Tag Archive: marriage advice


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there is no blueprint for marriage.

because every marriage is made up of two different people and so it will never look the same.

but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from each other. we all have different stories but there are similarities and areas of overlap and moments of intersection that teach and instruct and inform and encourage and challenge.

which is what this series is all about. i asked a bunch of friends of mine who have been married for different numbers of years to share a story or a challenge they faced or one thing that really helped them with the hope that someone else somewhere [and hopefully a bunch of someone elses] will benefit from hearing it and be encouraged or challenged in their own story.

you might be married for less than a year and benefit from someone who has just celebrated their 20 year mark.

you might be married for four years and learn something from someone who has been married for just 2.

you might not even be married at all – and there is still something here for you to learn if you will give it a chance. 

i just assumed that if we got a bunch of different people from different years of marriage to tell some stories that we would get a very mixed bag of experiences shared.

we did. and i hope you will enjoy them. for some years of marriage i got more than 1 story and am looking to add more as we go along. so if you have a story to share, please email me at brettfish@hotmail.com and some of them might get added to this mix.

in the meantime, i give you ‘Marriage through the years’ –

Marriage Year 1: Meet Kerstin and Carl Fourie

Marriage Year 2: Meet Sally and Benjamin Shannon

Marriage Year 2: Meet Steven and Megan Cottam

Marriage Year 2: Meet Emma and Gordon Whiley

Marriage Year 2: Meet Elaine and Dave Kim

Marriage Year 3: Meet Ruth and Philip Boshoff

Marriage Year 3: Meet Shaun and Samantha Brauteseth

Marriage Year 4: Meet Jade and Sean Poole

Marriage Year 4: Meet Emma and Willie Cocklin

Marriage Year 4: Meet Tessa and Ashley Tuttle

Marriage Year 5: Meet Jackie and Tim Barker

Marriage Year 5: Meet Lindsay and Nate Brown

Marriage Year 5: Meet Lily and Jonathan Dunn

Marriage Year 5: Meet Candice and Matt Fourie

Marriage Year 6: Meet Karen and Alex Powell

Marriage Year 6: Meet Colette and Andrew Tennison

Marriage Year 7: Meet Leanne and Hilton Bennett

Marriage Year 7: Meet Bradley and Vicky Jones

Marriage Year 8: Meet Steven and Kristin Heineman

Marriage Year 9: Meet Anthea and Philip Godsmark

Marriage Year 9: Meet Bettina and Kevin van Antwerpen

Marriage Year 9: Meet Matt and Kathy Allison

Marriage Year 10: Meet Lu-Shane and Marco Alexander

Marriage Year 10: Meet Richard and Wendy Sumner

Marriage Year 10: Meet Megan and Brenton Furniss

Marriage Year 13: Meet Nate and Andrea Milheim

Marriage Year 14: Meet Tim and Laura Tucker

Marriage Year 15: Meet Natasha and Dave Henning

Marriage Year 18: Meet Lara and Chris Lahr

Marriage Year 28: Meet Shelley and Deon Lombard [Parents of Jade Lombard Poole in Year 4 above]

Marriage Year 33: Meet Jo and Ollie Prentice

Marriage Year 45: Meet Costa and Lorraine Mitchell

A while back i put together a series called ‘How to Save your Marriage [before you need to]’ which a whole bunch of other married people contributed to and you can catch up on all of those helpful posts over here.

Marriage through the Years: Stories, tips and advice from couples who have been married for different numbers of years.

How to save your marriage [before you need to] [Series]

How to Love your spouse better [Series]

Marriage is not for you! [a great read for married people!]

How marriage to the right person is highly recommendable

An excellent blog on the so-badly-called “Honeymoon Phase” of marriage for newly married folks in particular [by my beautiful wife, Val]

The importance of being intentional about romance in marriage in year one, and year ten, and year forty.

Sex in Marriage [also a really good read for those of you who are not married]

Ten Ways to Love Well

What my Single Friends would like their Married Friends to know

The Best Wedding Ever?: A glimpse into the drum beat thick wedding march

this great marriage-enhancing advice is from a friend of mine, Clint Botha, whose friendship has grown a lot since we both ended up in different countries and went virtual…

By no means do I consider myself and Karin some kind of pro married couple (although that would be an awesome competition and/or reality tv show). We have only been at this thing for 6 years and a bit, but these are the things we have found have worked for us.

– It’s a given for us, but Jesus is the centre of our marriage. He is our shared mission, goal, lord, saviour, love! That has made a huge difference in our marriage… I can not state that enough.

-We laugh. A LOT! We laugh at each other (not in a mean way… in other words… only if your partner also sees the funny side). We laugh at ourselves. I can not remember a day in our marriage (even the really difficult days) that we have not laughed about something.

-We save our energy for big stresses. We don’t sweat the little things. We are both of the attitude that life happens. On this journey there are things big and small completely out of our control and those things are not worth stressing over.

-We have a united front with money. Firstly we chose to have a shared bank account. There is no money allocated to Karin or me each month. For us marriage was all or nothing and this included earnings. We are also in agreement with what we do with that money (and Who it ultimately belongs to). We both try to not be reckless or bad stewards (sometimes better than others) and we also try not to hold onto money too tightly. What we found worked for us is that we set an agreed on amount that neither of us would spend more than without the others consent. That way you avoid being tied to never being able to spend… but you also never end up spending more than what was agreed on without the other persons knowledge.

-We give grace and forgiveness very freely and quickly. It’s a huge cliche’, but so important. We do not go to bed angry. Or to put it biblically: Ephesians 4:26 “26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”[a] Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry”.

-We accept that we are both broken people. Karin needs me to love her in spite of her brokeness as much as I need her to love me in spite of mine.

-We let go of passed stuff. It’s tempting to bring up previous mistakes. We’ve made it a priority to never do that.

– During our engagement when we were discussing married life and how to deal with stuff we decided to ban certain language. We banned the “d-word”. We don’t mention divorce. Not in anger… not as a joke. It is a no go word. We never have used that word in a conflict situation.

– We fight clean. We try as far as humanly possible (don’t always get this as right as we’d like to)…. but we try to never go for the jugular or take dirty shots at each other. We don’t do name calling, character assassination and that sort of thing. Stick to the issue.

-We talk. A LOT.

-And finally: “Quality not quantity” is an outright lie of the enemy. We signed up to live this life together and that means making an intentional effort to spend time together. Whether that’s going for a walk or just watching a movie together. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time with one other person for the rest of your life don’t get married.

[married for 6 years]

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