46 Years Married – Their Advice

Today is my parents’ 46th wedding anniversary!

Marriage advice and tips from my parents on their 46th Wedding Anniversary! And how their "secrets" are exactly the opposite of ABC's The Bachelorette's most recent Instagram post. #love #marriage #relationships #faith #catholic #bachelor #jesus #god #family #parenting

Forty six years. What a beautiful thing to celebrate and aspire to (one day).

Marriage advice and tips from my parents on their 46th Wedding Anniversary! And how their "secrets" are exactly the opposite of ABC's The Bachelorette's most recent Instagram post. #love #marriage #relationships #faith #catholic #bachelor #jesus #god #family #parenting

I wanted to do some sort of post tonight to honor them and their love, so in true Caralyn fashion, I decided to brainstorm ideas…while scrolling Instagram.

And what do I open up to first? But a glamor shot of the current Bachelorette in a wedding dress, looking daringly at the camera, with the caption, “Marry yourself first.”

Marriage advice and tips from my parents on their 46th Wedding Anniversary! And how their "secrets" are exactly the opposite of ABC's The Bachelorette's most recent Instagram post. #love #marriage #relationships #faith #catholic #bachelor #jesus #god #family #parenting

I read that, and my initial gut reaction was, “Wow. That’s an absolutely terrible perspective to have about the sacrament of marriage.”

But then, I’m not surprised, given that this Bachelorette – Katie – is known as [PLEASE EXCUSE THE VULGARITY!!] “The-Girl-Who-Brought-The-Vibrator-On-Night-One.” And yes, you read that correctly. Her “limo entrance” – (where she meets the Bachelor for the first time) – was presenting him with that.

Marriage advice and tips from my parents on their 46th Wedding Anniversary! And how their "secrets" are exactly the opposite of ABC's The Bachelorette's most recent Instagram post. #love #marriage #relationships #faith #catholic #bachelor #jesus #god #family #parenting

Wow. What a gal to crown as America’s “sweetheart”…

And all of the promotional material for this season has just been milking that, with puns like…”See what all the BUZZ is about!And “Good VIBES only.” Pathetic. So yeah…I’m not watching Katie’s season. Which, coming from someone who had never missed a Bachelor/Bachelorette episode in…eleven years…I just couldn’t support the show anymore, not just for elevating that filth, but also after the way they ousted Chris Harrison during that whole scandal…I just can’t give them my viewership anymore.

But I digress.

“Marry yourself first.”

This is just so contrary to, not only my parents’ beautiful example I’ve been blessed to witness my entire life, but also everything they’ve taught me about marriage.

Marriage advice and tips from my parents on their 46th Wedding Anniversary! And how their "secrets" are exactly the opposite of ABC's The Bachelorette's most recent Instagram post. #love #marriage #relationships #faith #catholic #bachelor #jesus #god #family #parenting

And so I sent them Katie’s post, and asked them what they thought.

I was keen to see what their reaction was, because clearly, they’ve found the secret sauce to a healthy marriage.

My mother’s initial reaction was, “Wow. Selfishness in a marriage is a one way ticket to disaster.”

Amen to that.

Now, I can maaaaybe see what Katie was trying to communicate with this — kind of like the whole, “love yourself first” concept that you can’t give from an empty cup. Which, true. Granted, your love for yourself should be a direct result of Christ’s love for you, but that’s something that mainstream culture just doesn’t understand. But marrying yourself first? — that’s a whole different beast.

Marriage advice and tips from my parents on their 46th Wedding Anniversary! And how their "secrets" are exactly the opposite of ABC's The Bachelorette's most recent Instagram post. #love #marriage #relationships #faith #catholic #bachelor #jesus #god #family #parenting

My mother so beautifully sums up the truth:

“You grow together as one.”

And isn’t that the truth.

Over the years, my parents have taught me a lot about marriage, and two of my mom’s best tips:

  1. If you go into a marriage thinking about what you’re going to *get* out of it, you’re going to end up unhappy and dissatisfied. It’s not what you get out of it, it’s what you *give.*
  2. A Christ-centered marriage is the key to a long and happy marriage.

And it’s no surprise, that both of these are completely contrary to “Marry yourself first.”

But I think my mom’s advice is so beautiful. And so true. So I’d like to offer an alternative caption for Katie’s Instagram post:

In marriage, no one is first: you’re a team, and Christ is the coach.

When I called my mom this morning to talk about this, she said – “Care, you want to see your father ‘walking the talk?’ He woke up extra early this morning to go to the store to get me the ingredient I forgot for the meal I’m cooking for a sick friend. He knew I needed to make the dish this morning, so he took it upon himself to help me out.

My father, ladies and gentlemen.

It’s little things like this that I witnessed every day: little acts of service that demonstrated that they were on a team, and putting the other first.

And my dad’s top marriage tips?

  1. Physical affection matters.
  2. Listening – especially active listening where you seek to understand – matters/Open communication
  3. Compromise is essential so each person feels shared ownership in the marriage
  4. If you’re thinking nice things about your wife, say them to her.
Marriage advice and tips from my parents on their 46th Wedding Anniversary! And how their "secrets" are exactly the opposite of ABC's The Bachelorette's most recent Instagram post. #love #marriage #relationships #faith #catholic #bachelor #jesus #god #family #parenting

I mean, wow. Truth bombs right there, am I right?

Obviously, I am not married yet, so I do not know, nor have I experienced the ups and downs that come with every relationship. And I’m not naive enough to believe that it’s a walk in the park, all the time, every day.

But I pray that one day I can have the same beautiful love my parents have. That is my heart’s deepest desire.

Which leads me to my question….

What is the best marriage advice you’ve ever received, or have experienced first hand?

I would love to know!

Mom and dad, happy 46th wedding anniversary! I love you! I love your love! And I love the family you’ve created!

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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88 thoughts on “46 Years Married – Their Advice

    1. Thank you Kenneth!! I appreciate that and will surely pass along your kind sentiments!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  1. Caralyn, I really enjoyed reading this! God bless your parents and family. I can’t talk about marriage tips though since I’ve been through 3 divorces and will not marry again. I think that the selfishness had at least something to do with the divorces, shared by both parties. Be well! ❤️

    1. Thank you so much John! I’m so glad you enjoyed the piece! I’m sorry you’ve had to walk that journey. Praying for you that love enters your life again in one way or another 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  2. Thanks for the very meaningful post. Your parents rock! Tell them that and wish them many more blessed years to come, happy anniversary!!

    1. Thank you Ivan! Haha I would have to agree – they rock! And I certainly will pass that along! (My mom reads every comment of every post! She’s my biggest supporter!!! And my dad always proof reads my articles hahah)

      1. Well if it ain’t the VonBlog family 😅👏👏 Pleasure to be meeting the entire crew. Keep up the awesome work and may the good Lord grant you abundant grace, wisdom and many more years to come.

  3. I’ve been married for 5 years now, and my main tip is not to go to bed angry at your spouse. This was actually my husband’s advice, but he’s right. It’s important to vent about any frustrations you have with your husband before you go to bed. Praying with your spouse at bedtime helps too.

    Wish your parents a happy anniversary from me! 🥳🥂

  4. Happy Wife, Happy Life. It took me several of our 51 years together for me to figure that out! “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it…” Congrats to your parents!

  5. Such a sweet post!
    My advice is to have God in the center of the marriage. Couples are more secure in their relationship with communication and trust. Too many couples avoid, disengage, and marriage falls apart.
    Pray together, stay together. 😊

  6. My friend’s parents had been married over 30 years when I asked them the secret to a happy marriage. The wife said, “Never go for blood.” I took that to mean married people should never intentionally hurt one another. Great post, Caralyn. Happy Anniversary to your mom and dad!

  7. Psalm 72:25-26 is the best ever. “25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And on earth I desire no one besides You. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.…”

    Replace My with your beloved’s name. We realized when we were 19 years old that if we tried to get something out of the other which they were never intended to give, we would end up hating one another. As Pascal once said, “that infinite abyss (our needs for happiness) can be filled only by something infinite and immutable, that is to say only by God himself.” It really freed us up to actually enjoy each other as gifts to one another, instead of trying to control and manipulate the other to gain something they could not give, nor were they intended to do so. Hope that helps!!! Oh….27 years of marriage!

    1. Thank you for sharing this verse! It is so beautiful! And wow – enjoy one another as gifts! How beautiful!! Yes! we are each a creation of God, and a beautiful Union allows the other person to live that out in the unique way they were designed to! I love your perspective. And congrats on 27 years!! Hugs and love xox

  8. My congratulations to your parents on their anniversary….and to the wisdom that they have bestowed upon their daughter. My husband and I have been married for 44 years with 45 years in January. We have equated marriage to being in a boat together. Sometimes one of us may be rowing more than the other through health issues or dark times, but we are BOTH always IN the boat. We also read the Bible and BIble study every morning together at breakfast to start our day and end the day with a kiss and an I love you.

  9. Happy Anniversary to your parents! That is excellent advice. The best advice I’ve received and experienced first hand is definitely to keep Jesus the center of my marriage. After 20 years with my wife, it is Jesus who has kept us strong in love. God bless!

  10. Love this!! How beautiful are those who God entrusted your care to! Happy Anniversary to them! Praise God for their devotion to God and each other! Love you as always, beautiful friend. Hugs! XO😀❤

  11. My parents, grandparents, and in-laws were all in the 50+ years of married life…great examples, like yours. My own personal advice, derived from them? LIFELONG COMMITMENT. When Mark and I recently played the “Newlywed Game” (after 30 years of marriage), I don’t remember the question but we both came up with the exact same answer: “I would never leave you.” That kind of confidence in each other, based on keeping Jesus Christ at the center of our relationship, is what helps a marriage stay loving and strong over the years, despite the storms. GREAT BLOG from your parents and you!! Amen!! P.S. I just referenced your Olympic blog in my own blog today! 🙂 https://lightbournecreative.com/2021/08/02/the-privileged-life-running-the-race-like-an-olympian/

  12. Your dad, running out early to help out reminded me of my own dad. He likes to check on my mom’s car to make sure the oil is topped up and the tires are appropriate to the season (we do winter tires here). He regularly fills the tank for her. Love is a verb.

  13. Beautiful truths about what a Godly marriage truly consists of. I would say both knowing their God given purpose, and honoring the sacrament of marriage-the latter is the bomb. 🙏😇

  14. Happy anniversary to your mum and dad. What a wonderful advice on marriage, thank you. Blessings to both and long and continued happy marriage. In the Name of Jesus, amen.
    It is so magical to hear stories of people walking together hand in hand through the storm, the sun and wind and never letting go and above all Jesus at the centre.
    Some say don’t go to bed angry and I love all the points of what your dad said. Always good to hear a man’s perspective to marriage.
    Blessings, xoxo

  15. Happy anniversary to your parents! 46 years is definitely nothing to sneeze at! Can I just say, though, that I LOVE that your mother was asking for your thoughts when you first texted them the Bachelorette’s post! Like she wanted your perspective as well in one of life’s teachable moments! Such a cute mom moment 💜 And as for best marriage advice, mine comes from a single’s perspective: We all know arguments are gonna happen, so find someone you can work through those arguments in a constructive manner – not in a resentful one… (this ends my comment section TED Talk 😄)

  16. Speaking as a “rookie” 43 years married, one of the most helpful bits of advice we’ve received is “Assume your mate is well-intentioned.” We all goof up, say the wrong thing, respond from fatigue or stress… but when my Mr. Wonderful does that, it helps to remember this is not his evil plan to bring me down. He’s just… human. A human who loves me. And I’m grateful.
    Congratulations to your folks!!

  17. I’m approaching 31 years of marriage. At 18 years I was ready to get divorced. A co worker told me to go see Fireproof with my husband before I moved out. We both agreed to do the love date. My counselor said to do it a second time (it is 40 days long. You know the significance of this) and we did. It was a game changer for us. If you haven’t heard of fireproof look it up. Although the acting is shaking the storyline is solid.

  18. From someone who has also been married 46 years, and almost six months, your parents have given you a great example and great thoughts about marriage. My wife asked as I took a detour to get her to dialysis this morning whether I find it tiring. I simply said that it is what it is. She has sacrificed so much for me, it is my turn to care for her.

  19. Beautiful, beautiful tribute to your parents.
    Best marital advice, you ask? Well, after 24 years I would say:
    1. Honor God in your life and in that, honor His design for marriage. VERY unpopular, but wives submit to your husbands (with obvious exceptions). Husbands, love your wives the way Christ loves the church and gave Himself for her. When your spouse is wrong, and can’t see it, pray for God to convict their heart.
    2. Marriage will test your capacity to forgive. When deep offense or betrayal comes, go to God for the ability to forgive- you’ll need it!
    3. Never forget that God said, “I hate divorce”. Unless you’re in emotional/physical abuse, trust God, He wants your marriage to work and honor Him. He can revive lost love.
    4. Pray together
    5. Hold hands, walk arm in arm. Don’t get in rut with electronics when together.
    Hope I didn’t say too much! Congrats to your beautiful patents Carolyn! 🎊

  20. I was, figuratively, married to myself for much of my life. I don’t recommend it. It’s a very lonely existence. I married Debra over 18 years ago and she’s the greatest blessing this side of heaven.
    Congratulations to your folks. Mine were married for over 60 years.

  21. When parents brag on their child, it is expected, but when a child brags on their parents it is unexpected and so refreshing! You have blessed them and me as a reader.
    Marcy

  22. Your title really grabbed me because on August 2, my husband and I celebrated 46 years of marriage. How’s that for a coincidence! I love that you have had the fine example of a Christ-centered marriage displayed for you by your parents. That’s a gift! My husband and I both were saved before our marriage, but it was really year three that we began to understand what it means to have Christ in the center. Somewhere between marrying young (I was 19) and our not having any real teaching about marriage, we thought we’d just float on through. I pictured myself being like June Cleaver. Well, when your young and newlywed, there isn’t money for pearls. I am so thankful to God for his grace and for bringing us into a Bible-teaching church early in our marriage. The old saying that if you are both looking to Christ, you will get closer to each other as you seek him is true. Also, remember to always think the best of each other’s motivation for doing whatever just made you a little crazy! Being easily offended is a luxury your marriage can’t afford.

  23. Happy anniversary to your parents. It gives me so much hope every time I see couples that endured for so long together. That, that is love. True love.

    As a newlywed😂😂 please let me explain, we got married when I was 22, now I’m 25, so in my head, I’m still a newlywed…or maybe time has passed so fast. The 2 years I’ve experience in marriage, it’s beautiful. Onto year 3, and I’ll do this over and over again.

    And it’s contrary to what mainstream media put it out to be. Divorce has become a trend. Wedding vows are no longer respected. Wives are not submissive and men are not leading, a result to a broken home. From the onset of marriage, divorce shouldn’t be an option. Going in marriage with a mindset to get out is a really a recipe for disaster.

    Marriage is made a contract, while it’s indeed a covenant. Marriage has been replaced with fancy weddings. It’s all about that these days. Couples spend so much time planning a wedding, forgetting to plan and prepare for marriage.

    Clearly, nothing comes without challenges. You’ll love, you’ll cry and you’ll laugh and you’ll love again. Marriage is about choosing each other over and over again. Marriage is about selflessness. Marriage is not a give or take. Marriage is love. Marriage is trust. Jesus must be at the center of every marriage, for it to be successful. It rarely about you and what you can get out, but it’s really about what you are giving. Selflessness. Putting others first. Only through him we can be all these things. Marriage is all these things and so much more.

    1. Congrats on three years! that is so wonderful! and gosh, thank you for this incredible advice. you’re right – it’s a covenant. and wow i love that : choosing each other over and over. this really touched my heart! thank you!!! Hugs and love xox

  24. For me shows like Bachelor/Bachelorette and Love Island are jsut taking something beautiful and natural like LOVE and trying to make a prodeuct out of it. The people on these shows are just looking for there few months of fame.

    11 seasons…lol To keep people interesting they need to kept adding the shock value. Sadly all shows like this do is make young people think that sex is love, which couldnt be further from the truth.

    Love your Mothers comment, “You grow together as one.” I dont think people are willing to make the sarafice any more, that is why the divorce rate is so high. One argument and its over, so sad.

    Great thought provoking post as usual. All the best to your Mum and Dad. 🙂

  25. Congratulations to your parents, Caralyn! I’ve always said that romance stories where two people fall in love and one is tragically taken away right after they meet (like the old movie, “An Affair to Remember”) don’t impress me at all. While they may pull on our heart strings, anybody can do well in a relationship for a short time, especially during the infatuation stage of the relationship. What impresses me is is when two people stay together for decades, and they still love one another. Those are my heroes!

    Okay, here goes the firehose! 🙂

    My wife and I have been married for 41 years. My advice is that love is other-centered and self-giving. But it’s not, “You matter and I don’t.” No, it’s that we both matter. We’ve not to argue to prove we are right, but we seek to understand the other. And my spouse in not my “happy manager” or my mommy. We both can tell ourselves what to do. We act responsibly, no matter how the other responds. We can only change ourselves.

    To quote Danny Silk, we both come into the relationship as powerful people who, in a sense, don’t need each other, but we both have chosen to give of ourselves for the other. And result of that self-giving is a love that never fails! As Nicolas Cage’s character learned in the movie, The Family Man, “I choose us.”

    I am my wife’s safe place, and she is mine. We protect our connection and strive to reconnect when issues have separated us. In a relationship, you will either play TAG or have intimacy. There is no other option. Tag is the blame game, making sure we’re not “it.” There is no “us” in Tag; intimacy is “in-me-see.” It requires vulnerabiity and trust. Will you love me for who I am, even knowing the worst things about me? Or, is your love conditional? And when you’ve lived with someone for longer than you lived any other way, you WILL see everything about your spouse! The good, bad, and the ugly! So, we must become each other’s “safe place.” We don’t use the other’s weaknesses against them when we’re angry, or to control or manipulate, or tear the other down with others if we’re having issues. My wife knows my deepest secrets and she knows mine, but they are safely kept in the vault our hearts. That’s what keeps the love on! And that’s what I mean by other-centered, self-giving love.

    Your parents obviously have learned those important lessons. That is such a blessing, not only for them, but for your family and everyone who knows them!

  26. Congrats to your wonderful parents. Anita and I are headed for our 32nd this month!
    Facts are facts whether anyone believes them or not. The Bible states “no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it,” a far cry from today’s culture that thinks we have to ‘learn to love’ ourselves. The art of loving is to learn to “love your neighbor AS YOU LOVE yourself.”
    The best advice I ever heard was that “Any marriage based on a 50/50 agreement is headed for disaster. The contract WILL break down at some point. Marriage must be 100/100. Each, both husband and wife, must be 100% committed to making the marriage work, even if the other partner bails.”
    And Bonhoeffer’s advice from a Nazi cell to a young bride, ““It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.”
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

  27. Ok so I’ve only been married six months so I definitely consider myself the newbie on this topic lol. But a great piece of advice that came my way was that “Happy Wife, Happy Life” is totally unbiblical! Sometimes us girls are wrong and the most loving thing any spouse can do is point us to Christ, not try to make us happy!
    Also, I have a really bad habit of not letting people please me. I remember taking a walk one day with my best friend a couple months after my husband and I had been married and she outright asked me, “Will you let him bring you joy?” That small statement shook me to my roots. I realized that I was too focused on some difficult circumstances in our life and I was not focusing on the amount of joy that my husband truly brought to me. Somehow it didn’t seem right. BUT IT IS! He is a gift from the Lord! And I’m so so thankful for him!

    1. happy wife, happy life! that’s a good one! thank you Kimmy! and congrats on your marriage! that’s so great! and wow i love that – let him bring you joy. that really hit home with me 🙂 so glad you’ve found such a great man! Hugs and love xox

  28. Beautiful encouragement! Your parents have blessed you more than you or they can possibly know this side of heaven. I’m thankful to learn about them and their truly great marriage because these are so very rare, even in the church.

    Back in college, I heard some of the best marriage advice ever from the mother of my roommate, who told her, “If there is anything wrong with him, don’t marry him.” That helped me early on to avoid what would likely have been a destructive marriage from the very beginning. At the moment, I was dating a very angry young man who put his untamed temper on public display early on. Understanding that this kid’s anger mattered more to him than our relationship, I was able to break things off before we made it to the altar, though a dress and a ring did have to be returned. It’s a decision I have never regretted. Because of his anger problem, I pray daily to never run into him this side of heaven. However, I do hope and pray to see him in heaven, and when he comes to mind, I pray for him and for the family I hope he has been able to build.

    The second great encouragement that I have clung to over the years is a phrase from my favorite aunt: “BEING the right person is more important than CHOOSING the right person.” Once my choice had been made, I have meditated often on this advice, as well as her directive to remember that “Charity BEGINS at home.”

    My husband and I have been married for 31 years. I’d like to tell you they’ve all been great. But the truth is my own selfishness has often tripped us up. Through reading as much as I can about how to draw close to God and how to build a good marriage, and undergirded by the prayers of many friends and family members, my husband and I have persevered through the hard times. As we draw increasingly close to Jesus, we are growing in compassion for each other, and in commitment to God and each other. Gary Thomas’s blog and books have been especially helpful, as well.

    One of the reasons we have been able to stay married is that in hearing my problems, my dad always took my husband’s side, admonishing me to remember what a huge burden my husband took on in building and supporting a family. If my parents had said even once the words that a friend’s parents said to her (“Divorce him!”), I would have left at the first sign of disappointment. I have always appreciated my parents’ encouragement to look for the good and appreciate what I had.

    For the unmarried, I’d like to say, “Build a solid friendship with someone you admire and respect. Romantic feelings often follow this first foundation. But being married to someone you have chemistry with, but you can’t respect, grows old in a hurry!” To the married, I would say, “Do all in your power to honor the commitment you have made before God and the world. Protect your spouse and your marriage from everything that would encroach upon them, and beware that many of the things that can undermine a marriage are often very subtle.” Trust Jesus for the rest.

    Praying for you to build a truly heavenly marriage,

    “Gwennon”

    Ephesians 3:14-21

  29. Love this post and love your parents’ advice! What I’m learning in my marriage is to selflessly and joyfully serve my spouse, whether or not I think he “deserves” it, because ultimately I am serving Christ in my service to others. Also, it’s not my job to change my husband. I am free to love him the way he is, to pray for him in the areas where I desire to see change, and then trust the Holy Spirit to work according to His will. These two things have lead to a lot more peace and a lot less resentment in my marriage 🙂

  30. If your vertical relationship with God individually, is right, then your horizontal relationship between the husband will be working as God intended. Think of it as a beautiful perfect triangle. The only God blessed love triangle. ♥️

  31. I’d say, be married to Jesus first. Each spouse is the bride of Christ, chasing that relationship. Someone showed me a diagram at the beginning of my marriage, almost 30 years ago. It was a triangle. Jesus is at the top pinnacle, the husband and wife are at the bottom two, one at each corner. As they each move closer to Christ, they get closer to each other. My husband and I are still getting to know each other (and ourselves) as each new nearness to Jesus reveals new layers of what is in our hearts. 💗

    1. Oh my gosh CONGRATS! That’s so beautiful. So happy for you, Beth! Hugs and love xox

  32. Congratulations to your parents. It’s no small task. I think all the advice you’ve gotten is wonderful. I know we’ve been helped in our marriage because of the time we put in even before getting married in talking, writing each other, and really getting to know the other person: What makes them tick, their loves, frustrations, what drives them. We went beyond just the love of the moment, to finding a love of a lifetime. When I get frustrated or we run into a tough moment, I pray and remember that time. I remember the woman I married and remind myself to put her and our marriage first and trust that God will help us through that particular moment. So far, it’s worked . . . in good times and challenging ones. Happy Anniversary to your parents. I’m sure they are touched by your blog.

    1. Thank you so much Brian! What kind words. And wow how beautiful – you’re right – that getting to know one another is such a beautiful part of a relationship! Hugs and love xox

  33. We are going on 17 years married with a total of 30 years together ❤ Growing together in Jesus is the biggest success for our marriage. Beautiful post and congratulations to your parents.

  34. On the night before our wedding day (34years now), momma said, Just don’t start any family fueds. And happy to say I haven’t. lol but deep down what she was saying was ‘to isten’. Mom’s know best! 🙂 Congrats to your parents!

    1. Oh wow that’s great advice!! Moms really do know best! Thanks for sharing that! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much friend! oh my gosh congratulations! that is so exciting! will be keeping you and your future spouse in my prayers! Hugs and love xox

  35. I am late to this anniversary party, but want to offer my congratulations to your parents. My bride and I are at 31 years in, so we have a ways to go before we hit their milestone.

    You asked for advice, so here is one bit. Neither my wife nor I grew up in a home with a good marriage, so we both had a lot of work to do in order to overcome the negative examples we had experienced. For me, I needed to learn that my wife a) was not like me and b) that nothing said she was supposed to be like me. She and I approach things differently and react to things differently, and that is not just OK, but good. We have learned to appreciate each others’ unique strengths.

    OK, two. When we are upset at each other, we try to never start a sentence with “You . . . ” That invites accusations and defensiveness, which are destructive. Fair territory (or fighting fair) is to start with “When you do X, I feel . . . ” Feelings are neither right nor wrong and whether you think your spouse should or should not feel a certain way doesn’t matter. Feelings of hurt, anger, inadequacy, loneliness happen in a relationship and it is best to share them by communication than to act them out, which can be very destructive.

  36. We were just going into our 48th year together when she died . We are still One together.and that is the advise I give: respect each others privacy but strive to become One together. Patricia and I were lucky enough to discover that quiet, intense love that is basic to life itself – that God is Love! We had the eyes to see and the words to tell the truths that are most real to each other. Not really advise but a way to live as ONE – God and us!

    1. Thank you for sharing that. Wow, what Beautiful advice. What powerful and inspiring love 💛 Hugs and love xox

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