When two people who have been happily married for 60 years offer marriage advice, it’s a good idea to take notes. That’s what I did when visiting my sweet grandparents last month. They don’t offer marriage or life advice in an instructional tone – it just comes out in their normal conversation. My life has been tremendously impacted by my grandparents, and I’ve shared a few observations from their marriage before. Today’s post is even better! Here are two secrets of a happy marriage from two people who have loved being together for 60 years.
#1 Look at your spouse the same way you did the first time you saw him. Remember what attracted you to him.
Nana and I sat down for lunch at JK’s Forest Grove Grocery. We chatted while we waited on our food to arrive – I don’t even remember what was the topic of our conversation. She wove that statement in like it was something she thought about all the time. She said, “it’s easy to focus on the things you don’t like about your husband. But when I look at Papa, I think about the first time I saw him – that makes it easy to overlook the little things that might irritate me.”
60 years gives a couple a lot of chances to annoy and irritate each other. Taking this advice makes those 60 years much more enjoyable and full of love! What attracted you to your spouse? Write those things down and look back on your list the next time a habit irritates you.
#2 Marriage isn’t a 50/50 deal. Both of you have to give 100%.
This piece of wisdom came from Papa. Again, I can’t remember how he worked it in to our conversation, it just came up so naturally. I know this is something Papa lives by. I’ve only observed the retirement years of their lives where they share household duties and work on projects together. But I don’t think he was just talking about household duties and financial responsibilities.
For example – Papa recalls the custom of his childhood days where everyone wore their Sunday church clothes for most of the day. He continues this habit for the reason that it’s the Lord’s day and that’s how he dresses for church, but also because, “Your Nana sees me in my regular clothes all week and out of respect for her, I like to stay dressed up.” Giving 100% begins in our hearts and manifests itself in our actions.
Are you giving 100% to your marriage?
I know my grandparents read my blog – so thank you, Nana and Papa, for your example and your advice!