Yes, I've been married 22 years, not all of the years have been happy, but not all have been hard and bad either. I just want to pass along some things that I've learned over the 22 years that I have been married, because I thought that others would benefilt from it. Ive not really ever shared these before, but here goes.
Well, one thing that I learned, is you can't build your marriage on a feeling. Love isn't just a feeling, but it's an action word, and both partners need to show love toward one another. It's not always easy, especially when the feeling isn't there, but in a marriage, the feeling isn't always going to be there. Don't ever go on feelings, because feelings change. If you build your marriage on this "feeling" of love then it definitely wont last. To love, you need to be unselfish, and think about the other persons wants and needs over your own.
Another thing I learned is that communication plays a vital role in any relationship, but most importantly in a marriage. When communication breaks down, for what ever reason, then there are problems. I can attest to that. Communicate in a loving manner what is bothering you, and also communicate what is good. No one wants to hear negative things all the time. They need to be built up also.
Constant criticism will break the other persons spirit. It will bring them down. It will kill them emotionally. When all someone hears from the other person is negative, then they begin to believe it. When a person starts to believe the negative, they stop functioning as they normally would, and start acting the way they have begun to believe. Encourage your spouse, and speak positively, and lovingly. Support them, and they will blossom.
Having a budget that both of you agree to, and sticking to the budget is important. Financial problems are hard to deal with. No one wants to be financially unstable. Borrow as little as possible, and save what you can.
Spending time with each other doing something you both enjoy doing is a must. Each of you need to carve out some time to spend together, and don't let anything, or anyone mess with that time. It's for you two to discover each other, and learn more about each other. Both parties must be committed to this.
The one I consider most important, putting God at the center of your marriage. Pray together, and read the Bible together. Pray for each other. Encourage each other.
One thing that I realize that I didn't when I was just starting out is, that marriage isn't easy. It takes work from both partners. It's not something a person can be lazy at, and expect it all to work out good. One can't expect the other person to do all the changing, and all of the work.
Forgiveness is one of the main ingredients in any relationship, but more so in a marriage. Yes, the other person is going to do things that hurt you, but if you can't forgive, then what you have is anger, and bitterness instead of love. You not only hurt the other person by carrying those feelings around, but you hurt yourself. Learn to forgive, and move forward in your marriage. The more you forgive the closer you are, and the better, and happier you are.
These are just some of the things I've learned from my own journey, and I would like to share them with all of you. May God bless you all. My love to everyone
One Bible scripture I would like to share with you all would be.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.