8 Smart Tips
To Make It Last
by Lisa Cregier
When I married the first time, I was 23, but very immature. I learned early that familiarity breeds contempt. My husband and I experienced a torrid love affair and marriage was intended to be the finishing touch to a perfect union. However, it didn’t work out that way. The adjustment of making my private life a shared affair was not totally what I expected.
I missed my warm pajamas and long flannel gowns, but I was afraid to put aside my pretty lingerie for less complimentary attire. There were days when I didn’t want to be pretty or bothered, but to no avail. I had to be “up” whether I felt like it or not and I worried much about being discovered asleep with my mouth open. I missed the excitement of getting dressed for him and using every mirror in the house…and as a married woman, I became ashamed of my vanity. Suddenly, I was overly conscious about what had been a natural part of me before. When I primped too long, I felt conspicuous and self-absorbed, especially when I’d catch him staring at me disapprovingly.
I resented being dropped as his date. I wanted to be his “girl” and his wife. But he didn’t have a clue. I never got used to his clothes being all over “my” room. His likes and dislikes served to inhibit me and I revolved my life around his wants and his needs as my mother had before me. When we were dating, we could talk on the phone for hours about nothing and just listen to each other breathe. However, marriage seemed to make conversation an effort and tender murmurings a thing of the past.
Even though, it took two years of wedded misery to convince us of our incompatibility, we realized early that we had failed to cultivate the three most important elements of marriage…love and friendship…and comfort with one’s self. Now, I’m getting ready to marry again, and after three years of a happy meeting of the minds, I think I’ve discovered the formula for marrying well.
- Be able to laugh heartily together.
- Live in a spacious dwelling so that solitude and privacy can be maintained when needed and romance can be kept alive.
- Eat together every night.
- Continue to date each other, while creating fun adventures to discover together.
- Get an understanding about money prior to the wedding and stick to it.
- Respect each other’s right to individuality and resist the urge to criticize.
- Be slow to resent and quick to forgive.
- But most importantly, the couple who prays together…stays together.