22 Things My Wife Taught Me About Marriage

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Earlier this month, my wife and I celebrated 22 years of marriage. While I may have had a small part in the success of our marriage, my wife has modeled how to be a great spouse consistently since day one. There’s no one formula for a successful relationship, but in the hopes of honoring my wife and giving you a bit of the same wisdom I’ve been able to pick up from her over these last 2+ decades, here are 22 principles and practical approaches to marriage that my wife has consistently modeled and applied in our relationship:

  1. Always want what’s best for your spouse. They may not always deserve it, but knowing someone’s in your corner is big.
  2. Let your spouse know when you think they’re wrong lovingly, even if you want to yell and scream at them. They’ll just hear the yelling and screaming and won’t benefit from your insight if you don’t.
  3. Don’t let a disagreement sit and fester. Deal with it quickly, although always take a breath to make sure you’re not overreacting or in the wrong yourself.
  4. Practice hospitality, even with your spouse. Don’t reserve your best for others. Your spouse deserves your best more than anyone else.
  5. Don’t put your kids’ interests over your spouse’s. Incidentally, while this is good marital advice, it is also a great survival technique.
  6. Make sure your spouse is your most intimate confidant. Some things need to be shared between the two of you and no one else.
  7. Don’t let power be a factor in your relationship. You may have different roles, skills, abilities, etc., but both spouses have equal worth and value and should never try to try to get the edge on the other.
  8. Show your spouse you are thinking about them when they’re not around. This should be by both word and deed.
  9. Pray for your spouse. He or she needs you to lift him or her up to God each day.
  10. Take one for the team sometimes. Suck it up and go to that work thing, or social event, or whatever that you might not be all that excited about.
  11. Carve out time to be with just each other. I won’t lie, this is sometimes a pretty tough one for us – but it is a consistent value and we keep trying to make it as much of a priority as it should be.
  12. Back up your spouse when it comes to raising your kids. See number 5, and know that they will eat you alive and your marriage will suffer if you don’t.
  13. Have and communicate respect for your spouse. We all have our faults, but focusing and appreciating your spouse’s strengths and worth builds up both them and your marriage.
  14. Laugh. A lot.
  15. Hang on for the ride through the rough times. They will come. But it’s so much easier to get through them if you know that no circumstance will lead one spouse to abandon the other.
  16. Be open and vulnerable, and let the other be open and vulnerable, too. It takes a lot of courage to live that way, and love and patience to make it safe for your spouse to do so.
  17. Put special effort in sometimes to create a great experience, environment, etc., for your spouse. Everything’s better when you turn the knob to eleven from time to time.
  18. Don’t just be two individuals. Have common relationships and fellowship with others, too. You can be more of a blessing to others together than apart sometimes.
  19. Give each other the space to be themselves, too, though.
  20. Do not take yourself too seriously, but never be flippant about your marriage.
  21. Smile. In particular, smile at your spouse to let them know they bring you joy.
  22. Seek to follow God as best you can. My wife has always kept God first, and that’s been mission critical for us.

I am humbled and honored to call Jen my wife. But I know it’s not just because of who she is, but Who she chooses to follow even when it would be easier to put herself first. I’d do it all over again, of course. And even though she got the short straw in our relationship, I know she would too.

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About Author

Mark initiated this blog due to his passion in assisting and equipping families to manage their wealth and their families well.

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