Our grandparents knew a thing or two about love as evidenced by the high marriage rates and low divorce rates of their generation.
One could also argue that some of the best romantic films came out during their time (Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, and It’s a Wonderful Life — just to name a few). It’s certainly safe to say that our grandmothers are excellent sources of wisdom on romance and marriage.
Here are 10 pieces of marriage advice from our grandmothers’ generation that should continue to circulate:
1. Never Stop Courting Each Other
The romance should not end after you “seal the deal” with your marriage vows. On the contrary, it should increase (and continue to do so each and every day). Too many couples stop trying to win each others’ hearts once they enter into married life. For a marriage to be fruitful, though, a couple should never stop dating and never let that beautiful, thrilling spark die.
2. Be a Good Wife
This is not a command from an oppressive patriarchal society, but rather a note of encouragement to be your best self for the one you love. Husbands and wives should expect much of each other and should, more importantly, desire to give much to each other. For wives, this often looks like making the house a home, supporting your husband in his endeavors, offering him encouragement when he needs it, and — yes — even putting on a pretty dress and greeting him at the door. Putting your best foot forward for your spouse is not a burden, but an act of love.
Putting your best foot forward for your spouse is not a burden, but an act of love.
3. Argue Well
It would be naïve to believe that arguments will never arise. Even the most compatible human persons will, at some point, disagree. When you do, it’s crucial that you disagree well — in a way that is calm, constructive, and still centered on love. Refrain from shouting, bringing up past grievances, accusing, and allowing your emotions to drive things. And never, under any circumstances, go to bed angry. Arguments should lead you to deeper understanding and resolution, strengthening your marriage and your love.
4. Communicate Well
Just as you should argue well, you should also learn how to best communicate all other thoughts, feelings, and desires well. This will take time as the two sexes (and each individual person!) communicate in far different fashions. Men, for example, have a one-track mind and don’t process the often tangent-riddled speech of women very well. Knowing how, when, and in what manner your husband prefers to talk about both the insignificant and significant things of life will benefit both of you.
5. Find Good Couple Friends
You and your husband should absolutely be each other’s best friend. That doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t need community. Finding good friends in the same state of life as you will bolster you in your marriage. You will be able to encourage each other through the highs and lows and, of course, have fun together.
You still need community when you're married.
6. Serve Each Other
Marriage involves mutual self gift. A healthy marriage is one in which the wife places her husband before herself, and the husband places his wife before himself. Consider your spouse’s needs before your own, perform random acts of kindness for him, and love fully and selflessly.
7. Combine Your Finances
Financial problems are one of the main causes for divorce. Couples need to be on the same page financially so as to avoid great tension and conflict. The best way to do this is to combine your finances, consider it “our” money (not “mine” and “his”), and plan how you will spend and save your dollars together.
8. Make Love Your Number One Priority
It’s easy to place other things before your marriage, such as your children, your job, or even your hobbies. Other aspects of your life won’t flourish if you allow your marriage to wilt, though. Your love is your foundation and, therefore, it must be strong.
Other aspects of your life won’t flourish if you allow your marriage to wilt.
9. Hard Times Will Come, but They’ll Make You Stronger
No marriage will be free of hardships and trials. There will be times when it’s hard to love. Today, it’s all too common to turn to separation and divorce when these times arise. It’s important to know, though, that (in most cases), if you stick it out and work through these difficulties together, you will become more united in your love.
10. Marriage Is for Life
Don’t take this commitment lightly. It isn’t one that you can just walk away from without lasting repercussions for you and your children. It’s one that, when you enter into it with the surety that you will stay true to your love for life, will be a great blessing and a path to enduring happiness.
Marriage never has been and never will be easy, but it always has been and always will be beautiful. And when we look to the older, wiser generations for example, we will find how to ensure that our marriages are fruitful and entirely colored by love.
Readers make our world go round. Make your voice heard in the official Evie reader survey.