Great Marriages take work; they don’t just happen.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul-mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert

I have had the honor of working at several weddings. One of my favorite times is when there is a generation dance and the couple that has been married the longest tells us their tips for a successful marriage. I will be sharing these tips.

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  • A loving marriage requires commitment, communication, and affection.
  • Don’t roll your eyes at each other or be disrespectful, keep in your mind what attracted you to each other in the first place. Be respectful and caring, even when you disagree.
  • Loving takes time, patience and diligence to grow strong.
  • Make a conscious decision to do whatever it takes to make a strong marriage, it is all about choices.
  • Share everything together, even if it is just chores, or being healthy together; you are equally responsible for everything. Couples who work together stay together.
  • Maintain a healthy physical relationship.
  • Always be grateful for each other.
  • Stay close to family and friends, they helped form you into you. There is nothing more important than keeping outside relationships as well as continuing to work on your new marriage.
  • It is not up to your spouse to make you happy, that is up to you.¬†Happiness lies within.
  • When dealing with finances, work on them together. If you don’t, you might start the “blame game”. Finances are the number one reason for divorce.
  • Celebrate the small signs of love as much as the big signs of love, even if it is someone doing the dishes without being asked.
  • Learn to compromise; working together is key. Make sure your choices don’t alienate one another.
  • Continue having date nights through your marriage, it will keep your love fresh.
  • Lift your spouse up, if he does something unexpected tell him “thank you”. If he is feeling down about something, help him smile.
  • Do not bring up anything from the past, stick to the present. Be grateful for the time you share.
  • Never and Always are unrealistic terms, don’t use them, especially in a negative way!
  • I know I have said this before, but be affectionate; hold hands!
  • It gets easier the longer you stay together. After ten years, it is a breeze. Make the commitment to not give up and continue to work together.
  • Think positively about your marriage, and it will stay positive.

There are so many other sayings for a great marriage¬†that I have heard, these are my favorite and are the most useful for my marriage as well. Marriage was intended by God to be fulfilling, adventurous, and full of gratification. Yes, there will be “troubled waters”, but who better to face those troubles than with the one you chose to marry?

Written by Smokey Mountain Sounds- Ellen Crivellone, Photos by Bob Clark-Imagine This Photography