What I’ve Learned in 14 Years of Marriage

Today is our 14 year wedding anniversary. We’ve come a long way since day one. I wouldn’t say I married the man of my dreams, because I don’t even know what that looked like. We don’t have a fairy tale marriage, but we are living happily ever after.

In the last 14 years, there are many things I’ve learned about developing a healthy marriage.

We’ve come a long way since day one. I wouldn’t say I married the man of my dreams, because I don’t even know what that looked like. We don’t have a fairy tale marriage, but we are living happily ever after.

Stop Taking So Much Crap From Each Other

We are all a pain in the butt sometimes. As a married couple, we need to get good at calling the other person out on their crap. Sometimes you can do this gently, and other times you have to get in their face and let them know it’s not ok to act that way.

Know When to Extend Grace

There are times when you shouldn’t take crap from your spouse, and other times you need to extend grace. Master when to say something and when to keep your mouth shut. Sometimes, if you just give them grace, they will realize they have been horrible and change their behavior.

Have The Fight, But Fight Fair

Go ahead and have the fight, but learn to fight fair. Bringing up past junk in every argument, isn’t fair. Putting your spouse down in any way, isn’t fair. Making your spouse feel like their feelings are wrong, isn’t fair.

Figure Out What the Actual Problem Is

There’s always a root problem in arguments. We have a saying around here- “It’s never about the socks”. Maybe your spouse has a bad habit of leaving their socks all over the bedroom and you feel you must pick them up. The problem isn’t the socks, it’s that you feel they are insinuating that you’re their maid.

Get the root of what the problem actually is. If you don’t figure out what the core offense actually is, you’ll just keep having the same fight over and over again. You’ll never reach resolution, because you don’t know what you’re actually fighting about.

Just Freaking Believe Them Already

If your spouse tells you they feel a certain way, that they didn’t mean to do something, that they think you’re attractive- whatever- just freaking believe them already. Stop trying to over analyse every action. Generally speaking, your spouse has your best interest in mind. They may not be communicating that very well, but if they say they love you, then believe them.

Help Your Spouse Love You Better

For many years, I didn’t put any stock in love languages. When you don’t speak to your spouse in their love language, you end up communicating that you don’t love them. Not only that, when they swat away your attempts at showing love, you feel you can never be good enough.

Do yourselves a favor and figure out how you and your spouse receives love. Start communicating to your spouse in the way they accept it. Also, understand their intentions when they are speaking to you in their love language.

Sex is Not Icing It’s Food

Not only is sex not the icing on the cake, it’s not even cake. Stop thinking about sex as dessert for your marriage. Sex is healthy nutrition your relationship needs. Feed your relationship the intimacy it needs and you will have a healthy relationship. If you deprive your marriage of the nutrition it needs, it will become weak.

It’s Ok if Things Aren’t Ok

Having a healthy marriage takes a daily commitment- not perfection. Some days, you are going to completely nail it. Other days, you’re going to totally suck at it. It’s ok if things are not ok. It’s just not ok to stay that way. Always move forward and work towards resolutions.

There’s plenty of other things I have learned in my years of marriage. If you want more encouragement for your relationship, sign up for our weekly newsletter.

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8 Responses

  1. After 22.5 years of nearly continual sexual refusing, I am sad to say, my marriage is about done. My wife now realizes that she has caused the problem.

    We have looked at many counselors both secular and Christian. And I have been the model of what should be done.

    Twice before, I had a meltdown and we pushed through it. This time I doubt there is any chance at recovering. She has drained me of any more desire to continue. We are still together, keep trying things, but I feel nothing for her. Her physical and sexual advances now that she sees and wants it mean nothing to me. It has been so bad now for almost 5 weeks that I feel like I have no heart, even when I exercise I feel a pulse in my wrist but no pounding of my heart in my chest, it is like it is not there. It has always been there, but it has been absent for 5 weeks now.

    I would rather die than go on, and it has cascaded into a cataclysmic event in which I now don’t know that I can believe in God. 40 years spent in a faith which has now shown to be empty.

    Your story is great, but sometimes there may be no path recovery due to deep wounds.

    1. Scott, my heart is broken for both you and your spouse. You are right, there are definitely times when there isn’t a path to recovery. While I believe that God is 100% capable of restoring relationships, He doesn’t always choose to do so. I don’t know why that is. You are in a horrible place and there isn’t always a good reason or a reason at all that these types of things happen. I encourage you to surround yourself with people who love you and care about you. Don’t go it alone friend. I wrote this article the other day https://lovehopeadventure.com/for-the-marriage-that-didnt-make-it/. I walked with several dear friends through divorce over the last year and a half. You’re in a difficult place. I will be praying for you.

  2. Congrats to you two Keelie! We celebrated 43 this year and so I want to tell you it can become even better!

    You have a lot to offer couples. Don’t quit being a resource.

  3. Thanks Keelie! Great post with a lot of simple wisdom! If on;y it were easy to implement all the time! My favourite line: “Having a healthy marriage takes a daily commitment- not perfection” YES!

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