As we approach Father’s day this weekend, there are tons and tons and tons of articles and posts you can read about fatherhood, being a dad, and how to parent. Yet, in my opinion, one of the most important parts of being a dad is staying married to mom.
Let’s just talk a bit about how to stay married.
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This fall Big Jon and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I know right? Who would have believed that we would make it this far? He is my very Favorite Husband and I know in the depths of my soul that I sure don’t want to trade him in. 🙂
We are NOT experts on marriage or family. We are just two people who fell in love at a fraternity party, became friends, got married and had a bunch of sons. And… have stayed married.
So I’ve put together a few tips on how we have stayed married through it all.
1. Agree to disagree.
Some of the best advice we have ever received came from my Grandma at one of my showers. Agree to disagree. Two people will never agree on everything and that is OK. In fact, celebrate it! Our differences are what make us unique.
That being said, sometimes decisions need to be made that require someone giving in and essentially giving up their side of the disagreement. Favorite Second Son says it best. Just decide who feels most strongly about it and go that route. Wisdom, am I right?
Warriors… spoiler alert. Mama’s going to talk about sex. Look away!
I’m not going to get too graphic or anything, but I will say that this piece is super important to your marriage. One of the best bloggers on the subject is Shiela over at To Love Honor and Vacuum. She is amazing and is somehow comfortable talking about sex and marriage so I’m going to leave it to her!
Big Jon is my friend. My favorite person. He is the one I want to do the big stuff with, and he is also the one I want to do the small stuff with. Running to Target is more fun when he comes with me. Having him sitting next to me while I’m reading a book is comforting.
We enjoy each other. We talk a lot. We don’t talk a lot. Either way, he is the one I want to be around at the end of the day. Talking or not talking. If you want to stay married, you have to be friends.
4. Marriage First.
In this world of entitlement and focus on children and their needs, making sure the kids are happy and entertained at all times might seem like the priority. DO NOT GO THERE!
Sharing children is a fabulous blessing of marriage but it isn’t the end all. If you spend your marriage completely focussed on your children you will discover that when they leave (and I promise you they will!) there won’t be a marriage left to return to.
This is one of Big Jon’s greatest triumphs. I admit that he is the one that consistently reminded us of this and brought us back to each other. Even our sons knew that Mama came first. All The Time.
5. Leave it all on the mat.
When the warriors were wrestling we encouraged them with this statement a lot. Do your best. Give it your all. Don’t hold back. This applies to marriage communication also.
Recently Favorite Baby commented that Big Jon and I never fought in front of them. That we must have kept them from seeing the bad stuff of our marriage.
Interesting… Especially since one of our goals was to let our children see us argue, fight and resolve our conflicts. And we actually did. Now I realize that in every relationship there are times when discussions, arguments, fights, whatever you want to call them must take place behind closed doors. But the truth is that for us, we usually do this out in the open.
We leave it all on the mat. We through the words down, discuss our disagreements, come to a resolution and then move on. It is not good to let things fester and grow.
As women, we are fully capable of having the entire argument in our heads without including our mate, am I right? Can I get an Amen? Sometimes this is good because we realize that we were wrong, overreacting or whatever, but ladies we also need to lay it all down and leave it on the mat!
Jon and are both believers in Jesus Christ.
We weren’t when we got married.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for protecting me from myself and Big Jon from himself. I thank Him for orchestrating our meeting and finding each other and blessing our marriage.
Being like-minded, equally yoked in this area is so important, but it isn’t essential. Jesus can do great things. If you are in a marriage where you are not on the same page with your faith, God can work a miracle for you. Hang in there and keep praying.
30 years. Years of children, of driving, of careers, of homes and apartments, of travel, of excitement, and of idleness. Years of hopes, dreams, goals. Some achieved some not yet achieved. Some not yet dreamed.
During this Father’s Day week I would like take a moment to recognize my husband. The brilliant father of my children. The awesome provider for our home. The man who still sees me as the size 6 woman with great hair, no wrinkles and a string of pearls with my pink sweat suit. (OK well it was the 80’s after all!)
So glad you are my man! I’m looking forward to staying married for another 30 years!