Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Thirteen #165

So here it is. My wedding anniversary falls on Thursday Thirteen; how cool is that?

Today I have been married for 27 - yep, count 'em - 27 years. Frankly, it doesn't seem all that long though for some folks that is an entire lifetime. We've had a lot of ups and downs and good and bad, because that is a long time even if it doesn't seem like it.

I do not profess to be an authority on marriage and to be sure it's not something I've spent a lot of time analyzing. But since I need 13 of something, I'm going to see if I can come up with 13 things we've done to keep our marriage healthy (and still intact).

1. Say "I love you." This should be a given but many people fail to say it. One friend of mine says she never says it because, "I've said it once and don't need to say it again." However, human nature being what it is, fraught with doubts and anxieties, I think these three words are good things to say not only to your spouse but to anyone who plays a huge role in your life. I wonder how much better off the world might be if we said these words more often. We say, "I love you," to one another every day.

2. Hold hands. Yeah, after all this time, we still hold hands. We hold hands when we watch TV. We hold hands in the shopping mall. We hold hands while we're driving down the road. It creates a connection even if we do look like old fools.

3. Kiss. Another one that makes the kids go yuck, but necessary for affection and passion. At least a kiss goodbye and another hello. But maybe not when you have a cold.

4. Have sex on a regular basis. I know it's a chore sometimes, but it tells your spouse you care. It changes with age and it shouldn't be set in stone, but definitely it is something to make time for.

5. Be tolerant. Okay, so he doesn't pick up his socks, he spits chewing tobacco in the yard, and he belches at the table. And I worry all the time, spend too much money at the grocery store, and don't wipe the toothpaste out of the sink right away. Marriage is give and take and sometimes you have to live with habits and things that you never thought you would.

6. Pick your fights. It isn't worth fighting over the socks and I'll never win the chewing tobacco war, so I gave those up long ago. I do remind him to say, "excuse me" at the table. I'm not saying don't dig in your heels to get your way, but sometimes the harsh words simply aren't worth it. Which brings me to another one . . .

7. Don't call your spouse bad names. We do not call one another bad names, not even during our worst fights. Calling someone a name is childish and a low blow, to boot. So you will seldom hear us call one another something like stupid, idiot, bitch, bastard, etc., except perhaps when it's clear we're joking.

8. Use pet names. Do use terms of endearment. They help to create a personal language between you and your spouse.

9. Take care of each other. This comes from my husband and was his first answer when I asked him what we did to keep our marriage going. By this he means the whole kit-n-caboodle, from housework to earning money, as well as touching a fevered brow and asking how your day has been. From cleaning the car to fixing dinner, these activities are all ways to say, "I care."

10. Be courteous. Just because you live with someone, it doesn't give you leave to be nasty, mean, ornery or callous. Manners go a long way. We treat each other as friends, and I think that makes a lot of difference.

11. Use "I feel" language instead of making accusations. By this I mean, say, "I feel hurt when you forget to take out the trash," as opposed to "You never take out the trash." Also, ask your spouse to repeat things back to you when you don't think he or she is listening. Sometimes they are listening but you're not being clear, so they don't hear what you think you are saying because you never really said it.

12. Say "I'm sorry." This can be a hard one but, unless you're perfect, you are not always right. If you make a mistake, own up to it, and offer a heart-felt apology. And you need to say the words; mind reading is an overrated skill that most people do not posses. Flowers are nice, but the words are required.

13. Have a code word for when things get too weird, or tense, or whatever, and you just need a break. Set the rules before you need them: when someone says the code word, you have to stop arguing, pestering, or whatever. Our code word, which is our secret so I won't repeat it here, is a funny word that brings up associations that makes us both laugh. (You can also have a code for sex or anything else, if you want.)

There you have it. Thirteen things to help keep your marriage going. At least, it's worked for us for 27 years.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here.  I've been playing for a while and this is my 165th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. What a great picture! These are all great tips!! Happy Anniversary!

  2. Happy Anniversary to both of you today!

    Oh, and I love the 'code word' thingie. I could think of lots of funny words for this that would make us both laugh... it's hard to make my hubby laugh though, but just about any word works for me.

    Enjoy the day, and wishing you 27 more!
    Love Love Love the tux, dress and hat.

  3. Happy Anniversery. Great TT, thanks for sharing.

  4. Happy Anniversary - what a great celebration of a relationship your T13 is this week. I love it. :) I agree with everything you have listed here.

    Any special plans to celebrate your anniversary this year?

    Sam's Thursday Thirteen #5

  5. Great advice!

    Happy anniversary and happy TT!

  6. We rarely do everything everyone tells us we should do and we've been together nearly 30 years- over 25 married.

    Have a great day!

  7. Terrific post. Happy Anniversary!

  8. Wow, you guys have two more years together than me and Mr. Al. Never thought of a code word, but we generally already know anyway.

  9. Happy Anniversary girl! LOVE the wedding picture! So sweet! Great advice, same that I would give!!!! Really enjoy your blog!!!! We should get together sometime! (((BIG HUGS))) ~ Robin Cawley

  10. Happy Anniversary!! I love the wedding picture, you both look so happy. A long marriage seems like such a rare thing these days. People aren't willing to work hard at it anymore. Your marriage is a great example of commitment, strength and love. May you be blessed with many more!

  11. Happy Anniversary! Great advice on how to have a successful marriage.
    I love your wedding picture!

  12. Happy anniversary! You two look beautiful together.

    Terms of endearment. We were just talking about that. One of us said the other's name and it sounded funny. We realized we always call each other by terms of endearment--Honey or Baby or King Rabbit (that's Kurt) or Bunny (me) and never our real names!

  13. Anita, I just signed up for that Thursday Thirteen. What do you just write about anything?

  14. Deb, yep, you just write about anything you want!


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