Thursday Tips | Making Marriage Last

Elizabeth Messina Photography via Style Me Pretty

Today is a special edition of Thursday Tips. In honor of my parents, who just celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary on Tuesday, I’m going to share tips for marriage rather than weddings. Here are some of the things that I learned from observing my parents, that make a marriage last. (Incidentally though, couples… ahem, brides… often get so wrapped up in the stress and details of wedding planning that they forget about some of these! So read them and then go love on your fiances!)


1. Be best friends – Do all the things that best friends do. Talk. Listen. Laugh. Take a genuine interest in the things that are important to one another. Call each other. Do fun things together. Have adventures. Be silly.

2. Hold hands. Physical touch is important. And sometimes the simplest things – like holding hands – can remind you of your connection. It’s just a quiet, unobtrusive way of saying “Hey. I like you a lot.”

3. Sing each other’s praises. I recently heard that the #1 sign that divorce is looming is… complaining! Then I realized that I never really heard my parents complain about each other (except in jest.) Obviously, I’m their child, so I’m the last person they should be complaining to… but many parents do! Instead, I heard them say what they liked about each other. When you feel like complaining about or to your spouse, think of a compliment or praise instead!

4. Get support. From when I was young (maybe even before I was born actually…) my parents attended a group called Marriage Encounter. They had workshops and retreats to encourage and rejuvinate married couples. Maybe those groups aren’t for you, but having a time and place to refresh your marriage, and a group of people to encourage you in doing so is a pretty great idea, if you ask me.

5. Have faith – in each other… of course. But I believe faith in God played a key role in my parent’s marriage. And let’s face it, having someone to rely on besides another flawed human being can’t be a bad idea.

6. Laugh! I think this one’s self-explanatory. Being able to laugh together through all of life’s crazy ups and downs can not be underestimated.

I learned lots more from my parents, but I wanted to keep it short and sweet. Hope these are a nice little reminder of the important things in marriage. Happy anniversary Mom and Dad!

Jess - May 20, 2011 - 4:48 am

this is beautiful… I think there should be a whole lot more focus on MARRIAGE in the wedding world. It often seems so forgotten. Which is so ridiculous when you think about it! But I can attest to the success of almost all these tips myself. Only I wish I read them on a wedding blog when I was engaged! Though I suppose learning first hand is a good thing too :)

Catie Ronquillo - May 20, 2011 - 4:51 am

Love these tips! I feel like I try to practice these with my husband. I feel super lucky to have parents and in-laws who have been married for 30+ years!

Jenna @ Heartcarry Press - May 20, 2011 - 5:03 am

Aww Colleen- this is the sweetest list! I love the one about singing praises, that is so right on. Congratulations to your parents!!

Lauren @ ELD - May 20, 2011 - 5:04 am

Aw, yay thank you for talking about MARRIAGE! Everyone so very often gets so caught up in the wedding that they forget about what the wedding leads to. :) Love the tips!

Becky {Bow Ties + Bliss} - May 20, 2011 - 5:05 am

I love it! These are definitely so important to a strong marriage. :) Congrats to your parents… 42 years, wow!!

Melina - May 20, 2011 - 5:06 am

I love this post! I especially loved how you said that having someone else to depend on other than another flawed human being is not such a bad idea! Praise God! And having your other as your bestie! Mine is gone so much being in the military that having our talk time is so special! It’s like catching up with a beloved best friend :)

Sara - May 20, 2011 - 5:07 am

These are great tips!! Thank you for sharing. I found your blog from your comment about my wedding video posted on Jacin’s blog & I am so glad I did! I’m following along now and looking forward to reading more!

Colleen - May 20, 2011 - 5:27 am

@Jess: Thanks friend! I agree, there should be more about marriage in the wedding blogosphere. But learning firsthand is good too. :) I’m not worried about you guys!

@Catie: Thanks! I agree – it’s such a blessing to have good examples of what a lasting relationship looks like!

@Jenna: Thank you!! I will tell them you said so. :)

@Lauren – You’re welcome for talking about marriage. :) Thank YOU for bringing Thursday Tips into my life AND for your sweet comment!

@Becky – Thank you!! I know, it’s 42 years is a long time! :)

@Melina – Thanks lovely! I don’t know if I mentioned that one of the reasons that I love your blog so much is that I love Jesus! And I see Him in all of your posts!

@Sara: Oh my goodness, your wedding video was the sweetest thing!! I cried like a baby. So happy to have you!!

[...] Making Marriage Last – An honorary post celebrating my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary [...]

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