there is no such thing as an irreconcilable difference. How many times have you heard this: “Star A and Star B cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for their divorce”? It’s a catch-all cop-out. I realize that there are legitimate grounds for divorce, but we shouldn’t look for them. Divorce shouldn’t be an option going into marriage. Assume your marriage will be life-long and work at it being so.
2. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. And so on. (It is my understanding that healing is possible even in a marriage where the worst has happened.)
3. Be patient. Especially if your spouse is slow or reluctant to forgive.
4. Say, “I love you” daily. Multiple times, if you like. It doesn’t get old.
5. Laugh. Joke around. Tease each other. Allow yourself to be made fun of. Give each other nicknames. Try to find common interests—watch movies together. Have a regular TV night to watch a particular show you both like together.
6. Be affectionate. Hug, kiss, snuggle, spoon, hold hands, etc. (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more)
7. That old saying, “Don’t go to sleep angry”? Rubbish. Go to sleep angry. In the morning you’re likely to feel much better and, in fact, a little silly for being so angry in the first place.
8. Open up to each other: share your feelings, dreams, loves, joys, passions, fears, struggles, mistakes, failures. (And see numbers 2 and 3 above.)
I’m sure there are more—I should probably ask Grandpa—but there you have it as I see it after 8 years.