Life Lessons on Marriage

My bride, Chemaine, and I celebrate 14 years of matrimonial journey together today.  So far, it has been an adventure infused with joy, laughter, pain, frustration, delight, growth, healing, seeking, praying, forgiving, encouraging, reacting, responding, play, work, and so much more.  Thank you for sharing your life with me, Darlin!  I am enjoying today, and looking forward to tomorrow, hopefully having grown from yesterday.

As I reflect on my years of marriage, it seems fitting to pass along to you some of the lessons I have learned, in no particular order.  Feel free to post comments in response, or with your own lessons learned.

  1. Friendship is a key ingredient to a thriving marriage.
  2. Apologizing clearly, sincerely, and quickly (once you can genuinely cover the first two points well) is a powerful lubricant to the marital engine.
  3. Life is better when I am praying regularly for my wife’s blessings.
  4. When I am feeling discontented, frustrated, or angry, serving my wife is always good medicine for both of us.
  5. Playtime shouldn’t be reserved just for the kids.
  6. Getting stuck on a sandbar on a cruise to Cozumel, and catching the redeye flight home via expedited Mexican customs is a great way to make lifetime memories.
  7. Hanging out in the cruise ship karaoke bar with no other agenda than relaxing together, dancing a bit, and enjoying a few moments in the glorious spotlight of karaoke fame is another.
  8. If I had fully understood the challenges of “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall be one flesh” before I got married, I might not have taken the plunge.
  9. I’m really glad I took the plunge.
  10. Marriage is MUCH better when I am willing to humbly seek the guidance of others whose lives and marriages I respect.
  11. If I live in such a way that others know my marriage is my highest relationship priority, I won’t need to convince my wife.  She will already know it.
  12. I do well to regularly read Philippians 2:1-11 and James 1:19-20
  13. Watching “Everybody Loves Raymond” together is always time well spent.
  14. Sex is not nearly as big a part of marriage as I thought it would be.
  15. Sex is a far greater part of marriage than I imagined.
  16. Sex can be complicated, mysterious, and mystifying.  Of course, both marriage and life in general can be complicated, mysterious, and mystifying.
  17. Learning to speak my wife’s “love language” well is good for both of us.
  18. Love languages are not necessarily static.  They can change over time.
  19. Periodically reading good books together is time well spent.
  20. The Holy Spirit’s voice sometimes sounds remarkably like Chemaine’s.
  21. Taking regular retreats together to fine-tune, rest, listen, and grow are essential to my marriage.
  22. The Parish Hermitage is the best place for us to retreat.
  23. If I am smiling and genuinely present with my wife on the phone, she feels it clearly on her end.
  24. If I am distracted or rolling my eyes with my wife on the phone, she feels it clearly on her end.
  25. I am a FAR better man for my wife’s impact on my life!
  26. If I am not sure what to say to my wife, “Let’s go to Izzo’s (Illegal Burrito)!” is always a good option.
  27. Learning what delights my wife, and then bringing that delight to her, is one of my favorite treasures to experience.

With Hope in Him, and delight in her,


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