4 Ideas for Marriage: Keep It …

This year Scott and I celebrated our 13th anniversary.

He is truly the happily in my ever after (I even wrote a whole long blog about how amazing he is). But, after thirteen years of marriage I can honestly say there are a lot of things I am still uncertain about.

I still can’t always tell when my sweet husband is being exceptionally quiet because he’s mad about something or worried or just plain tired. I am consistently unsure of what to get him for his birthday, Christmas and Father’s Day. I often feel like I’m in his way when I am trying to help him. And for the life of me, I have no clue why he finds certain shows and movies funny!

Lest anyone think I pay no attention to my husband, I have learned a few lessons.

He does not want to talk to me about what happened at work – at least not right when he walks in the door. He is not motivated to do work around the house simply because I am up doing it. He would rather I sit in the same room with him doing something different than for us to be in separate rooms. And it doesn’t bother him when I go to bed two hours earlier than he does – he rather likes the quiet!

Marriage is hard …

and it takes a lot of work. But, I’m learning that much of the work to be done is based on very simple things. For me, I’m working to keep four things at the priority

  1. Keep it SIMPLE! Focus on what really matters. Sure I’d like the trash taken out the night before because I’m a planner. But, as long as it’s out before the trash truck comes – does it really matter how long the can has been sitting at the curb? Nope, not a bit! So, instead of focusing on WHEN the trash goes out, I’m learning to focus on being thankful that my husband takes care of that chore.
  2. Keep it SILLY! Laugh together every day . Learning to see the humor in life has been the best lesson my husband has taught me. Often we laugh at me – I’m pretty quirky and there’s lots to find amusing. But it seems that when we laugh we are more connected and at peace.
  3. Keep it SEXY! Kiss, hug, touch, often. We never leave the house and rarely leave the room without kissing each other. We hold hands during prayers at church. We curl up together to watch TV. And we hug each other often … especially in front of our daughter. Touch is so important and leads to more touch. I enjoy being touched by my husband and I love to touch him.
  4. Keep it SWEET! Say nice things to and about each other – daily. Being purposeful about seeing and saying the wonderful attributes of our spouses brings great strength to marriage. We all enjoy being complimented. Making time to be intentional about encouraging and uplifting our spouses is an important component to a strong marriage.

After I finished this list and was editing/proofing, I decided there was one more idea to share ~

Keep it SPOKEN!
Make sure you discuss problems that arise before they get out of hand. Give compliments generously ~ sometimes behind his back! Speak well of your husband to your children. It’s easy at some stages of life (especially the one most of us are in with children still in our homes) to give all our best efforts to the various tasks at hand leaving only leftovers for our husbands … DON’T!

Both my husband and I are blessed to be in families where our grandparents have celebrated their 50th anniversaries and beyond. We have a legacy of long and healthy marriages. But we know those marriages don’t happen by chance. Solid marriages are not simple … they require much effort and sacrifice. But, oh, the rewards!

MAKE time to keep your marriage simple – focus on what really matters!
TAKE time to keep you marriage silly – laugh together!
ENJOY time to keep your marriage sexy – touch and do it often!
CHERISH time to keep your marriage sweet – share kind words with your spouse.
And of course, GIVE time to speaking – good communication is the key to a successful marriage.


Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. #1 made me laugh! That is SO me! I've definitely learned that the best way to get my husband not to do things is to insist they be done MY way. He's such a blessing to me. Thanks for the good reminders on how to treat him that way!

  2. This is such a great list! Marriage is definitely not an easy thing, but can be so wonderful if you put the effort in 🙂 Congrats on 13 years!

  3. What a great post- we have been married for 12 1/2 years and I so agree that keeping things spoken is especially important! Thanking God with you for wonderful husbands!

  4. Thank you Teri for the great tips!! We're just hitting the 6 month mark on our second try and these are definitely things I needed to hear. I'm the type who likes to bottle things up until I explode and I'm really working on not doing that. I'm going to print out your tips and keep them close at hand!!

  5. That's the way to do it! My Love and I have been married for 14 years and while he knows how to drive me crazy, I wouldn't do it differently.

    This morning he and I were teaching an impromptu lesson on husbands and wives at the morning prayer meeting. After reading and explaining Titus 2, Ephesians 5, and Proverbs 31, the Pastor's wife had enough. She looked at me and said, "Carrie, let me ask you a question….. Do you like beans? Because I have a big pot of bean soup in the other room if you'd like some." I couldn't help it; I laughed right out loud.

  6. Sometimes I "use up" my sweet self on my young boys and forget to be sweet to my husband! Thanks for all the great reminders!

  7. Absolutely right, Ms. Teri. Having lived through not-so-happily-ever-after marriages, Rocket Man and I were determined NOT to make the same mistakes over. We might make new ones, but both of us learned a lot about what was important. The one phrase that we share a lot with each other and others around us is this: You can be right…or you can be happy! Occasionally you can be both, but there is very little on God's green earth that we are willing to fuss about. We also agreed early on that there were things we probably would NEVER see eye to eye, and that our relationship was much more important than those issues. So, we don't ever discuss them. That has helped a great deal.

  8. Wonderful post!! We have been married 17 years and definitely do some of your list (especially love the silly part!), but I need to do some work on the rest to keep it strong!

  9. What a great post! Marriage is such a wonderful thing when all of the above things that you mentioned happen within it. It is so encouraging to see others who take marriage seriously! Keep on sharing the love!

  10. Oh Teri Lynne
    This is a wonderful post! I love it! I think I will print it and glue it into my journal so i will be reminded of these tips often. Thank you for letting me glean this wisdom from you.

    Also Thanks for telling people to follow me on twitter. You rock!

  11. Thanks, all of you, for your kind words. My marriage is the greatest gift God has given me outside of my salvation … and keeping it strong and sure is one of the highest priorities in my life. I'm encouraged, always, by others who have that same purpose and determination.

    P.S. Sarah … so happy to give you some Twitter love!!

  12. We're at twelve and a half years, and marriage just gets better every year. We get more and more alike every year. I wish I knew how to give more–I feel like my husband gives and gives and I wish I knew how to bless him more. He makes so few demands of me…okay, none at all…he works so hard for us, and is incredibly sweet and patient.

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