Have you ever attended a wedding reception where they have a dance for married couples and the D.J. makes the couples sit down based on the length of their marriage? First, the newlyweds are gone, then the 5-year whippersnappers, then the measly 10-year marriages, then 20, 30, 40…and then it gets interesting.
Once you get into the 50-year plus range of marriage, you are dealing with some major geriatric wonders. I mean these people have not only lived for 70, 80 or even 90 years, but they have survived more than a half a century of marriage…with the same person.
My wife and I have been to a lot of weddings over the course of our relationship, and I can honestly say that I have grown to appreciate the “Anniversary Dance” more and more through the years. No, it’s not the music, which is generally pretty lame so as to keep pace with said geriatric wonders, it’s the candid marriage advice that the winning couple is asked to give to the newly married bride and groom after the dance (and before they’re allowed to sit down and rest).
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Almost invariably, the man answers the request for the best advice they have to offer with something along the lines of “Do what she says” or “Listen to her and you won’t get hurt” or some other short quip that old men tell best.
The woman usually seems just a bit embarrassed by the attention and the need to speak into a microphone, but with a quick gaze into the eyes of her long-time husband (who at this point is really feeling the ache in his knees and badly wants to sit down) she gives her advice.
And from my experience, the elder bride sums up her marriage advice with something similar to “Don’t go to bed angry” or “Always communicate well with each other.”
There you have the golden marriage advice that holds true for every generation: Great Communication makes a Great Marriage. Take a look at all of the blog categories listed on the sidebar of this website (these will continue to grow as I fill in the blanks with new posts): Finances, Sex, Spirituality, Children, Marriage Preparation, Household Management, Individual Fulfillment and Romance. These are the major issues facing our marriages, and every critical topic requires solid communication for success.
Stay tuned for a variety of posts and great resources related to having awesome and open communication in your marriage. In the meantime, remember that the first rule is that communication is a two-sided coin that requires both effective talking and excellent listening. Even after 50-plus years of marriage, those old, happy couples that we can all admire still remember Rule #1 and recognize its timeless value.Photo courtesy of maveric2003