marriage secrets

Top 5 Marriage Secrets from Seasoned Veterans

I learned my first marriage secret from a seasoned veteran right after getting royally beaten at racquetball. I was 24 years-old, full of energy, full with confidence, and full of myself!

My opponent was pushing 60. To be honest, I was embarrassed at how easy the game was going to be. “I’m going to run circles around this dude,” I thought. I was right, but not in the way I anticipated.

The match was a classic “Overconfident kid meets seasoned veteran.” Bill knew his way around. Sure, I ran circles; but I ran around the court, endlessly, while Bill stood in a small zone in the middle. He moved a little to his left, took a step forward, leaned a shade to his right, then came back.

By the time it was over, I’d been roundly thrashed by “Mr. Experience.”

Afterwards we talked about the game, my game, his 35-year going strong marriage, my brand-new life as a husband, and some of his secrets to a happy marriage.

This year it’s been 35-years for us. Some of Bill’s tips are still at play. Plus we’ve learned some “seasoned veteran” secrets of our own.

To really make your marriage thrive, listen to these Top 5 Marriage Secrets from Seasoned Veterans.

1. The children do not come first.

(From a couple 5 years into their HAPPY empty nest) “We almost lost one another putting the kids first. The idea was that we’d catch up with each other later. But there is no later if you lose each other along the way. Besides, the best gift any parents can give kids is a mom and dad who are still crazy about each other.” [Tweet This]

2. Love is a daily choice.

(From a couple married 15 years with three kids). “First thing in the morning I try to remember to remind myself to be loving and kind today,” Kevin said. “Life is so hectic I must stay ahead of the curve.” “Bingo,” Sally added; “If I don’t tell myself I’m choosing Kevin every day, then I’m not really honoring my vows or my commitment.”

3. It is better to give than to receive.

(David and Peggy celebrated 50 years in 2014)  “There’s a Bible verse that talks about trying to outdo one another when it comes to honor and affection (Romans 12:10),” Peggy said. “David and I have this unspoken competition going. We figure that if our main interest is the happiness of the other, then selfishness won’t have any room.”

4. Service is the foundation of success.

(Steve and Alex have been married over 30 years). “Her need is my opportunity,” Steve said. “So I bring her coffee every morning, I do things for her all the time, I’m always looking for opportunities. I’m not looking for equal treatment,” he said. “It’s about putting my love into practice.”

5. Never, ever stop dating.

(From the heart of two 65 year-old romantics). “We ‘go out’ once a week. Money or no money, we find something special to do together. I always ask her. She always says yes. Sometimes it’s just a long walk on the beach and ice cream. Sometimes it’s a fancy restaurant. Always it’s special. We never take it for granted…ever.”

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Derek Maul

Derek Maul is the author of five books, a nationally recognized men’s resource, a committed encourager, and a pilgrim in progress. He divides his time between writing and traveling to speak about the fully engaged life.

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Schedule dinner with one or two other couples. Ask each person to share their top positive tip for happiness together.

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