The end of the year is upon us. I’ve been writing about marriage all year, and it has been a good experience for me. I’ve enjoyed exploring the various facets of marriage, and it was a good reminder not to take my own marriage for granted. As the year ends, summing up marriage seems appropriate. I made a checklist of the most important points I want to personally remember about marriage from what I’ve written over this past year.
- Develop Mutual Respect
- Total Loyalty & Fidelity
- Appreciation—Don’t Take Your Marriage for Granted
- Be Best Friends
- Communicate Effectively, Fight Fair, and Resolve Differences
- Keep Perspective in All Trials
- Remember the Power of Touch
- Keep Sweetness in Marriage
- Remember to Laugh and Have Fun
- Be Each Other’s Therapist
- Be Financially Responsible
- Prepare for the Unexpected in the Future
- Balance Work and Family
- Pray, Contemplate, and Work Together
- Be Kind
- Date Frequently & Enjoy Wilderness Together Occasionally
- Serve Together
- Be Patient in Intimacy
- Pull Together Through Adversity; Don’t Pull Apart
- Be Patient Through Illness and Old Age
- Build Your Partner’s Self-Esteem
- Develop Family Traditions
- Gently Guide; Don’t Push
- Generate Happiness; Don’t Just Consume It
- Be Selfless and Sacrifice
- Remember Marriage Is Hard Work
- Make Your Marriage the Safest Place on Earth
- Make Eternal Marriage and Family Top Priority
As a writer, I am my own worst critic, and looking back over my marriage articles, some were better than others. I do have a favorite one—the very first one—Marriage: How Deep the Love? In spite of the fact I miscalculated how many years my husband and I had been married when I wrote it (37; not 36, sigh), I think it sums up nicely how married people should think about each other and act toward each other. (We have now been married 38 years—and I didn’t even have to think about it, so I’m making progress.)
Actually, that’s the whole point—we are all a work in progress, and there is always room for improvement. We shouldn’t be hard on ourselves if we have a bad day now and again. There are many ups and downs in marriage. The point is to stick with it and wake up each morning with new determination to get it right.
Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry. — Tom Mullen
I want my marriage to blossom, and I’m sure that’s what every married couple wants from their marriage. Loving our spouse with all the inherent flaws is what it is all about, but it is never easy. It takes a lifetime of work, sweat, and tears. I think I’ve said that in at least 100 different ways this last year. It takes work.
As much work as marriage is, it is well worth the effort. I can’t imagine life without it. I have grown so much through the marital experience. I’ve learned that life does not revolve around me. Marriage taught me that happiness comes from serving others.
I’m 60 years old now, my husband is 72, and I’m looking forward to growing old together. There are more trees to sit under, more beaches to walk, more rose gardens to tour, and even more dishes to do together. I can’t think of anything I’d rather been doing than spending time with my best friend.
This is my last marriage article, but not my last article for LDS Blogs. I will be moving to a new topic next week. Be watching for my “Daily Dose” articles. I have always loved finding interesting quotations. I envision this project as a chance to find quotations, explore them in my mind, and then share with you what I learn from them. I’m excited about this new topic, and I hope you will stay with me as I enter this new adventure.
This change for me also presents an opportunity for a writer out there. We need volunteer writers, particularly, someone who would like to write about marriage. While I may have written all I can about the subject of marriage without getting stale, everyone who has ever been married brings different experiences and different perspectives to the table.
Marriage is a large category, and there are lots of things to say about it. There are experiences to share. I’m looking forward to reading someone else’s marriage articles to see what I can learn from you.
If marriage isn’t your category, there are currently other topics available. If you think you might want to give it a whirl, check out the topics here, and then e-mail a sample post to [email protected].
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.