Married Beyond Recognition

This is the final installment on the series of My Love Story! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it, because I know it’s been a blast to write. If you’ve not read the last 3 posts, you can find them here.

 

The other day, my husband and I had some time to ourselves, and we were doing something older folks love to do: reminiscing. I said, “Do you remember the time we were at the river, and one of us, was it you or me? One of us was walking with Dad when we were reeeeal little, and we tripped and fell in the water? Remember that?” A gentle ripple of laughter followed. Then it struck me.

“Ummm….was that your childhood, or mine? I’m starting to get them confused!”

That’s the way it is when you’ve been Married Beyond Recognition! My memories become his, and his become mine, and somehow it all blends together!

Want to have many happy memories together? Be Married Beyond Recognition! In my 30 years of marriage, we’ve learned a few things. We’re not perfect, by any stretch, but here are some thoughts we’ve picked up along the way:

1. Commit to learning about marriage – What you focus on improves. If you focus on keeping the house clean, your home will be neater and cleaner. If you focus on making good meals, your cooking will improve. If you focus on exercise, you will be more consistent in your program. The same is true for marriage. Michael Hyatt has an excellent article on his blog on 4 Commitments for Building a Successful Long Term Marriage. He suggests reading good books on marriage, attending marriage seminars, and getting marriage counseling. In my mind, it’s important to do whatever it takes to grow a good marriage.

2. Find ways to spend time together. This is a challenge for me, because my husband and I have such different schedules. Lately, however, I’ve discovered that if we don’t spend much time together, what little time we do spend together is often spent fussing over stupid things! Dr. Harley, in his Summary of Basic Concepts, suggests a minimum of 15 hours a week of uninterrupted quality time together. I think that would be ideal, although I’ve never been able to accomplish it, with a houseful of kiddos. So what do I do? I take spare minutes and seek out my hubby, and be with him when I can. Or I take my work and go sit by his desk and do my work while he does his.

3. Never give up on the physical side of marriage. One of the golden cords holding marriage together is sex. (With your spouse.) Maybe you were abused when you were young, or maybe you were promiscuous before you were married. Whatever the cause, your first thought of sex is one of repulsion. It may be a difficult thing for you, and you may be tempted to think that you’re broken, or unable to enjoy the sexual part of your marriage. Whatever may be going on, never give up on sex. Keep learning, keep reading good books like Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, or a blog like Hot, Holy and Humorous. If you need to, go to marital counseling. But never give up. Life is very long – too long to not enjoy something God created us to enjoy!

4. Have fun together! Have regular date nights, or do fun things together. Recently we went whitewater rafting for our 30th anniversary celebration, and we had so. much. fun! It is a memory that will last the rest of my life. There are plenty of blogs and articles that give advice on date nights, For Your Marriage, Mom Generations and The Better Mom to name a few.

5. Keep – or make – Christ the center of your marriage. Any marriage centered on Christ is like a strong woven rope, which is “not quickly broken.” The Banner suggests that a Christ-like relationship with your spouse, where each person is attached to the other, is one that has all the ingredients of a looooong relationship. In my experience, living for God together is more wonderful than anything I could have imagined.

Someday, you can look back and enjoy reminiscing on the many fond memories you have. You may even wonder whose memory was whose. In fact, you may find yourself Married Beyond Recognition!

Question: What have you noticed about couples that have been married a long time? What do you think we can learn from them?

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Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

2 comments

  1. Beth says:

    Great article, Lisa and I really like that question. Hmmm, what do I notice about couples who’ve been married a long time? Either they are connected through bitterness and control or they are connected through friendship and spiritual intimacy (and probably sexual intimacy–but I don’t “see” that, just feel it when I’m around happily married couples). My parents were the former in that list–staying together for a lifetime but not really dropping their barriers and loving without condition. So I suppose those two last observations might be another thing I see in happily married couples – vulnerability and acceptance. Thanks for the thought-provoking post, my friend!

  2. Lisa says:

    Good thoughts, Beth! I often don’t think about those older couples who are connected through bitterness and control, but they do exist. Like you, I know of them personally. I think a lot of folks who are connected negatively are older folks who are dimply of the generation that stayed together anyway, while the younger just jump ship and find another person.

    Thanks again, Beth, for your insightful thoughts.

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