25 Years of Marriage Advice

My post about meeting my wife Wendy, gathered a lot of eyeballs as well as questions about relationships and marriage over 28 years of knowing each other. (You can catch up on that post here if you haven’t read it yet). It even prompted me to send some unsolicited advice to a a couple that I knew was heading out of town to go get married.

What y’all are getting ready to do is the hardest thing you may ever do in your life. Also, the most rewarding. To learn, over time, how to completely love another person, is a glorious endeavor. The trick will be, how to learn to love yourselves first. And that trick is made way easier when you each learn how to fall in love with Jesus as deeply as you can.
— Best of luck to Hilton and Danny. Congratulations!

Last year on our 25th wedding anniversary, I did a Twitter thread that covered a lot of those questions. Thanks to the power of the Thread Reader app, I was able to save some key strokes and do a simple cut and paste. Presented below for your reading pleasure. Enjoy and be sure and comment below with your best marriage advice. Thanks for reading!

Twitter Thread from August 7, 2018

25 Years of Marriage today...some thoughts...in no particular order...all of which can go under the category "Marriage...there's nothing new under the sun". Meaning, once you identify a truth, go live that truth.

1) It's been said by many but I first heard it from @tedlowe, marriage isn't about the "Big Day" but about every day after that. I agree. Falling in love is easy. Learning to love is all together different.

2) From my point of view as a husband to Wendy, the number one thing I can do for her as my wife is to put her needs above mine. Every. Time. (Ironically, she has the same attitude toward me.)

3) We carve out an hour every morning to catch up on each other's day over coffee in bed. We've been doing this for at least 10 years now. When our daughters were little, this manifested itself in the form of "couch time" when we got home each day. Just me & her...then the girls.

4) We learned to argue early on in our marriage. Never sit across from or face one another, always side by side. Yelling means you're losing the argument. NEVER go to bed angry or without at least talking things out. Every bit of sarcasm has a little bit of truth in it.

5) I've learned to be in tune to Wendy and her body language. I can usually tell when something is weighing on her and I lean in to those moments rather than avoid them. God's called us as men to always move forward into perceived chaos in our lives. Relationships are no exception.

6) If you have children, model for them that the marriage is the most important relationship in the house...THEN the parental one. Our adult daughters have said that the security they felt from always knowing Mom and Dad were "good", meant SO much to them.

7) Never stop dating/pursuing your each other. Some seasons this is easier than others, but we fought for this principle a lot over the years. Kids, jobs, social pressure. It can be hard at times but so worth it in hindsight.

8) Communication. Never shut that down. Even when it seems REALLY hard. Early on there was a time that we easily could have divorced due to my immaturity and issues. Godly men in my life taught me to lead well in communicating, even in those hard times.

9) Have a couple that mentors you, especially in the first 10 years. Combining your life with another person for the rest of your time on Earth????? That's stupid hard to do. Having someone speak into those early years is critical.

10) Which leads me to this point: Pre-marital counseling...DO IT. You are both bringing expectations into the marriage, based on YOUR baggage that you've built up your entire life. Unpacking that BEFORE the vows is the best way to go.

11) Love Languages. Personality tests. Take 'em all. Never stop being a student of your spouse's heart.

12) For the Husbands: Shut up and listen. Strive to let your wife know that you hear her and will do anything you can to make her life the best it can be, Be her biggest champion and cheerleader.

13) Financial security is the most underrated part of a marriage. Money affects EVERY relationship that you have. Define your relationship with the money God has given you and live in the freedom that brings.

14) I probably tell Wendy that I love her 50 times a day. Typing that out makes it seem like that's too few times. Marrying her is literally a God send. She makes me a better person. Whatever marriage or relationship that you're in, be sure & tell them often how much you love them.

That's it. Nothing magical about the number 25 in light of eternity together. Feel free to chime in with your "relationships truths". Also, if you read through this and your marriage is struggling, DM me. There are resources that you can use. Love y'all!


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