Posted November 6, 2013 by in Features

My Grandma’s Marriage Wisdom: How She Stayed Married for Over 53 years

My beautiful grandma is in her 70’s and I had a chance to sit down with her and pick her brain. The burning question that I wanted to know was how she stayed married so long. These days, I savor every moment I have with my grandma, as my grandfather has already gone onto glory (God bless my Papa). So, I decided to sit at the feet of my elder and get some knowledge. What I learned were philosophies that I think can bless countless marriages.

The first thing I asked my grandma was, “What is the secret to a lasting marriage?” Her response was simple and she talked about the importance of getting to know the person before marriage and throughout the relationship. Her comment made me recall a conversation I overheard the other day. Two women were chatting and one girlfriend asked the other, “How is your husband?” Silence. “Well….” she starts off. Crickets. “Well, he is no more. When you marry the wrong person, it’s such a struggle. I’m just tired of fighting for this. It’s over.”

The casual tone of that conversation blew my mind. No marriage is perfect, but isn’t your marriage worth fighting for? If not, there are probably some fatal flaws that you should have considered before, “I do.” In thinking about my grandma’s wisdom, I knew she was right on point. It’s so important to know who you are marrying before you walk down the aisle. So often, people just rush into marriage, without counseling or having a foundation that will produce a 53-year marriage. Additionally, I think that in marriage, sometimes the pursuit of a career or the demands of family pushes some couples to stop spending quality time together and continually getting to know each other. Quality time and growing together are critical for an enduring marriage. We should give some weight to what my grandma said.

Society’s view on marriage today is different from my grandma’s day. When she was growing up, there was a certain tenacity about staying together. People fought for their marriage in those days.  The thing that sets her generation apart from today’s married couples is that back then, they walked into marriage with one firm solid belief: divorce is not an option.

If today’s couples embraced this philosophy, you wouldn’t see 72-day marriages and folks constantly splitting for “irreconcilable differences.” You would notice more couples who were loving, forgiving, and committed to getting help to work things out. These are ground-rules that you should establish during engagement, so that it can be a foundational principle of your marriage from the start.

Finally, my grandma stressed the importance of compromise, seeing things from the other person’s perspective, and resisting a “grass is greener on the other side ” point of view. These were principles to live by.  I loved talking to her and I plan to embrace her words of wisdom so that I can have a 50+ year marriage too.

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D.S. Coleman is the Author of Why Dating Sucks & How Courtship is Better, a step-by-step guide to love and relationships from a Biblical perspective.  She is the founder of Courtship Challenge, a movement that focused on inviting God in your love life.  Find her on twitter: @courtship101