Plus 5 Reasons I enjoyed my friend’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration
Have you ever wondered if your marriage will last? Are you like most married couples that are struggling with your marriage?
Following are 11 ways to help your marriage reach the 50th wedding anniversary - the Golden Years.
Recently, my wife and I had the pleasure to attend our friends' 50th wedding anniversary. That was a lot of fun. They had a regular wedding ceremony followed by an exuberant celebration.
This was one of the best parties I’ve ever attended. Here are the reasons why it was one of my favorites:
1. The main couple is friends of ours.
Unfortunately, we’ve never met anybody who was married for 50 years. At least, we’ve never been invited to one such celebration.
2. We knew most of their family so it was like a great family reunion.
Though we’ve been friends for years, yet it’s been over 14 years since my wife and I last saw them.
3. My wife, a professional photographer, was hired to shoot their wedding. I helped and had a lot of fun.
4. The food was awesome!
5. The music was fun.
These are some of the reasons why I was thrilled to be a part of this celebration. But I want to share with you things I’ve noticed about this couple over the years I know were part of their long-lasting marriage.
Generally, when you spend time with people who’ve been happily married for most of their lives, it’s the little things you notice. The way she lights up — all these years later! When she recounts the day they first met and enjoys telling the story.
The ring of admiration in his voice as he describes her successes. The shared smiles. Those moments when they don’t finish each other’s sentences, but you get the sense they could.
They’ve accomplished a feat almost everyone who ties the knot aspires to - to reach old age together. They’ve shared life’s happiest moments but also weathered its biggest challenges.
They have definitely beaten the odds of death and divorce. One accomplishment you don’t see or hear of as often anymore.
Of all current U.S. marriages, only 7 percent have reached the 50-year mark, according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.
A happy long-term union, the experts seem to agree, hinges in part on pairing up wisely and in part on mastering the dexterities that foster a healthy marriage.
It was quite an interesting 50 year journey for our friends. I want to share with you some of the things I noticed about their marital success.
Before I do, let me remind you that their earlier years were tough. They were on the verge of a divorce. Life was hard for them.
The idea of departing from the misunderstandings and arguments were in the forefront of his mind – but not of hers.
So she and her kids fought for the protection and prosperity of their marriage and their family. And they won!
So here are 11 Ways To Help Your Marriage Reach The 50th Year Anniversary:
1. Love first.
Marriage often starts with love. Above everything else; before any decision is ever made; before any judgment is passed, and before any conclusions are determined, love must be in the forefront of every marriage.
My friends have done marriage and family based on love. They look out for each-other’s interests. They serve one another without complain. They serve, they help, they look out for and they love each other.
2. Play together.
As much as the family that prays together, stays together, so does playing together keeps a marriage together. This couple loves to play dominoes together.
They play with their kids, go to the beach, and watch sports together. They simply enjoy each other’s company. This leads me to my next point.
3. Laugh together.
I’ve seen them tease each other in several occasions. They just love to have fun with each other. For many couples, laughter is not part of their daily routines.
In our home we’ve learn to laugh every day.We’ve just made it a point to laugh, not at each other but with each other.We laugh together and we also laugh with our kids.They are funny anyway.Laughter within the marriage and family unit is a must for stress survival.
For our friends, love, respect, humor — they all came into play as the two faced their biggest challenge.
4. Pray together.
I know for a fact, that this couple prayed and continue to pray together. The source of their marital success (besides love as the root) is prayer.
They have managed the secret to marital success – praying until things change.In fact, one time at church she came up with the acronym of PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens). This is how they live.They pray for and about everything.
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5. Adventures together.
Studies have shown that dullness in a relationship can lead to dissatisfaction.
Trying something new can be as simple as visiting an unfamiliar restaurant or going on hiking trips. Discoveries you make together will keep you feeling close.
One of the things I remember our friends doing was the day she got herself a motorcycle. She got herself a rider! In her golden years years she gets in her leather outfit and off she goes down the road.
She’s good at it and enjoys every minute of it. Sometimes she rides with her kids. Adventures are a great input to your marriage relationship.
6. Projects Together.
It’s no surprise to find our friends involved in some type of project together. They cook together for big events – just like for their 50th wedding anniversary. They travel together. They go to church together. They go to games together. And they do ministry together.
When you do volunteer work together you will grow in ways you’d never grow otherwise.
7. Consider together.
While the old adage may be that opposites attract, experts advice to marry someone who is a close match to your core values like: religion, sex, parenting, money and family.
You don’t have to be the same on everything, but at least agree on the same religious beliefs, ideas on intimacy, parenting skills, financial plans, and future family gatherings.
These are important in the process of considering each other.
8. Trust each-other.
One of the most detrimental things in a marriage is hiding things from each other.
The only thing my wife and I hide from each other is our birthday and anniversary gifts to each other. That’s it!
Trusting your spouse is of utmost importance. Trusting God is vital. Your trust in God will improve your trust on each other. So trust God and trust one another.
For our friends, trust developed even deeper as time went on.
After deciding not to go through with the divorce things began to change and trust had to be earned as well as developed.
And I can assure you that today, after 50 years of marriage, they trust each other without a doubt.
9. Honor each other.
They also work hard to master effective communication — not just talking, but listening. And such couples make generosity and kindness habitual, committing small acts of service, like cleaning up without being asked.
They’re willing to forgive their spouse’s faults and failings. They treat each other with respect. Statements like: “I’m sorry,” “It’s OK,” and “I agree,” are statements that go a long way in a marriage relationship.
10. Remember each other.
Remember your spouse’s birthday and your anniversary. Really! When you remember these events, it speaks volumes to your spouse.
It says that you care about them being part of your life – better yet, being in your life.
11. Be friends to each other.
Don’t underestimate the importance of being friends with your spouse — it holds as much weight as the romantic and physical attraction. This doesn’t mean friends on Facebook, for goodness sake.
I am a firm believer in that before people tie the knot, they should be friends for a while first.That friendship is what is going to propel growth, care and admiration during the marriage relationship.
In fact, your friendship relationship within the marital union is what kids will remember about their parents more than anything else from their parent’s relationship.
Friends often do what families don’t.It’s a fact, and when combined, it makes a world of difference, a powerful marriage, and an inseparable union of two. So be friends forever.
These are just 11 ways to help your marriage reach and pass the 50 year mark. I know there's more to the secret of marital success, but for now, this is plenty to work with.
You can learn more with my free course on how to lead your marriage and your family with vision and purpose in order to reach your marital destiny.
I consider my friends to be heroes of the marriage relationship. Not only have they established a strong bond in their relationship, but also, a strong bond with their three children, grand-children and now working on their great-grandchildren.
It’s amazing to see this family do life together. They all go to church together, they party together, they yell at each other (all at the same time) – it’s part of their culture – yet without getting or staying mad at each other.
They eat together. They laugh, play and tease each other – all the time. It’s always a joy to see this family. We talk about them wherever we go.
Are they perfect? Well, of course not. But their qualities, love and support for each other, supersede any flaw obvious to man. No doubt their faith in Christ has made all the difference.
But it also takes submission to each other as well as to God, faith, trust, and a determination to fight through the struggles that life swings at you.
Regardless of where you are in your marriage or in your plans for marriage, know that it is possible to make it to 50 years together – and beyond.
My wife and I just celebrated 28 years of marriage. That’s half of the time our friends have been married.
Our desire is to have their determination and commitment to reach the greatest marriage exploit every couple desires – grow old together, while enjoying each other’s company all the way through.
Question: What else have you noticed about couples that have been married for 50 years or more? What other qualities have you noticed?