Lessons in Marriage After 30 Years.

Sometimes I wonder if marriage should be harder than it is. Seriously. John and I have a great relationship.

Of course, we fight - sometimes about important things, but often times about stupid things. I bicker and nag at him more than I would like to admit. He tinkers in the garage for hours to avoid me at times.

Nonetheless, we have made it through quite a bit of adversity in our 7 years together, and shared many, many happy times, too. Granted, we don't have kids to complicate matters, but I'll say it again, friends: Our marriage is easy.

I think a lot of support for our marriage comes from John's sisters and my parents. Isn't that what family is for? To support us in our love for each other? I think so, even when things don't appear so easy.

With that being said, tomorrow is a big day, people. My parents will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.
Thirty years. That's huge.

That's 30 years of working it out, even when it doesn't feel easy.

That's 30 years of soakin' in the sunshine, especially when it is easy.

That's 28 years of raising kids, which is anything but easy.

My parents, two people who have made marriage seem natural for three decades, have some wisdom we can glean. So lets hear a little bit about their marriage, and see how it can fit into our own relationships, shall we?


How did dad ask you to marry him?
Mom: I think I asked him.

Dad: Your Gramma Jan did the asking. 

Mom: No she didn't! 

Dad: No, no, I'm kidding. We'd been dating for about 5 years, so we thought we should get married. It was just time. 

Mom: Well, jeeze, it wasn't a shot gun wedding or anything. There just wasn't a formal proposal.

Tell me about your wedding. 
Mom: We had a band, and it was at a golf course on a lake. We cooked a buffalo...

Dad: Oh yeah, a buffalo!

Mom... and had pork from your grandparents. I had my sisters, my cousin Annette, and a friend as my bridesmaids, and about four ushers. 

Dad: It was a pretty average size for back then, a big church wedding. Maybe 200-300 people.

Mom: We rode in an Amish horse and buggy from the church to the reception. That was alright, it was different. A hell of a lot better than going away in the manure spreader. 

Someone you knew left their church wedding in a manure spreader? 
Mom: Yeah, someone from town. I don't remember who. 

Dad: Hahahahahahaha! That's right!

Mom: It was new, right from the implement. Not messy or anything. 

Dad: Hahahahaha!

Moving on. How did you make it to 30 years? 
Mom: Patience. There are some times when you just bite your tounge and pick your battles. But marriage is not always about that. Being married for 30 years, you eventually know the other person really well.

Dad: Yeah, you eventually have to suck it up and get along when times get tough. I think we made it 30 years because I grew up in a household where my parents and most of my family are all married still. I didn't know anything different. When you get married, you stay married to that person, no matter what. 

Who, or which couple, do you model your marriage after? 
Mom: I don't know that we model it after anybody, just other people that we knew that we liked and thought were doing it right. 

Dad: Well, everyone around us, some of our friends, actually got divorced. But, Kelli, I think you have to be best friends with each other when you are married. Instead of just being in love, you have to be best friends, too. 

Mom: We do everything together. I mean, when we first got married he would go out sometimes alone with his buddies and I would stay home with you kids when you were little. That stopped happening when you were older and we could get a babysitter. When you kids were older and in school we did things with other parents and you kids. That was always the most fun. 

Dad: You have to be really good friends with your mate - not just be married. For example, we go fishing together every year. Sometimes I go fishing in Canada with the guys, but I like it when she goes along because I like spending time with her.

Mom: There was no one we modeled after per say, but we saw other peoples' marriages that went bad and knew what we didn't want to do in our marriage. 

What's the hardest thing about marriage, in general? 
Mom: I don't think there's anything hard about it. But I do remember a time when all you kids were in school, and especially with you, we didn't communicate about how to raise you best when you were a teenager. You were the oldest and we hadn't done this before. We weren't on the same page sometimes, especially with this being our first time. We needed to be a team and talk to each other more and figure this parenting thing out. 

Dad: Yep. 

(Side note: I was a terribly mouthy teenager, and frequently pitted my parents against each other for 'important' things, like extended curfews and going on dates with older boys.) 

What advice do you have for couples who are going through a tough spot in their marriage? 
Dad: Well, I would first ask why they are going through a tough spot? I don't understand what can cause someone so much grief that they want to be divorced? If they have a major issue that pisses you off, work through it. 

You need to communicate. Figure out what the problem is and deal with it. Get back to why you married the person in the first place. 

Quit pissing and moaning. 

What do couples needs to think about before they get married?
Dad: We dated each other for 5 years, so we knew each other really well. That's pretty important for any couple. 

Mom: Your Gramma Jan gave me this advice: When you are dating a person and find you don't like something about them or what they are doing, don't think you can change them. They might grow up and grow out of that habit or trait, but they might not. You can never change a person. 

That was pretty good advice, but personally, I think you have to have a lot in common with your mate.

Dad: Yeah, nothing changes once you get married, they remain the same person you were dating. It all comes back to this: You have to marry your best friend; someone you want to be around more than anyone else.

Did you always want children? 
Mom: Oh yeah. I actually wanted one more child, but I wanted to have all my kids by the time I was 25, and it just didnt happen.

Dad: We planned all of our kids. No tavern babies.

(Side note: Well, that's reassuring.)

How did you manage to stay a 'married couple', instead of two individuals who are parenting the same children? 
Dad: We did it all together. When you kids were growing up you were actually the glue that held us together. Your activies pulled our family together; all the school events were perfect and family friendly. I can't believe it, but those 16 years of school functions held us up.

Mom: When you kids started middle school sports and activities especially, you became our entertainment. We became friends with your friends' parents. 

But you have to have a strong marriage when you get to that 'empty nest' stage. When you all graduated it was hard, so if you don't have a plan for your marriage after that stage in life, it will be harder. 

What do you want your children to remember about your marriage and parenting? 
Dad: We want you to remember the experiences around our family time together. Those were some fun times. Even now we enjoy talking about those family gatherings and vacations, so we hope you still like remembering them when we're gone.

Mom: I want you guys to remember all of our vacations where we forced you to get along, even if they were just to Canada fishing. I know that you guys wanted to go somewhere else, more kid-friendly, but we want you to remember those moments together as a family, because we worked hard for it.  


What are some things you and dad want to do in your future years together?
Dad: There's nothing I want to do here back home, I am totally content. We didn't always have a lot of money when we were young parents, and I realize now that I have a little more money, you aren't aways happier. Even so, I want to see things and go places.

Mom: I would like to travel more and not be tied down; come and go as I please. And be grandparents before I'm 80.

(Side note: We'll get right on that.)


What say you? Whether you've been married for a month or 50 years, share your own marriage advice in the comments below. Let's get this party started. 


  1. One of my secrets for guys to have a happy marriage? PEE SITTING DOWN! I know most think it's not "manly" but trust me, it will save a LOT of fighting!

  2. Neat interview! Your parents rock- "quit pissing and moaning"- so true, so true.
    I would say- communication is so important. Even if what you have to say to the other person is awkward or uncomfortable, if you have an issue with something important in you relationship you need to address it before it spirals out of control. That being said, you need to pick your battles- don't pick your spouse apart for every little thing that annoys you. And be silly sometimes! Love your blog.

  3. Replies
    1. It's safe to say that there were a half dozen moments where my dad said, "Wait, you probably shouldn't phrase it like that..."

      Oh, Dave.

  4. bwahahaha! Quit pissing and moaning. So true. My parents celebrated 41 years of marriage this year and they married after only dating for 3 months. 3. And they didn't know each other before those 3 months. ;-) Awesome post. Love it. Congrats to your parents.

    1. Have you ever talked with them about how they made it work? I am pretty sure couples today who only dated/knew each other for three months would NOT survive for 41 years. They clearly have something special goin' on. Congrats to them!

  5. Great advice Dave and JoLynne! Prole have asked how Kevin and I make it work and I tell them that we not only love each other, we really like each other. We team parent and we take interest in what the other likes to do. Married 32 almost 33 years. (P.S. I went to school with your parents, graduated with your mom)

  6. Excellent advice and thank you very much for your narrated family story and marriage in general. I agree with most of the points given by you. The only thing I can say that in our time do not necessarily to be in a relationship with a man or woman about 5 years to get to know him or her well. I have met my wife at http://nikolaev-marriage-agency.com/ and after 6 month we have got married.

  7. few days ago i shared a comment concerning me and my runaway husband that i have contacted jai mata sunlight and that the lovespell will soon be cast...in that previous comment, i said i want it delayed because of the quarrel we had. actually, the lovespell would have been cast since but i just don't want it so quick so it will not look obvious to my neighbors that i use something spiritual on him because the fight we had was terrible that no one believe we could do husband and wife again. but after we settled a friend of mine who came to our house was surprise asking, Theresa? how did you do it because i don't believe your husband could love you again after you broke bottle on him...i just looked at her, and i said; well, yes. me too..i don't believe it too. but.. it's just happen that we are back and we are now even more inlove and happy more than we use to be. and then i said i thank jai mata sunlight. she asked who is sunlight?? then i was trying to tell her about goddess sunlight to my greatest surprise she brought out her phone like the cure my misery was the solutions to her problems. she quickly brought out her phone and was asking for her contact if i still have it while i was still speaking. she couldn't even wait till i finish she said that she has been having some issue with her husband that her husband is not sleeping with her anymore and he is not coming home to sleep and whenever he comes he don't talk to her or even play with the kids and she said i don't know why men are so hard for women nowadys. among all the conversation we had i really like that one inside because men are really so hard for women nowadays...they are doing like we women cannot live without them. i gave her mother sunlight email; sunlightmata@gmail.com and left. this morning she called that her husband is back to her that she is really surprise and short for words for the way of jai sunlight use lovespell that works for her stubborn husband that her husband now love her more than the way they were when they first met she sound so happy that her husband wants to do everything for her he doesn't even what her to work again since he is rich already then she thanked me for connecting her to a great goddess. my greatest happiness is that not that no only goddess sunlight did mine but she also do her great work for my friend and i just saved her marriage because i was not selfish to give her jai mata sunlight email. you see in this life you can save life with anything, anything. it doesn't matter if you give money or not...cause money isn't the only thing you can save life wife. same to you readers the email is sunlightmata@gmail.com i will be glad save your sick love, relationship or your sick marriage contact her with your problems i promise you your testimonies will be more than someone who won millions in lottery and feel the way men do when they truely loves you.



  9. My husband ran away from our matrimonial home and left me and our 3kids and run after another woman with two kids without a husband. and started to live with her, as her husband and a father to the children that are not his of his flesh and blood. He abandoned us almost a year without a dime from him. Ever since he left, no news from him, he doesn't even call to ask of his kids not to talk of hearing my voice. And at times I called, he holds my call and times he won't even answer. I have been struggling for our children education and to feed and it has really not been easy for me. It got to a time that we hardly feed a day as I don't have a good job and i've been struggling, praying, and waiting for his return till jai Maa Sunlight came to my rescue. She is indeed a mother because she was able to see the pains and agony I was going through. And when she told me you will have him back, I did not doubt it. Infact.. I want more of her words because it makes me strong and also bring back my dead hope back to life. I was gingered up, and I became desperate to know what must be done because I knew something must have to be done spiritually so I can have him back. And then again she replied and asked of his name, and picture and told me the amount the spell would cost. I provided everything in a hurry just like I knew it...that Maa Sunlight was my last bus stop for the solution of my problems. After the casting the spell, jai mata sunlight told me to bath without soap and sponge. I did." the next morning, behold brethren... my husband came in a hurry wearing an overall like he just woke up. He came and lie down holding my legs for forgiveness. Infact, I was too shut to say word. Because everything happens too fast just like a dream. So I as a woman who needs her husband back I wanted to know if it was for real so I pretend like what any other woman who would have husband to treat her like a baby. After a while I held him, kissed him, and I forgive him. That was how we settled and that was how I got my man back. I really, really thank mother Sunlight for her goodness, and kindness. For helping me solve my problems that no one...even my father couldn't help me. And so I am glad and indeed filled with joy and happiness sharing you this testimony because I want you to know that you are not alone.there is help for you in any of the problems you might be facing. All you need to do is contact Sunlightmata@gmail.com with your story. Don't just share and leave. She won't help you that way. Wait to receive your own testimonies and as you do follow her instructions, she will help you and restore back whatever you might have lost in the past. I thank once again mother Sunlight. I give praise. and my special thanks to God for linking me to a true goddess that you are because I was not been deceived. As I know there are people out there who only cares about your money not to help solve your problems. Thanks to you Maa Sunlight for being truthful to me and anyone else. Indeed, you are worthy been the queen of the universe, mother of the world. Thanks to you.


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