21 Things 61 Years of Marriage Will Teach You

After my post last week, 19 (Somewhat Non-Traditional) Tips For Making Marriage Awesome, I was emailing with my Grandma, who has been married to my Grandpa for 61 years. He now suffers from Alzheimers and in a true testament to her love for him, she continues to care faithfully for him. In her message to me she said these words that I adored:

“My advice to young people is to make the most of each day, let go of petty grievances, don’t be selfish, treat your mate the way you want to be treated, get over it, kiss and make up and move on.”

I loved it so much, it inspired me to ask her if she would do a guest post on my blog with her OWN tips on marriage from the perspective of someone who has been married 61 years. Below is her list of 21 things, and I couldn’t have imagined a better one. It made me cry and it made me smile, and I hope it does the same for you.

21 Things I Have Learned in the Past 61 Years…

  1. Trust. Begin with a trust in God in all things. Trust your spouse, children, and others until that trust is broken.  Healing a broken trust takes time.
  2. Faith.  Have faith in God for everything in your life.  Have faith in yourself, be confident.  It may be necessary to be the leader in faith for your family. Set the example.
  3. Mates, especially the male, work better when they have a patient, dedicated, mute, assistant by their side while performing menial chores and repairs about the home, yard, automobile, etc.
  4. Crying gets you nothing, just stops up your nose and distorts your beauty, use cunning instead!
  5. Pick your battles; be sure you have the right ammunition to win or don’t engage!
  6. It’s fun to sneak a kiss from your spouse in the grocery store aisle. Try to be discreet!
  7. Smile while biting tongue through clenched teeth to keep from saying what you really think you want to say. Remember you sometimes have to eat your words and they can be very bitter.
  8. Always, always, be respectful of family members no matter how much you think you dislike them; it sometimes surprises you that they can be your best ally.
  9. Forgive. You may not forget but forgiveness helps you move beyond the pain of the moment. Forgiveness is more for yourself than the one you are forgiving.
  10. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Refer to number 5.
  11. Try to never go to bed angry. Talk over anything that troubles you.  Don’t ignore what caused the anger, try to resolve the problem and work toward a resolution. You will rest better!!
  12. Never, never, criticize each other or raise your voice in anger in public. Not only do you shame yourself but you make all around you feel uncomfortable and they/you will remember.
  13. Jealousy rears its ugly head and life becomes miserable.  It has no place in a relationship nor should it be used as a weapon.  Being jealous is one of the most miserable feelings you can experience. (I learned this the hard way).  Refer to number one.
  14. Always remember what brought you together in the beginning.  First it was attraction, then flirtation, then puppy love, which grew into strong affection and true love. Love grows deeper and deeper as you share your life together. It keeps you strong through every incident, good or bad, that you travel through.  You will be tested; faith, trust, love will take you through it all.
  15. Never, never rehash old arguments!
  16. Be flexible but stand your ground.  Keep your principles intact.
  17. Don’t be selfish or self-centered. Treat others the way you want to be treated. There is great joy in sharing even when situations don’t fit your purpose.
  18. Do not judge too quickly, find out all the facts and details before you go into a rage, be it with spouse, children or others.  Refer to number 7.
  19. Remember you are the adult. Behavior is learned as a child. Examine yourself to see what example you have/are setting for your children; judge, punish, or reward them accordingly.  Remember behavior can be improved regardless of past learning.
  20. Be quick with praise, slow to criticize, but be very honest.
  21. Life flies by rapidly. Twilight years can find you struggling with dementia/Alzheimers and only God and all the years of growing together can help you cope. Life is good, God is good.

Gerry Peck      2013

Here’s to my amazing grandparents! Thank you for this beautiful post, Grandma.

At my wedding in 2011.
At my wedding in 2011.
In their early years - before my dad was born.
In their early years – before my dad was born.
60-year Anniversary
60-year Anniversary
Most recent anniversary - 61 years!
Most recent anniversary – 61 years!

Love them both very much! Thanks for setting a perfect example of marriage.


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