35 Years of Marriage Taught Me These 5 Truths About Romance

happy anniversary

Over the weekend, we celebrated 35 years of marriage. Happy Anniversary, Doug!

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Happy Anniversary


This picture was taken on our 33rd anniversary. We were married on Thanksgiving weekend a few years ago. We thought that a Thanksgiving wedding would be convenient for all of the family who had to travel from out of town and our colors are burgundy and gray which was all the rage in the 80s. In the early years when our kids were little, we would also be able to leave after the Thanksgiving family meal and go for a weekend getaway as a couple. Those weekend getaways would usually set us up for a Black Friday sale at the local stores. Yes, we would be the ones who would be there at 6 AM, get all of our shopping done and then go back to our hotel and relax the rest of the weekend. Also, since the gifts were bought out of town, most of them were very unique.

Teenage Years


When our girls were teenagers, we would get away as often as we could but most of the time sports event were scheduled, even though it was a holiday weekend. Plus the gifts for the kids seemed to change as the children grew older, so not everything was a total surprise at Christmas time. We welcomed their input regarding Christmas wishes and what they needed for Christmas.

Empty Nesters

Now, we have been empty-nesters for four years. That is when we started going to small cabin in the mountains for a weekend getaway. There is just something about the mountain air, quiet mornings, listening to the birds, sitting in a rocking chair on the porch and looking out over the mountains, that calms the soul.

When we are there, it feels like we have gone back in time and it is just the most relaxing time we have of the entire year. On this particular Thanksgiving, it snowed. For this Florida girl, that was so much fun. I was so thankful that I took my wool coat.

35 Years of Marriage Taught Me These 5 Truths About Romance

I’m not a marriage counselor but since I have been married for 35 years, I feel like I can speak to a few things that worked for us.

1. Read this every day: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8  (NIV)

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails..

2. Don’t compare your marriage or love story to the love stories on TV.

God has so much for you in his plan that you cannot even imagine the possibilities. I’m so glad that we got married before Facebook, social media and reality TV.  In our social media driven world, it is so hard for young couples who choose to compare their love story to their friends, a Facebook status or a TV show.

3. Value Individuality

After 35 years of marriage, I would say the most important thing is to value the individual that your partner is.

4. Find something you have in common and enjoy that together.

5. Enjoy time apart and with your friends outside of your marriage. 

Both of my girls are married now and each one was required by our church to go to marriage counseling with their fiance. They all had to read this book:The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. It has been around a while but it has so much value. Its available at the link : The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.



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  1. Wow! Those are great pieces of wisdom from someone who’s been there. Can’t even imagine what 35 years of marriage would be like! In a world so full of broken, half-hearted relationships, it’s always such a beautiful thing to me to see marriages still going strong after decades.

    God bless you both! Happy Anniversary!

    1. Thank you, Joanna, It’s hard to believe that we can measure our marriage in decades but that’s the reality. We feel so blessed.

  2. Happy Anniversary! I appreciate all the wisdom you’ve gleaned from 35 years of marriage. They are simple things but oh so important. Your description of the mountain getaway sounds so peaceful.

    It struck me that you said that burgundy and gray were so popular in the 80s, because I remember those years when gold, hunter green, and burgundy were THE colors. They’re back in style now!

  3. My husband and I have only been married for three years but I can see already your suggestions are very true! (Although our marriage was put through the fire already with my husband’s battle with addiction so it feels like we’ve been married for ten!). The book you suggested is very good. It’s such a simple concept, that we all love differently but it’s really impactful. One thing I’ve noticed over time is those five love languages are very much how God loves us. It really magnifies our humanness that we fall short in so many areas of love. Having God be the example of how to love my husband be in the forefront of my marriage has easily been the greatest lesson I’ve learned yet.

    1. I agree with you, Leah. It is so important to keep God as the example of how to love as the anchor in our marriages. We have been through so many situations that it’s hard to pick the most challenging time in our marriage. One of the top five would be the my battle with cancer. Thanks for commenting and be blessed.

  4. What a sweet post with some great tips! I like the point you made about valuing individuality. Sometimes I look at my husband and admit that he terrifies me because he can be so outspoken about his convictions. Then I tell him that it’s also a good trait and that God has a plan for it. Believe me, there’s been a couple of times I’ve had to swallow my worries and tell him, “If it’s something you believe in, then it’s worth risking (job, academic career, etc.) over.”

    Some days it feels like a roller coaster ride. But it’s also been a very blessed ride so far.

    1. Lauren, I totally get what you are saying. My husband is always trying different business adventures and I like to play it safe. I am still learning to listen to my husbands dreams and support him even though those dreams scare me. Many blessings to you and your husband.

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