Let’s face it, in order to make marriage work we need something more than books and entertaining conferences. I’ve found that while there are great resources and materials out there, the best resource might be right under your nose – couples that we know with successful marriages. They have a wealth of good counsel and advice. For my wife and me, my mother and father have always provided great mentorship for our marriage. Recently my father and mother celebrated 45 years of marriage. During a phone call with my father and mother I asked them to “name 5 things you would tell younger couples about marriage and how to make it work?”
- Don’t be selfish. “The enemy of a successful marriage is selfishness. Too many marriages end because of self-centeredness. You have to be open hearted with your mate. At times you will feel like your spouse is pushing your buttons but always strive to be kind and considerate to one another. Don’t practice being selfish. Instead give to each other”. – Colleen Gregory
- Be patient in spite of your spouse’s personal flaws. “No matter who you marry, everyone has their own idiosyncrasies and quirks. It does not take long to find flaws. However, flaws are found on both sides of the fence. No one is perfect. Patience and understanding go a long way in making a marriage work”. – Colleen Gregory
- Determine there is NO plan B. “There has to be a determination of the mind that your marriage can make it no matter what comes your way. You have to have “a never quit mentality”. During every season of marriage you have to be willing to fight for unity and oneness. We’ve practiced this for 45 years in spite of our ups and downs”. – Henry Gregory
- Make a list of what you want from your spouse. “People want you to fulfill their needs but many times they don’t express what their needs are clearly. There are a lot of hidden desires and feelings that spouses don’t express until it’s too late. Couples that clearly communicate and discuss their needs during each season of marriage have a better chance of making their marriage last forever”. – Henry Gregory
- Appreciate and celebrate one another. “We love to look each other in the eye and say I love you (publically and privately). It’s our way of celebrating the love we have for each other. Saying things like “thank you” and demonstrating your appreciation goes a long way. Do simple things to show your spouse you appreciate them. Anyone can point out the bad things, but when you are careful to appreciate and celebrate one another – you are on the right track”. – Colleen Gregory
What great words of wisdom from a couple that practices what they preach. In order to have successful marriages we all needs advisors and mentors along the way. What golden nuggets await you and your marriage or relationship when you simply reach out to someone and ask for help along your journey for life!