Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Contest Rules and Prizes

I like to think, when listing the details of contests that people read it to themselves and it sounds just like the voice at the end of a car commercial - super quiet and speedy:

(MSRP excludes taxes, license and title, please see dealer stock for more details, 0% apr applicable for qualified buyers only)

The details of this contest are simple. I made a necklace that was created solely for the purpose of joy.
I am getting married, which is so joyful I could burst, except having never done it before I deeply desire some sort of good guidance on the wedding or the the marriage which is to follow.
Give me your absolute best wedding or marriage advice by way of commenting on this post ( you needn't be married: just give me a wondrous story of your grandfolks and how they made marriage great ) and I will have my lovely Schmilly pick the best one on Friday. He is unbiased and has a keen eye for greatness. This is his gorgeous mug:


The best piece of advice will win the following necklace:

There is one in my shop right now ( ) ( don't worry, there are two of them!!! ) if you want more specs than just simply that it is one of the most joyful and spontaneous designs to come out of my brain in some time.

And that it's yours if you enlighten me with your best wedding or marriage advice.

Thank you and most wondrous luck!!!!!


The Noisy Plume: said...

Well. The very best wedding advice I have for you is something that Robert William and I have really practiced quite well the 4.5 years we have been married!

(Has it really been that long???)

We have always really encouraged the independent dreams of each other. Sure we dream together about all the great things life is going to offer us! But we also have our own personal dreams...

We reckon that when a gal and guy get married, it doesn't mean they have to stop dreaming those individual dreams! For example, I've always wanted to make jewelry and write for a living...I told Rob about my dream and he encouraged me to go after it NAY he has carried me through the rough spots on the journey of my dream!

He, on the other hand, has always wanted to be a hotshot fire fighter (this is seriously something he has ALWAYS talked about since the day we met in New Zealand). This year, when on the job hunt, I encouraged him to apply to a handful of shot crews all over the northern States and when he was given a position on a squad I was elated.

We feel so much joy watching the success of each other and the fruition of our corporate and personal dreams. Don't ever stop telling each other, "I believe in you..." as cheesy as that sounds. I would never be able to overcome my fears if Robert didn't believe in my work and my vision.

That's my a married lady:)
Wish I could be there to watch the glorious nuptials take place!

Natalie said...

Hi Allison,

My advice is very simple: always show appreciation and gratitude for each other. Never take for granted something that the other has always done. For example, say, one of you always does the cooking. Don't take that for granted. Always express thanks and appreciation.

Love, Natalie

Angela said...

I am passing on advice we received at our wedding last August--- our friends gave us a card bursting with gift certificates to our favorite restaurants and the movies and museums. On the inside of the card, they wrote very simple advice: "Never stop dating."

No matter how hectic life gets, we try to pause and remind each other to have fun, to support each other when the going gets rough, and, when all else fails--- to go out for a stiff drink, an excellent meal, and a stupidly funny movie.

Anonymous said...

Short and sweet:

Never forget why you fell in love.

UnrulyDuckling said...

I had to learn this one the hard way. Choose not to be annoyed. He will say something in the wrong tone of voice, or he will put dirty dishes on the counter, or he will be a bummer at a party, and you can choose not to be annoyed.

Of course, I don't know you, so maybe he will never do any of those specific things, but there will eventually be something worth getting annoyed about. Just don't.

I'm not talking about letting yourself be a doormat or putting up with anything cruel or mean. We are all annoying at times, especially to the one with whom we live and sleep and spend so much time. It feels really good to just let it go and be accepted for your very own uniquely annoying self and be accepting in return.

Sunny Rising Leather said...

Beautiful, lovely perfect advice!!! You guys are all amazing :)

Wendy said...

TALK to each other. Ask how their day was and MEAN it. Talk about the news, the weather, the politics, theoretical physics, the beauty in a spider web... Especially if you both have hectic lives, it's critical to keep communicating, even if it's not about something crucial.

My husband and I have been married 16 years, and we have a daughter (11) with autism. We spend quite a bit of time discussing her needs, when we get to spend time together at all. We are able to reconnect every night whenever we talk, in the quiet darkness, after she's gone to bed.

Always talk, listen attentively, ask questions, make comments, debate ideas, share dreams, but TALK TO EACH OTHER.

All the Best,

Karen M said...

I've been married 4.5 years as well.

Here's my advice: never, ever EVER call each other names or say hurtful, spiteful things during a fight.

There are a million ways to fight that do involve name calling and spiteful comments, but you can choose not to do so.

It can be tough and annoying to fight fair, but it's important to show you love & respect each other even when you're in the middle of a big disagreement.

Many happy blessings for your marriage!

Courtney A. said...

The best advice I've ever received as far as love goes is that you should never go a day without telling the person you love that you love them. Even if it's just a whisper before you go to sleep, let them know you care.

zippiedude said...

My advice is not simple, nor direct, but subtle and curious. Each of you should choose one or two activites that you enjoy and then introduce that activity to each other.

We all have lots of fun things that we do individually to either relax or release tension or to have a good time. But, there is nothing more rewarding than to enjoy that activity with your spouse and hopefully see the joy in their eyes.

I introduced my then girlfriend to New Zealand. We toured the country for 16 days hitting about 10 cities. This was the true compatibility test. After that trip, we knew we could be comfortable anywhere together.

She introduced me to outrigger canoe paddling. Now we are both part of the same club and paddle of different teams (men's and women's) but cheer each other on during races.

Good luck and may you each flourish with each other and not just exist.


Phoenix said...

So I've got two lovely gems of advice, both of which I absolutely can't take credit for:

1) You can be right, or you can be in a relationship.

2) You have to forgive your spouse for not being you.

Both of these I try to practice on a daily basis. But my favorite bit of advice comes from Rilke, and I loved it so much it was in our wedding ceremony. Here it is, enjoy. And I apologize that it's a little long.

"The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust.

"That is why this too must be the criterion for rejection or choice: whether you are willing to stand guard over someone else's solitude, and whether you are able to set this same person at the gate of your own depths, which he learns of only through what steps forth, in holiday clothing, out of the great darkness."

Thank god for Rilke, eh?

Happy marriage!

Anonymous said...

My advice to you is to NEVER, EVER go to bed angry. If you have to stay up 2 or 3 extra hours to work out an issue or get to a compromise, do it. There is nothing worse than lying next to the person you love so dear and feeling like you are a thousand miles away. The three C's...Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. I don't wear necklaces but I am competing to give it to nice little old lady I know who would LOVE it.


Stacey said...

Tell each other from the beginning - "if you ever leave me, I'm going with you". Then, there's no reason to ever get to that point. :)

Also, never go to bed angry.

Figlet said...

Always think before you talk. Always find ways to minimize the drama. Always think about how it sounds before you say it out loud. Always consider the other side of the story. Always respect, even when you disagree. Always be considerate, even when angry. Always call to say you're going to be late. Remember to reach out and touch.

rkimedes said...

First of all, totally agree with Karen M. The way we implemented that was to agree never to use foul language when our tempers are high, because that language is designed to be hurtful and degrading and it's more so when it somes in anger from someone who's supposed to love and cherish you. It doesn't mean we don't argeu, it just means we're more constructive about it than we were before we implemented that rule. But that's her advice, I just second it.

The advice that got me through the insanity of planning a wedding was to just remember that as long as the groom, the license, and the officiant show up, everything else is gravy, because at the end of the day, you'll still be married, and that's the important thing.

Sunny Rising Leather said...

Omigoodness, you are all so wonderful! Schmilly is going to have a very big, important decision ahead of him!!!

Susan said...

After 15 years of wedded bliss... and people still saying we act like newlyweds.. my best advice is this:

1) Hopefully you are marrying your best friend. And you should always treat your best friend (and family) BETTER than you would any stranger. That encompasses alot right there.

2) Never take anger to bed with you. And.. always sleep together naked. It is very difficult to stay angry with someone when you are both so .. exposed.

3) Do the simple things together, like grocery shopping. Hold hands. Talk together. Laugh together. Watch people around you. The happiest couples are talking and holding hands.. even older couples. I can't help but smile when I see an older couple walking together at the grocery story, talking, smiling, sharing secrets and holding hands. You just know they are truly happy. Then think about the other couple you saw the other day at the restaurant that barely said two words to each other. You'll know the secret to staying happy right there.

Mom & Dad Schmilly said...

Ok, so you want advice here’s a little from mom.
Dad says – Just remember “Yes dear.” Seriously, the advice you have gotten so far is great and will help to build a strong relationship. As I look back over 36 or is it 37 years of marriage – I can safely say its not easy to stay married in the disposable world we are living in, i.e. if it doesn’t work, just throw it away. The young of today have this drummed in from all sides.

With that in mind I say, start your wedded life as if you mean to carry it through to the end. There will be times when you can’t imagine being with anyone else and those are the easy times. Then there will be times when you have no idea why you chose this person in the first place. That is when staying with them becomes a mission, not a desire.

Second, remember that a relationship is never finished; it will continue to grow and evolve but it should never be finished, even after “…until death do you part.”. (Ask Schmilly about Grandma Schmill).

And last, as you are in the wonder of love, don’t forget to become good friends. There will be times when being good friends is better that being good lovers. You will need that someone beside you in unity, in front of you for protection, and in back of you to give you that little (or in some cases big) push.

Knowing you both as I do, I’d say you’re on the right track. I see two people who truly love and care for each other. You are a couple who support and encourage each other. And Schmilly, as grandma H says, You are about to marry the woman of all our dreams and we’ll all see to it that this works out.

Love you both
Mom S

PS: Beth says, “Just do your best. There may be fumbles along the way and you’ll make some mistakes, but you just need to follow your heart.” Smart woman you sister.

PSS: Dad says “Yes dear...”
PSSS: This is just our advice and your wedding is prizes enough.

Sunny Rising Leather said...

Mama Bonnie,

This is why I am already the luckiest girl who every lived: I love you and John with all my heart ( and Beth, too, and Grandma and Grandpa Kelly and all their other children ) and I will never have to 'endure' Anthony's family: you have all moved into a very special place in my heart.
Thank you for the stellar advice :)

Your new Daughter

ariana said...

I have only been married for five years, however I must say five very happy years. The advice I have is to always treat the other the way you wish to be treated. I know this sounds suspiciously like the golden rule but it plays out differently in marriage.

You must think of each other as the guardians of your best selves and in order to bring out that best self in each other you must always treat the other as though that best self is on the surface, even if it isn't.

The reason that this works is that one cannot help but rise to the occasion. If you are in the midst of an argument and one of you can take the higher road and not give into the anger that arguments often cause, the best self of the other will often reappear.

The more frequently this is practiced by both parties the deepest form of respect will blossom between you. And in the end the strongest relationships always have a foundation built on respect.

I know it doesn't sound terribly romantic but I promise it is! I wish you both a long, happy, and respectful marriage!

Sunny Rising Leather said...

P.S. That's Grandma Kelly and Ganrdpa Larry.
When I get emotional I forget to write things :)

SnoBahr said...

My hubby and I got married in 1990. It's not enough that you talk to your spouse - you have to listen as well.

Amy said...

I have 2 pieces of advice. The first is what my mother told me before my wedding: always sleep naked. I have found this to be difficult because my husband likes to sleep with the window open & a fan on and I like to be warm, but it's advice all the same.

The second is to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. My husband tends to say things the wrong way. For example, he'll give me a compliment but compare it to past times when it did not apply (such as, "Wow, this meal is so much better than everything you usually make." He's trying to tell me I did a good job with supper, but for some reason all I hear is that he hates my cooking most of the time). I, on the other hand, tend to forget things rather easily. Rather than assume I ignored something that needed doing (such as calling the tax man when a particular deadline is approaching), he wearily reminds me for the 5th day in a row to please, please just make the call.

This only really works if you both do it though. If one gives the benefit of the doubt and the other does not, only one will appreciate the benefits.

Oh, and one more, be nice to each other. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is treat the one you love most worse than you would anyone else. Sometimes it's inevitable because you're together more than you're with anyone else...if you're going to have a ridiculously stressed out moment, chances are your spouse will be around if not involved. This is also where the benefit of the doubt thing comes in handy. :)

daily coyote said...

Trust, and believe. Everything - the blissful and the difficult - is an opportunity to grow deeper and reach higher, both in your individual selves and together.

lady said...

my mama's advice for marriage is: never go to bed mad at each other.

i will always think of that if i ever walk down the aisle.

Zara Davis said...

Hi guys and congratulations! Dan and I have been married for 14 years now and there are 2 rules we live by:

The first is never go to bed angry!
We don't argue much, I'll admit, but we make sure we solve whatever problems we have immediately and then it's SQUASHED! Never to resurface again at a later date.

The second is that praise should be done in public and criticism should be done in private... don't air your dirty laundry to friends, but when your significant other does something great, sing it from the mountain tops! It will keep you both feeling appreciated!

I'm so happy for you both, you're gonna have a beautiful life together!

burrito said...

Always forgive. I used to be a champion grudge holder until one day I realized it was mostly hurting just me. Now I make a conscious effort to get over things that really, in the grand scheme, don't matter.

Good luck!

Katherine said...

Get married because you love each other... and then love each other because you are married.

Marriage is holy and hard, mystical and practical. The covenant you make when you marry one another isn't transcendent; it doesn't make life or love any easier. But honoring that commitment frees you to love one another with grace, depth, and tenacity.

(This advice is all marvelous. Marvelous!)

Mari said...

Congratulations on your wedding!!! We've been married, very happily, for five years. Here's what I think we're doing right: First, we talk with each other about everything; second, we appreciate each other, often thinking about how much we love each other and how happy we are that out of all the people in this world, we met one another; and, most importantly, we adore and admire each other all the time. There's nothing better than knowing you're adored and admired by the person who adores and admires you.
Good luck Sunny!!!

emart said...

be yourself, and just have fun.

Harmony said...

After 4 years of marriage we have figured out the following things:

1) Forgiving is important, but forgetting is far more valuable. It is possible to train yourself to forget on purpose, and that is a muscle well worth flexing.

2) I think this is echoing something already said, but no trash talking. It is so easy to commiserate with other wives or husbands about who doesn't pick up his socks, or who is the bossiest wife. We never ever participate in those conversations.

3) Two people are not enough people to keep a marriage together. For us, part of the importance of a wedding ceremony was having our friends and family hear our vows and then promise to hold us to our word. This combined with our promise not to trash talk makes people take our marriage very seriously, and when we have had problems we have literally had friends and family tell us that they would chain us to chairs rather than let us split up. That emotional support from so many people has helped us to remember our vows to each other.

4) Anything can be worked out if you are willing to do the thinking to find the solution. Even if you run out of options, there are always more options if you are willing to be super creative and patient and thoughtful.

5) And above all else, the secret to a lasting marriage (and we think combined with the rest, a happy marriage): just. don't. leave.

Best of luck!!!!!

Harmony (and John)

Betharoopie said...

I've been married to my best friend for 12 years. When we moved to an area of the country where neither of us had friends or family, "we" were all we had. There are rough times, and there are ruts. But at the end of the day, there's no one I'd rather be around.

My only addition to this excellent collection of advice is to never stop hugging. Hugs do a lot.

DM said...

The best piece of advice I can give was given to me on my wedding day by a recent bride (and one of my best friends):

When the ceremony ends and you're walking hand in hand with your new husband, remember to stop at the end of the aisle and look back. Just stop, and look. You'll see all of your family and friends standing and laughing and clapping and hugging and it's simply the most incredible moment you'll ever experience.

Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

Advice for the actual wedding day: Never let one of your bridesmaids change your hairstyle while your wedding party is getting dressed to head to the church.

Marloes said...

just remember that you love him!

your husband is never mad at you but at a situation. I know in my relationship there are 5 situations that cause us to fight. If one of these 5 are true then i don't take it personally and try to solve the cause, not the trigger!
1. we are hungry
2. we are tired
3. we are nervous
4. we are thirsty (the hubster forgets to drink somethimes, causes nagging, until i give him a botle of water)
5. we are frustrated (yep, having a healthy sexlife results in a healty relationship)

and i must say in the 7 years i lived toghether with my husband, i never had a fight that wasn't triggered by one of these reasons!

Anonymous said...

There are 2 things that you do in life that give people the urge to give you advice. They are getting married and starting a family.

My advice to you is to remember that if you ask 10 people the secret to a happy marriage, you'll get 10 different answers. Likewise, when you ask 10 people how to get a baby to stop crying, you'll get 10 answers there too!!

Because of this, always do what feels right for the BOTH of you.
Enjoy your wedding, marriage, and life together. It's fantastic!

~~Army wife for 9 years. Mom for 5 months. Couldn't be happier!~~

Mrs. Boo said...

I am not sure if I have any advice that can help you, every wedding experience is different. All I know is that my wedding was wonderful due to mainly one thing.. my family. My family helped me so much with my wedding.. without them it wouldn't have been as wonderful and beautiful as it was.

I was so overwhelmed, and my family was there to help me through everything. My older cousins helped me address and send all of my invitations, my mother/aunts/cousins all planned my bridal shower (which was lovely), my father financed everything and told me not to worry about what he spent (even though I did lol), and even my brother who was going through a very difficult time in his life still showed up to support me. It was my loving family that made my wedding day possible..

Tanya said...

Wedding advice from one who is old enough to be your mom:

Understand from the get-to that marriage is not easy, but it's an incredible adventure.Never go to bed angry. Remember that your differences can be your greatest strengths. Allow each other his/her own space,but be aware if needing space takes precedence over being together. Don't take anything too seriously!!! Leave little messages around the house from time to time. Don't sweat the small stuff! Many times a day, tell each other " I love you when.......

The necklace is beautiful...
Best wishes...Tanya, 56, mother of 3, divorced but still believes in love and marriage

Anonymous said...

Here's something for your wedding day:

Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff. Things will go wrong, that is a guarantee. Just don't let it bother you. Use your family and friends to remember what matters most.
Also, pizza and dancing will fix every thing.

notanillusion said...

My grandma and grandpa were married for more than 50 years until he died, and I think the best thing I learned from her after he died was this:

There should be a part of your spouse that is just yours, that other people don't necessarily need to know about. My impression of my grandpa was a person whose affection was gruff. But my grandma told me that when it was just the two of them, he was incredibly sweet and romantic. But that part of him was her secret, her treasure.

A few years before my grandpa died, he was in the hospital for about five months after reacting very poorly to a bypass surgery. He was on anti-psychotic medication, and remembered very little of that time after the fact. But somewhere in that fog, he remembered that it must be nearly Christmas time. He asked my aunt Jamie to go out and get a little clock for my grandma, because every Christmas he gave her some sort of clock. So my aunt went out and got a small clock that could be put on a necklace chain shaped like a ladybug, and when you pushed the antennae, the wings opened up to show the clock face. On Christmas Day, my aunt slipped the watch into my grandpa's hand, who was then able to give it to my grandma. Through all the fog and sickness and pain, that part of my grandpa that was still my grandma's came through. And that's what I'm hoping to always have with my love!

That and stupid humor. Being able to laugh a lot is a most definite must.

Aisha said...

So, here are my few thoughts from having observed my parents be together for almost 19 of their 23 years (that's just the marriage part - 24 years if you go from first date).

1) Remember you are not the same person. I struggle with this, I know a few people who struggle with this. You're reaction to the cat vomiting or the car dying or the hot water heater not working is not always going to be the same as his. One of you is not going to get why the other is angry sometimes because what got under YOUR skin didn't bother him in the least or vice versa. I remember when my mom told me the above advice and I literally smacked my forehead. It was so obvious, but it hadn't occurred to me.

2) Always kiss good-bye, even when you're mad at each other.

3) Remember the little things. This is everything from what comfort food the other person likes when he/she is sick to remembering the little quirks the other person has.

That's the best I've got - hope at least some of it is relevant!

Emily said...

I have 2 small pieces of advice that are very similar... They are what my mom (Who has been married to my dad for 35 years...since she was 19!!!) told me to always remember, that makes a good relationship.

1) The priority list should go:

The relationship

Meaning that the relationship comes before you boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other/partner/fiance/spouse.

2) Think about how your actions affect him/her. It's at the same time the easiest, and most difficult thing to do.

I hope I can bring these two pieces of advice into my own marriage, which is set to start June, 6th.

Congratulations to you!

Chair said...

I haven't read through all the other comments so these may be a repeat. That is a gorgeous necklace, but not something I would wear, so I'm not too worried about winning. :)

These two things are what has stuck with me from our pre-wedding plans until now and I'm sure will forever.

Firstly (a co-worked shared this, which was passed from her father): A wedding required a bride, a groom, an officiant (priest/JP) and two witnesses. Everything else is a detail. I loved this because we had a very simple wedding with a medieval theme and a lot of people were worried when I didn't order flowers, planning to walk a meadow for a bouquet the morning of the wedding. Flowers were just a detail. If all I found were thistles and dandelions, so be it. It's not the end of the world if the details don't work out. What matters is YOU guys.

Second: At her own wedding a good friend of mine recited this poem (On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran) and I really think it says it all when it comes to any relationship, Love each other, but accept the differences and do not try to change who you are or melt into one being, because you're not.

Take care. :)

crispy rice said...

What has emerged for me after five years of marriage -- like a soft, unexpected rain in the middle of a raging firefight, is a little bit of faith. I have to remember that my loved one is not merely that which I see at any one moment - his sum being is not the annoying actions, tone of voice, limitations, etc., that might be driving me to madness at a particular time. He has depths I haven't seen yet, growth that will show itself tomorrow, delightful actions and inspiring insights that unfold every day. I have faith in the best of what he is, so I look forward to enjoying him each day, and I can forgive him when he is not at his best. It's very freeing to do this for one another. When you look past immediate transgressions with the faith that the best is in there, it enables a person to let go of bad behavior and come out and play. Many a bad spark will expire easily if you just stop blowing on it. This is a kindness you can bestow upon yourself, as well. ; )

Anonymous said...

On wedding planning: Don't bother forming an opinion on anything. You will be quickly over-ruled by the bride and the mothers.

On the wedding: Try to relax and enjoy it. Things will not go perfectly and that's ok.

On marriage: Hmmm, still only a year into that so I might not be qualified yet.

Kristen said...

Say "please" and "thank you" for little things as well as big. Sometimes people fall into a level of comfort where you take the little kindnesses for granted. And sometimes just look at your partner, feel what you feel, and say thank you- just for those feelings.
Best wishes to you both!

Chris said...

My advise for the wedding is: Don't let anyone see the seating chart until they arrive at the reception!

For your marriage: NEVER, EVER, hold a grudge. Holding a grudge against your spouse will only cause built up resentment and could cause something simple to escalate. Instead, voice what you are angry or annoyed about so that it can be resolved immediately, and you can spend more time with each other NOT being upset.

Trina said...

Have fun. People look at marriage way to seriously.
Have as much fun after the wedding as you did before it.
Still go out on dates (with your spouse that is) Smile at the little things laugh at the big things.
It has worked for me and we are going to celebrate nine years of marriage on Sept. 3rd. Ten years of togetherness on Sept. 21st.

Jackie said...

My husband and I have been married 21 years. One word of advice: Compromise.

Debby said...

Here's my best advice:

If you and your spouse disagree about a big decision, let the person who feels the strongest have his/her way.

The advice is about honesty, trust, and compromise; it is not about winning and losing.

It is about being able to recognize how you and your spouse really feel about an issue, and being willing to give in when your spouse has stronger feelings than you do. Just give in - don't sulk - and trust that when you feel most strongly about something, your spouse will grant you the same courtesy.

My husband and I have lived this statement for 9 years, and my parents have lived this statement for 41 years, and all of us are still happy to be married!

danielleaimeepie said...

Advice for two perfect love-birds? How daunting.

I could try to be ironic and quote power-ballads: make sure you “do anything for love” but do not do “THAT”. But that might cheapen this amazing and powerful thing you two share.

So I will humbly bow and offer the only advice I have to give: make each other laugh.

Elaine said...

This is the Scottish approach to marriage: My grandmother called my grandfather Will. My grandfather called my grandmother Bella. My grandfather was a coalminer and a gardner and he always had a dog called Rover. My Gran liked Geraniums and fresh vegetables and fruit. She always had a geranium in the window and we always had potatoes and carrots and peas in our dinner and black currants jam on bread for "afters." They were a love match. They lost two children to Scarlet Fever and they brought up my Mum and her brother and sister in a one-room flat next to the DunDonald Arms in Culross.
When I was 18 and away at the University, my grandfather was dying of lung cancer. My grandmother was sitting with him one day, and he said this to her: "Thank you. Thank you for being my wife."
My grandmother told me this after Auld Will died. She lived another 22 years. She never forgot what he said. I don't think it would be wrong to say that those words carried her spirit through the rest of her life.
When she told me I didn't understand. She said, "He thanked me." I said "What?" She said, "Your Grandad thanked me. Before he died: He thanked me for being his wife."
That's the kind of people they were. Those are the kind of things that mattered to them. I talked to my Gran about the funeral. She said, "It was very nice. The flowers were lovely. Your Grandad would have liked that. He would have like the flowers."
So, that's just a story from my family. I believe that you make what you like of your life and of your marriage. As far as I can tell, it's up to you how to live it and it's up to you to find your own way to appreciate it.

Sunny Rising Leather said...

I am in tears over what happened here overnight: I love you all, I am so grateful for the outpouring of advice and it will certainly be super hard to choose - we may have to resort to drawing a name out of a hat!!! ;)

delic8genius said...

Keep in mind that there might be a difference between: * the ways that you express your love naturally or "by default" and * the kind of love your partner needs or wants right now.

Lover, if your lovee is not as receptive to your expression as you would like, try a different expression, maybe outside your comfort zone. Lovee, if your lover's expression isn't quite what you were looking for, forgive it and appreciate the attempt.

dlperry said...

When my DH and I got married my parents gave us a tiny but incredibly meaningful little gift which struck a chord with us both. It's a small ceramic plaque that says:
"A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers."

And my own personal mantra - "Remember, it's only when you Love them that you hate them." :)

shar said...

Everything that has been said before I couldn't have said any better.
I hold this one dearly:
I always admired the relationship of the mom and step-dad of a previous boyfriend of mine. They paid close attention to the little things. For instance, the step-dad was an early-riser, and every day he would make her breakfast (they were both retired).
And every day, he would go into their garden and pick a flower for her, for the table setting.
I've lost contact with them but have never forgotten them because of this.
These small, simple but beautiful expressions of love for one another don't take much in terms of effort, but have tremendous power in their thoughtfulness.
Good luck to you both!

Anonymous said...

At our wedding we were blessed to spend time with family friends that had been married over fifty years. Their advice was:
1 - Always say goodnight
2 - Always hug goodbye
3 - Always welcome each other home
4 - If you must argue or fight hold hands - it's hard to say mean things to someone when you are holding their hand

Erin said...

My husband and I have been married a year and three months, so it's not exactly time-tested advice, but advice nonetheless:

1. Choose to find your spouse's quirks endearing instead of annoying.

2. Institute a statute of limitations for bringing up hurt feelings, etc. This was probably the best thing we did during our long courtship and cohabitation. Instead of brooding on something and stowing it away in your arsenal of "weapons" to bring out at a later (and often unrelated) fight, give yourself a deadline, a statute of limitations by which you must bring your hurt feelings or annoyance, etc. to your spouse's attention. It's simply not fair to bring up old hurts in the midst of another context just to prove your point. If the subject isn't addressed within the statute of limitations, it is to be forgotten.

I want to wish you the best for your marriage!

TSannie said...

Been married 30 years. Not all bliss, but a lot more of that than anything else.

Loved the advice "if you ever leave me, I'm going with you."

Only thing we've regularly done is no matter how angry/irritated/happy/ecstatic we are with each other (and our kids) any time we end a phone conversation, go to bed, end a conversation where we won't be seeing each other for a while, we end it with "love you", "love ya", "I love you" or something along those lines. It's worked for 30 years!

Running Jayhawk said...

I'm going to keep this short and sweet...know that my older sister shared this with me on my wedding day, four years ago TODAY (yes, today is my wedding anniversary). It is hands down the best advice I have ever received and we remind ourselves of this when we get frustrated or stressed out with one another.

In marriage, some people say you need to give 50-50. I say you need to give 100-100. Because when you put the other person first, you will NEVER be second.

DeAnna said...

I've been partnered in a long-term committed sort of way for almost 10 years now. We are both passionate and obstinate people. We have definitely gone to bed angry sometimes, cuz seriously, we could talk something into the ground for approximately 742 hours straight if one of us didn't eventually just call it quits and go to sleep for the night. And it's usually better in the morning. So my first piece of advice is to never follow any one piece of advice EVERY SINGLE TIME just because you think you should. Sometimes, go to bed angry if that seems like the most productive thing to do.

But my real piece of advice is to not let the fact that you're married become an excuse for being together. Like, don't wake up in the morning and think..."hmm, well, I guess I'll hang out with Schmilly today since we're married and all." Or worse, wake up in the morning and not even think about why you are hanging out with Schmilly.

Know that either of you could choose differently on any given day. Actively choose every day to be together. Even on days when you went to bed angry the night before.
(I mean in a metaphorical sort of a way, not like actually attached at the hip.)

Mena said...

I only have one piece of advice:

Amidst all the relationship advice you get, and utilize, never ever forget to just love each other.

I know that sounds blatantly obvious, but if you get caught up in trying to act on all the advice and books you hear and read, you can't just focus on loving your man.

Just remember that.

Good luck and congratulations on your impending wedding!!! I wish you all the love in the world!!!

Stepmama said...

What a lovely idea--and a lovely necklace! I arrived here via Shreve from the Daily Coyote. I have two pieces of advice for you, one for the marriage, and one for the wedding.

I'll give the marriage advice first, since it is most important. Devise a secret way of saying, "I love you," and responding, "I love you too." Maybe it's a special hand signal, or a special pattern of taps or squeezes. Don't tell anyone else what it is--this is your secret. There are obviously many times when this can be employed--at parties, in front of family, etc--but it will become most useful when you are angry. There have been times when my husband and I have been fighting and we are both so angry and frustrated it's hard to speak without yelling. The last thing we could ever do at those times is say, "I love you," but we can signal it. Because of our signal we can remind each other and ourselves that we love one another, even in our worst moments. It makes every fight easier, and reconciliation faster, when you can remember that you love each other.

(The response is important, by the way, because otherwise it would be too easy for the pattern to become one sided or for one person to leave the other hanging. Ideally the response should complete the pattern, because neither of you is complete without the other anymore.)

My second piece of advice is about the wedding: Seriously consider eloping. Everyone I know who has gone through a wedding has become seriously overwhelmed. The focus shifts from the marriage to the cake and the dress and the invitations and the guest list, and you fight with family and each other and it just becomes a mess. Even the least materialistic people I know become overwhelmed. You hemorrhage money on a party instead of on your life together. If you don't want to elope just the two of you (we didn't!), gather 10-20 of the people dearest to you, go to the courthouse, and then go to a fabulous restaurant. (Or have people over to your house for cheap champagne and grocery store cake! The idea is just to have something simple.) It will be more memorable, beautiful, and enjoyable than the most well-run traditional wedding could ever be. Most important, the focus will be on your new life together, not on a big party.

Whatever you choose, good luck. I wish you many years of love, luck, and happiness together.

Sunny Rising Leather said...

Dearest Stepmama,

We are having fifty people at our wedding, and we're getting married in a natural botanical garden I used to pray in when I first moved to SoCal ( my life had fallen apart: what better place to celebrate my life blossoming? )and then going to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants -- the dress is a vintage party dress purchased on eBay and ony the people who have deeply rooted themselves in my heart are invited.
There are no bouquests, no wedding colors, nothing in our minds but love and we have been striving to keep it that way.
I will remember your kind and loving advice as the wedding draws near and nerves begin to fray -- we very seriously considered eloping when all this first began and someone asked me, the biggest girl-tomboy, what my wedding colors were going to be -- I couldn't even fathom why I'd have colors :)

How can I thank all of you commenters on your most wondrous, kindhearted words?

In my heart I have put a peacock feather around every neck.

Tomorrow at noon one will be chosen :)

Allison (Sunny)

PJ said...

I know this sounds like strange advice to be receiving at the beginning of your maried life but treat divorce like a terminal disease. Do everything you can to innoculate yourselves against it. Commit to never contracting it. No matter what happens, and plenty will, don't "get" dvorced. We just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and I can tell you that divorce is so much worse than working it out. Stay with it. Focus on that and one day you'll wake up, look back over your long marriage and see all the things that came your way that you couldn't possibly have forseen and that were sometimes very painful or that didn't make sense at the time they were happening but in the end, turned out to be the kinds of gifts you couldn't possibly have imagined. And wouldn't trade for anything.

SuzieQ said...

The important thing is the marriage not the wedding (though I know it's hard to focus on that at the present)..I was married for 39 yrs before my husband passed away and even though it was 12 yrs ago I miss him every day..the laughter we shared was what got us through the tough spots, and there will be those..I saw a wise woman once say that her long-lived marriage was due, in part, to the fact that they never fell out of love with each other at the same time. Just try to treat each other with the consideration that you would afford a stranger. Sometimes it's not possible to not go to bed mad -unless you stay up all night- but it will give you time to cool off..and finally, NEVER forget to tell each other "I LOVE YOU" EVERY DAY several times!!

SuzieQ said...

One little thing I forgot...

"Marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning!"

May the sun keep your love warm forever..

Stepmama said...

Sunny Rising Leather,

The wedding you have planned sounds absolutely beautiful, and like a wonderful way of starting your new life together. Good luck! I hope the marriage that comes after is just as beautiful and meaningful. :)

Becky said...

COMMUNICATION!! Always aommunicate, in the best, most respectful way you know how to each other. And know that you can't change the other, only yourself.

radcow said...

Hello Beautiful lady!
I know this contest is for married folks only, But I just wanted to share my favorite bit of my favorite book: The prophit by Kahil Gibrahn.

You were born together,
and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings
of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the
silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress
grow not in each other's shadow.


Ziji said...

I got this advice from a cousin, at the reception. She said,"Be kind to each other." I thought -- well, sure -- we love each other -- of course we will." But I didn't really get it. Long after that marriage was over, 21 years into this forever relationship, I finally got it. Look deeply into it -- consider it deeply. Be kind to each other. That's all there is. Treat your love as though he were you. Because he is, and you are him. Be kind.

Mable said...

I once whined to a therapist that I was terrified about getting married because I never wanted to get a divorce. This kept me out of committed relationships for a long time.

His advice was that if I handled all the little problems along the way- all the baby step issues- right when they occurred, that they'd never compile into a huge ugly thing.

So, I'd say, nip the bad stuff in the bud... tiny miscomunications, scheduling issues, worries, fears - talk about them immediately- and you'll always be on the same page and in love :) Congratulations!

kathy k said...

i am not the mushy kind of girl so.........i tell my husband of 20 years -two things to let him know i luuuv him..
1.i would marry you again...
2. i would take a bullet for you...

Feng said...

Lovely thoughts and sentiments.

I do not need the jewelry, but I've found the best way to take care of myself is to take care of other people.

I guess it comes down to "treat others as you would like to be treated."

It is deeper than that, but that is the gist.

Best of luck, and congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Live your lives together with the goal of having a marriage so great, that you would be proud if your children have a marriage exactly like yours.

MCR said...

Always compliment the other person...point out all their strengths...make them know they are beautiful in so many ways. So, whenever something nice comes to mind, don't hesitate to say it!

Also, as you build your immediate family together (kids, etc.) don't forget to keep your wider community strong...take time to develop deep friendships together and keep up with family.

MCR said...

Here is another one...this is a great contest/blog idea by the way. ;)

Celebrate often.
Make sure special moments, anniversaries, birthdays are always celebrated BIG. And surprises are best. :)

And honestly, make a collage of all this amazing wedding advice you are receiving and put it on your wall! Just beautiful thoughts...

Suki Sumo said...

The best advice I ever received: Be nice to each other!

Sunny Rising Leather said...

And the amazingness continues: my goodness, I should compile these in booklet form and call it 'wedded wisdom' :)

Anonymous said...

If you are best friends and trust one another completely, your love will grow in good and hard times. If not, don't get married.
We've been together 35 years, still don't agree on everything, had ups and downs, still do, but trust each other implicitly and value our friendship. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Remember it Is ridiculous to even tinker with the thought that you can be `all and everything to each other` important part is to remeber `we are some things,a lot of things to each other,stay together on that....and looking back in 50`s palm beach was full of middle age divorced women who`d `left him` on advice of their friends,don`t wanta end up alone,take no advice,but revisit the love tracks of thy own heart,stay true to that love,terri,nebraska