marriage tips

Marriage Tips: Lessons Learned After 28 Years of Marriage

I would say that my wife, Emily, and I have built a successful marriage.

We just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary in May (2017 as I write this). We have raised three children who are all doing well in life. And we are enjoying grandchildren now, too!

We really don’t fight or have too many misunderstandings anymore. Our love grows with each additional anniversary celebrated.

Does that mean that we’ve had no problems? No fights? No misunderstandings?

Absolutely not!

But I think, after 28 years, I’ve learned a few things that I can pass on.

I’d like to give a few marriage tips to some of you younger, married men. And, if you’re not married yet, take notes for the future.

Here are few key marriage tips that I would like to pass on to you. Just a few of the many things that I’ve learned.

1) A woman’s greatest need is love.

1989: Wedding Day

A man’s greatest need is respect. A woman’s greatest need is love.

That’s why we read in Ephesians 5:33, “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

Men are selfish by nature and we need to learn to push that aside, humble ourselves and learn to love our wives. Ask God to help you to love your wife as He wants you to. It’s a much higher, sacrificial love than we’re capable of alone.

A great book to help with this is The 5 Love Languages. From this book, I learned that not all people feel or show love in the same way. Learn what makes your wife feel loved and focus on that “language”.

Loving your wife also means keeping your focus on her alone, not someone else. Satan will try to make you feel dissatisfied with your wife. Send him packing and get back to loving your wife!

2) Learn to say, “I’m sorry!”

I can’t tell you how many times in 28 years that I have apologized to my wife for things I’ve said, done or not said or not done!

1996: In the US Air Force

Again, this takes humility. Put your ego aside and let your wife know that your marriage relationship–she–is more important than your pride.

I know. I can sense the next question or statement… “Yeah, but I was right! I’m not going to apologize for something that I didn’t do!”

Be careful! “Only by pride cometh contention…” (Prov 13:10)

That’s the attitude of a worldly man, not a real man. And men that I have known with that attitude have not built successful marriages. In fact, those that I’ve met are either miserably married, or divorced.

Jesus did absolutely nothing wrong. He was sinless. Yet, while on the cross he asked the Father to, “forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Wow! What a standard of humility to work into our lives!

3) Don’t stop dating.

Even after my wife and I had children, we still dated. There is something called a babysitter! Hire one and take your wife out. Just you two, no kids.

Remember, you’ll be married much longer than you’ll have kids in the house. Work on building that strong marriage relationship with your wife. Otherwise, after the kids all leave, you’ll be wondering what happened and why you don’t know each other!

Six years ago, the last of our kids left the house for college. My wife and I both have our own jobs, but we still have our date nights.

Get out and enjoy life together. Talk about deep things that are meaningful, not just surface “how was your day” stuff.

4) Attend Church & Pray Together

2008: Growing a Beard!

This might be the biggest of all the marriage tips that I can give.

Serving together in church, I believe, is a huge reason that my wife and I have a strong and happy marriage.

This assumes, of course, that you’re attending church. If not, get into church. I know there are people out there that don’t think church is important. They’re wrong. Read Hebrews 10:25.

I believe that God blesses individuals who are faithful to a strong, bible-believing, bible-preaching church. He blesses the married couple who serves and attends church together as well.

If the pastor of your church preaches the whole counsel of God, you can believe that you’ll get plenty of marriage counseling right from the pulpit!

Get the counseling from God’s word through preaching and put it into practice. You’ll be amazed how God can work on you and your wife to build a stronger marriage.

Praying together will knit your hearts together like nothing else. When of you are in agreement and praying for your family and each other, it builds a marriage more than anything else you can do.

Final Thoughts

I have many more marriage tips, but I’ll have to give those out in another post some time later.

These may just be a few, but I know that they will help you.

Trust me, I’ve done a lot of things wrong over the last 28 years and I’m thankful to a wife who has been forgiving and allowed me to grow. (Something that I think she learned from attending church and listening to God’s word being preached.)

I hope you get some wisdom from what I’ve shared here and use it to help you.

Please comment below and let me know what your biggest take away is!

Then share this with other men that you know so we can help other marriages grow stronger. Use the social media buttons!


Doug is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran who enjoys computers and technical gadgets. He serves God in his local church in the audio/video ministry. He holds an Advanced Diploma of Biblical Studies from Faith Bible Institute. Doug and his wife, Emily, have been married since 1989 and have successfully raised three children. It is his desire to impact young Christian men.

“I believe that most men are not living up to the potential that God has for them and I want to help them to find their purpose, grow spiritually and impact other men for Christ.”

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Andrew Miller

Great article! You definitely nailed the basic foundations that a successful marriage can be build off of. Thanks!!

Doug Allison

Thanks, Andrew. Hope it helps you.

My wife and I are working things out. We are coming to one year in July. Since we have been married, there have been many trials, and this is the fourth seperation. We are seeking counsel, and are in a position to where we want to live together, but can’t get a place. My past is trying to haunt me, and I am trusting God. Please keep us in your prayer. I love my bride. She is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.

Doug Allison

I will pray for you, Daniel. Thank you for sharing. If you are both saved and trusting God, that goes a long way toward growing a solid marriage. Satan wants to destroy marriages, God wants to build. If I can be of any help, please feel free to reach out through Facebook messages or email.

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