W.I.F.E

12 Uncompromising Marriage Lessons We’re Revealing on Our 12th Anniversary

Anniversary

It’s honestly amazing to me that I’ve been married for 12 years. I’m grateful that we’ve made it this far and for the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

I remember when I was dating my husband, I was so into him and the possibility of getting married. When we got engaged, I knew our marriage would be great and I wanted that goose bump feeling to always be there.

Something that bothered me, were other married couples that had been married for years. They made snide comments of how it won’t always be like that, and just really seemed like each other’s ball and chain. I wondered why so many married couples seemed unhappy the longer they were together and actually willing to “speak into my relationship” that the same thing would happen to me.

I got mad!

I told my [then] fiancé, “That can’t happen to us!” “We can’t get bitter! We have to do what we must in order not to be negative and just unhappy!”

Oooooooohhhhh but then I got married!!! 

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I won’t say I quickly learned what these married people were now referring to, but over the course of 12 years with my spouse I have experienced every range of emotions that a relationship can bring.

It’s amazing because we are still here. We’re still fighting, pressing, working, learning and growing in our relationship. We’re doing it together with the intention to always be on one accord.

Here are 12 lessons we’ve learned over our 12 year marriage, feel free to add your own in the comments:

1. intimacy | takes the marriage to another level in my opinion. It allows you to connect with your spouse on a level that can spill over into other aspects of your relationship. It’s something that can fade if you allow the day to day life issues to get in the way.

There are times when one wants intimacy but the other person can care less. Sometimes it’s important to fight through it. Your spouse wants to know they matter and are desired.

2. sacrifice | who would have known how many things you would have to give up or give in to, when it comes to marriage and parenting. When you’re married, it’s not 100% about you, but the family.

Whether you have children or not – you’re a family and your decisions now affect all parties involved.

3. forgiveness | this is must-do in marriage. In my marriage, I’ve forgiven him and I’ve needed to be forgiven on more than one occasion. No one is perfect, so when you make mistakes and your spouse loves you enough to accept your, “I’m sorry!” is worth it’s weight in gold.

I’m grateful for all the times my husband has forgiven me for the big and small things. His forgiveness has allowed me to grow and actually take a good look at myself.

4. power of agreement | Two is better than one. When a couple is on one accord, it puts you on the path to achieve common goals. It also brings clarity for the direction and vision of the family.

5. love | this is tricky because being in love with your spouse sometimes seems to come and go. After speaking with other married individuals it’s more common than  not. We love our spouse but sometimes the goose bumps do leave but they do come back if you’re open to working on your relationship.

6. patience |  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to take a deep breathe and hold my tongue. I’ve learned to wait because everything doesn’t always happen when I want it.

7. growth | I’m not the same person I was when I got married. I’ve grown as a woman, into a mother and in even as a wife. Life is a process and a journey, and it’s constantly changing. I recognize my growth and even welcome it. What helps is a spouse that sees my growth, then participates & supports my growth versus hoping I stay the same.

8. prayer | See War Room! We believe in prayer. We’ve seen first hand how prayer works in our lives and changes certain situations. I’ve prayed for my husband when I didn’t want to. He’s prayed for me when I didn’t know it. It strengthens our relationship with God and each other.

9. balance | It’s important to know when to spend time with family versus working too much. Over the course of 12 years, our children are growing and careers are changing. It’s a constant thing to re-evaluate where we are in our relationship & household management to make sure the family is operating correctly.

10. communication | You have to talk. Period. Whether you need to read books, take a class or see a therapist to get it right… do it! A marriage works well when you two can talk about what you desire, dealing with, do not want, personal and family goals.

Over the years we have just recently learned how to talk to each other without placing blame. We choose our words carefully and make sure not to tear each other down.

11. fun | find things to do or incorporate things in your relationship that make you laugh and allow you to enjoy each other. With three kids, we laugh daily at the things they do but we also find time to laugh and joke when we are alone.

12. compromise | it’s simply give and take. I’ve learned that in marriage you personally may not always get 100% of what you want, but neither is the other person. So when you compromise, you are willing to make your spouse happy because you know eventually, they will do the same for you.

BONUS

If you are a business owner, it would be in your best interest to always know the current trends of your market. If you work in Corporate America, your probably get leadership training that will help you grow in your career climb.

It’s no different with marriage. Being married 12 years, I can surely see why those couples appeared unhappy. Life sets in and can get the best of you – if you let it. I’ve learned that Marriage, like a career or business, needs to be nurtured and tended too.

We take day dates, read books on marriage, watch videos on relationships and attend conferences. You get out of your relationship what you put in. If you just say, “I do” and let the chips fall where they may … guest what, they will!

You control the destiny of your marriage. If you want to make it great, do it! Work on it.

Simple.

What things would you add to this list? I really want to know. 

What are we currently reading? Marriage Matters by Tony Evans41XtrsORgkL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    everydayeyecandy
    September 20, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Girl! the art of holding my tongue is something I’ve been working on in the last year or so. My biggest lesson in marriage in the last 10 years is that sometimes a spouse just wants to be supported. They don’t want your opinion( that’s a hard one for me) just someone to listen!

  • Reply
    MJ
    September 20, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Happy Anniversary. This list is what I needed right now. I’m going to share it with my husband because we are definitely at a crossroads with some things on the list. I believe we need married friends. I will have to pray on my tongue, impatience and anger because seriously this is an issue.
    BTW… He will surely latch on to the intimacy bullet (rolls eyes) but I’ll share it anyway.

  • Reply
    Justjewels4u
    September 20, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Happy Anniversary. Marriage is a beautiful union!

  • Reply
    Pam
    September 20, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Learn to say I’m sorry is a big one!!

  • Reply
    Marie Denee
    September 20, 2015 at 9:37 am

    This is beautiful. I’m not married, but this is indeed great advice. Thank youuuuuuuuu for sharing and happy anniversary!

  • Reply
    Camesha | Mama Motivator
    September 20, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Great advice, B! I agree with all of the above. What MJ said is key too. Having married friend who are also believers helps us in s big way. Having someone to confide in that will pray with you and for your marriage is a must!

  • Reply
    Kita Bryant
    September 20, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I have some lessons now that my marriage is in trouble what should and shouldn’t be done. I fear it may be to late for us but the lessons are so valuable going forward that I know better next time. Happy Anniversary to you and keep the lessons coming.

  • Reply
    Katherine G
    September 20, 2015 at 11:17 am

    This is a fantastic article. I really enjoyed reading it. Marriage is always give and a take. Yes it is work but at the same time you have to be work on it with your partner as a team. The art of keeping my mouth shut and balancing things out is one thing I’m working on

  • Reply
    Kim
    September 20, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’m one year in so I’m learning as I go and I love hearing from others. My husband is going through a difficult time with things and its hard being beside him through this because I have feelings too but just the other night I just prayed for him because I feel like I needed to (something I’ve been doing a lot lately). That night he got in a car accident and hit a tree. He walked away when judging by the scene and the condition of the car he could have been dead. There is power in prayer and so far my biggest lesson is praying for my spouse. Happy Anniversary!

  • Reply
    Sonia A
    September 20, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    This was an amazing read. Happy Anniversary to the both of you. You are definitely onto something great. I have been married for 26 years, we’ve been together since high school. Our marriage has been a journey , a lot of good and a lot of bad. Everything that you listed, I’ve dealt with our marriage. Some things we are still dealing with. We found ourselves at a crossroad at year eighteen. Other people were allowed to get too close to OUR union and voice their opinions……..he listened!!! I had to work fast because I knew that if God didn’t intervene, the marriage was a over. My Pastor at that time even spoke negativity over marriage. But God is who He says He is. I took Him at His word, I called Him out on some promises that He’d made to me. ( I’m talking about God) I took my hands off of the very BIG situation and allowed God to rule. I was directed to some friends that prayed for our marriag as if it was their own. God began to move……WE (thank you God) were directed to a great church ( God was moving). We began to do things with the marriage ministry at our church and to make a longer story short, we are back. Communication is key, but an even bigger key is to keep your marriage to yourself. Friends don’t have to know, mama don’t need to know; just you two.

  • Reply
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