Tag Archive: healthy marriage


i have purposefully tried to get different voices as i ask friends of mine who are married well for their opinions on what can help to make a marriage strong and while a lot of my friends have only been married for under ten years, it is clearly an advantage to hear from those who have walked longer and gone through much more, and so it is a privilege for me to share some words from a good friend who has been married for 31 years [longer than my wife has been alive!] so pay careful attention:

So one word of advice – oh my gosh after 30 years that is quite a question. I think my word of advice would be for those who marry someone younger than them e.g. ME MYSELF AND I!!!! If i had to go back and start again I would show my husband a lot more respect, having been independent for so long i was used to getting the job done so if it was his job and he didn’t get it done – i did it – and that’s not good. Let them do it – don’t mother them – it takes a long time to rebuild something when you don’t do it right at the beginning.

Always be a united front in front of the children – especially if there are more girls in the family and only one Dad – it’s very easy to ‘gang’ up against Dad without even realising it.

Lastly make sure when you go into marriage that if you have no clue how to budget that you get someone who is good at it to teach you and try not to start off in debt – it’s a bugger to get out of. Make sure your wife has pocket money – that she can spend how she likes – no matter how small the amount is. Like wise for the husband.

Brett hope these will be of some use – and hope we are staying nameless wherever you may or may not use this!!

[heading for 31 years]

for more thoughts on growing a strong marriage, click here…

Continuing the series where I asked a bunch of my friends who I think are in healthy marriages to share a key or two about what they have found helps make their marriage work well. Here are thoughts from my sister-in-law:

I think one of the biggest things that makes our marriage work for us is our communication. Communication when joking together, communication when talking, communication when sharing feelings, communication when showing our love for each other, communication when disagreeing, communication when discussing disagreements.

Two of the biggest things I’ve learnt since being married, and both of them I’ve learnt from Ewald, are these:

Realize in a discussion or difference, or in a misunderstanding, that everyone has a unique perspective which is because of their unique personality and identity (those things you fell in love with) so try and see the situation from their perspective. A lot of stuff starts to fall into place then.

The other thing I’ve learnt is not to shout or get angry when we’re having an argument or disagreement. I sometimes want to, but all that will do is escalate things to an ugly level. Ewald always discusses things calmly even when we’re frustrated because we’re trying to be understood and to understand and it’s that kind of patience and love and kindness in speech that makes me want to discuss calmly… If that all makes sense? I guess what I’m trying to say is that we each hold the responsibility for the tone we set in a discussion and I’ve seen so many times how ewald simply choosing not to speak in an annoyed voice or not to speak angrily makes me want to treat him in the same kind way, then we’re able to communicate more effectively in the situation and are able to avoid causing hurt.

[Bronwyn Duffield Witthoft – married for 5 and a half years to Ewald who commented in part iii]

to read the next one click here…

Continuing the series where I asked a bunch of my friends who I think are in healthy marriages to share a key or two about what they have found helps make their marriage work well. Here are thoughts from my brother-in-law:

We communicate about everything, no matter how trivial it might seem.

We clear stuff up immediately, a small issue which is resolved immediately remains just a small issue but many unresolved small issues build up and cause problems down the line.

We don’t refer to past disagreements, they are dealt with in the moment, then we move on.

Always use ‘we’ language, it helps us to remember that it’s us against whatever issue we’re facing, not me against you.

Last but not least, we are unique individuals and a unique couple, what works for other couples might not work for us and what works for us might not work for other couples, never feel under pressure to do what others do.

Ewald Witthoft [married for five and a half years]

continue to the next part here…

so i recently was on an orange river trip with a bunch of youth okes linked to a southern suburbs church youth group…

two of the guys on the trip wore t-shirts (which i addressed with them both – one directly and one a little more indirectly cos i couldn’t remember who had been wearing it) which distressed me a lot

[1] cartoon picture made up of two blocks – in the first block a guy and a girl figure [similiar to toilet man and woman stick figures] standing next to each other – in the second block dude has shoved his arm out and girl is falling through the bottom of the block – caption reads “PROBLEM SOLVED”

[2] second was a block with a cartoon groom and a bride, similiar stick figure vibe to first pic – bride is holding bouquet and smiling, groom has big sad face – caption reads “GAME OVER”

both of them saddened me in terms of the message they were delivering and in terms of the fact that young guys would choose to wear them [the ‘problem solved’ guy told me that he had been given the t-shirt by a bunch of his girl friends which made me maybe even a little more horrified]

are they funny? yes, i guess so, clever word play, well done

but they are horrible, horrible, horrible, especially the ‘game over’ one

the statistics for divorce are something like 1 in 3 marriages or maybe even closer to 1 in 2 these days – and they are largely the same in so-called christian and non-christian marriages – how much of this is due to the fact that marriage has largely become a joke, or at the very least a joked about thing

when i marry people [two down, one to go next weekend] i marry them with my shoes off, linking back to the moses story and the fact that he was standng on holy ground, because i truly believe that is how God views marriage – it is a holy and special and spiritual and sacred thing – when we return to that point of view, we will have a starting point towards having healthy marriages which – altho not necessarily easy, because marriage is not always easy, it requires work and effort and sacrifice and humility and service and surrender on a continual daily basis – can and do work and will be an effective role model in a world where relationships have largely become a selfish endeavour, reduced to a me-me-me-me enactment, or a joke on a t-shirt…

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