Best Kept Secrets ~ Happy Marriage

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Best Kept Secrets For A Happy Marriage | Today, we will tackle the topic of the keys to a happy marriage. I know that each of us has our own ideas of what makes us happy, but when you put two people into one home, all bets are off | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #Blessingsfromheaven #BestKeptSecretsForAHappyMarriage #BestKeptSecrets #HappyMarriageBest Kept Secrets For A Happy Marriage ~ Episode 515

Today, we will tackle the topic of the keys to a happy marriage. I know that each of us has our own ideas of what makes us happy, but when you put two people into one home, all bets are off. In this episode of Vintage Homeschool Moms, Felice Gerwitz shares some insights and mistakes couples make in the quest for happily ever after! Felice has been married since 1979 and has “some” insight into the topic.

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Here are some past episodes that deal with the topic of marriage and family.

45-Date Night Ideas here.

Parenting Secrets

Spiritually Strong Kids

 So, what are the best-kept secrets to a happy marriage? I wish I knew! Just kidding. I’ve been married to my husband, Jeff, since 1979. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, surgeries, childbirths, and finances, and at times, our faith was severely tested. 

We’ve struggled with homeschooling at times and focusing on the basics, let alone our faith and what was important in keeping our relationship alive. Sometimes, our marriage took a back seat, like the way in the back of a 15-passenger van. But we kept at it; we knew our marriage was for keeps, and there was no alternative but to make it work for us. I’m not talking about abusive relationships here. I am talking about a marriage that you want to make stronger.

My husband and I work with engaged couples at our church. The program is called Pre-Cana in reference to the feast of Cana from the Bible. That was a wedding celebration where they ran out of wine. Basically, Pre-Cana is before the wedding. We are blessed to meet with engaged couples a series of times. We go through the course material, but the main thing we share is what we wish we had known going into marriage. There is a difference between knowing something and living it, right?  

Happy Marriage Key #1 – Marriage is dying to self.

Love, by its very nature, is self-giving. Marriage is a chance to die to self, to learn self-control, to avoid saying things we can’t take back, and more. Marriage is loving until it hurts and praying daily. Marriage is under attack today, and the statistics of divorce are horrible, no matter what your faith. Pew Research on Marriage 2014

Dying to self is not easy; it means putting aside our wants and needs to serve others. This is only by the grace of God, not something we can do on our own.

Some may feel your spouse isn’t worth it; I get it. Then I think of Mother Teresa, who, by God’s grace, picked up a dying man from the gutter and gave him a dignified death. Not life, but death. She didn’t ask what he had done to get into the gutter. She served him, not because she knew him, but because she did it for God. Honor your husband or your wife; this is a commandment from God.

Happy Marriage Key #2 – Marriage is not 50/50

People talk about marriage being 50-50, but that is a myth. Very rarely do a couple work in synch and together in all things. In my experience, I’ve met only two couples who I can say were pretty much 50-50. For many of us, possibly you, listening in marriage is more like 60-40 or 70-30, and at times, it feels like we are pulling 100 percent of the load. In marriage, things change and we do what we can for each other.

Happy Marriage Key #3 – The Key to Proper Communication

Another main point we make is that communication is key. Communication is important. You know, and I know, and I’m sure our spouse’s communication is key. But do you know one of the best-kept secrets? Communicating without getting angry and no character assassination is key. Character assassination is when we call the other person dumb or stupid or degrade them using other words.

No one wants to be called stupid!

It is all in how you phrase it. Saying, “I’m upset with you right now and can’t talk about it,” or “I’m really hurt, and what you did made me feel…” is perfectly acceptable. Talking out your feelings is key, but realize it is not all about us. (That doesn’t mean you say, “It’s not all about you!” Because that is hurtful.) I need to create another podcast topic, Communicating with Your Spouse!

Communicating Love and Kindness To Your Kids 

Save Our Families – Communication

Happy Marriage Key #4 – Someone That Loves You for You

We all need to be loved, and when we find that person who loves us and understands us, that is worth cherishing. And, if you are struggling in a relationship, that is something you can work on. You got married for a reason. Even if that reason is weak, you can still have a good marriage by loving the other person the way you want to be loved.

Will it be a one-sided love? Maybe. Do it anyway.

You chose each other. Remember that. You said yes, he asked, or you asked, whatever the case may be. The person you married is worth loving by virtue of being created by God. If you are around friends who are not like-minded, find new friends. My two closest friends have good marriages. Perfect? No. And yet they have shown me through example everything on this list I am sharing with you today in their relationships. One has been married one year longer than me, and one about three years less.

We pray for each other, and in doing so, the Lord will give you the grace to love more deeply. Sometimes, it seems that one person loves the other more, but love can grow and flourish and become deeper with the right care!

Happy Marriage Key #5 – Time Together

Do you even remember what time together looks like, or date night? We must spend time with our spouse, talking, listening, and enjoying their company—cell phones down or, better yet, in the other room. At a homeschool conference, I heard a friend of mine shared during her seminar (on frugal living) how she created date nights in their home. Complete with candles, kids in bed (or another room), and they worked hard to spend time in each other’s company in a relaxed environment, even if it was in their own home. My husband and I love to talk, and we enjoy sitting outside on our lanai, drinking a cup of coffee and chatting. Dinners out are nice, but I’d rather sit home and talk or go for a walk together.

Check out the show links for other podcasts I did on this topic above.

Happy Marriage Key #6 ~ Let GO of the Past

Another secret to a good marriage is to let go of the past. This may take outside help; one of my friends is a Trauma specialist and has worked with people in troubled marriages where one spouse thought everything was great, and it was the other spouse who was unhappy. This helped one of my friends tremendously. The key was forgiving and letting go of the past.

We can’t keep score of every infraction each of us does, or it will drive you nuts! Sure, mistakes happen, and things are said that are later regretted. But keeping track doesn’t help anyone. Quit talking about past mistakes, forgive, and go on. Is this easy? No, of course not. (Share story of recent disagreement on air.)

The enemy gets into our thoughts, and he sways us, and truthfully, we make it easy for him. Who doesn’t want to think they are the wounded party and not right? Taking authority of this is the key, and getting right with God helps.

Happy Marriage Key #7 ~ Words of Affirmation

Do you praise your spouse, thank them for fixing the bed, doing the laundry, and creating meals? Perhaps you both work. Many homeschool moms, myself included, work from home. This should not be diminished in that “you stay home all day,” or “all you do is homeschool,” or the worse, “don’t you feel guilty using you husband’s money?” (Told to me by a hairdresser when she learned I was a stay-at-home mom)

We should praise each other because it is a wonderful way to affirm each other’s worth (not only in our eyes but in the eyes of God) and their abilities no matter how big or how small. We often ask our spouse to do something for us or for the family. This should be a request and not a demand.

We do demand in our families, don’t we? We do it to our kids. We order them (at times, especially if asking nicely did not work) to do a chore, their homework, or some other task. When we demand things from our spouse, it won’t go over well, and we are treating them like our children.

Love and a good marriage take work. The best-kept marriage secrets continue to be secrets because they are not popular. Who wants to hear, “die to self,” or “marriage takes work,” or “marriage is not equitable.” But it is worth it; through the hardships, your love will become stronger, and through the pain, you can unite. It takes time, work, and sacrifice at times.