Several years ago, I asked the Winklers to pass along advice for married couples on how to have a successful, happy marriage. They were very kind to comply and I have the material, in brother Winkler’s easily distinguishable hand-writing, in my files.
Their suggestions were broken into two categories, the first being positive things couples can do for their marriages and the latter being habits, actions, and attitudes that hurt a marriage. Here are the answers from a couple who seemed as happily married as any two people I have known (Wendell Winkler passed away in 2005).
- Put your companion first.
- Build the confidence of each other, never making the other feel inferior.
- Maintain a beautiful togetherness [laugh, cry, plan vacations, and work together]. Walk through life together. Do not ride off in opposite directions [in interests, finance, recreation, etc.].
- Adjust to your companion’s interests [if he fishes, she learns to fish; if she loves to shop, he learns to shop].
- Be united in your goals and aspirations [for your children, for your retirement].
- Cooperate with each other [in disciplining your children, etc.].
- Make your companion a partner in all things.
- Be open, free, and uninhibited in your communication.
- Close each day on a positive note.
- Practice 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Things to Avoid:
- Excessive debt.
- “Me” and “I” syndrome instead of “we.”
- Suspicion and distrust.
- Failure to understand what is involved in “headship” and “submission.”
- Misarranged priorities.
- Failure to be commendatory.
- Failure to notice and apply the little things.
- Refusal to eliminate annoyances.
- Failure to keep romance in the marriage [never become too old to hold hands].
This material was written down by brother Winkler on February 14, 2004. ~Neal Pollard, Daily Bread