Burton’s Rules for a Happy Marriage

Many (many) years ago, I was invited to a Christian bachelor’s party for a friend that was soon to wed. Each of us were asked to write a piece of advice for the groom. I took this task seriously. At the time, I was approaching my 10th wedding anniversary and thought I had a few things to share.

Today is my 34th anniversary. I found the list recently and was surprised at how well it had aged. I contemplated adding additional discussion to each point, but have decided against it, as it is my anniversary and I prefer to spend my day with my wife.

Here is the list (the order doesn’t really matter):

  1. Repeat the following words often: “I was wrong, you were right, I’m sorry.” It will save a lot of time in the long run.
  2. Be ready to take full responsibility for anything that goes wrong. This includes things that happened before you met, you were not present for, you were unaware of, and anything else that happens. Go ahead admit responsibility to the gulf war, inflation, and any broken nails she may get for the rest of her life.
  3. Always hold hands. She can’t hit you as well if you have one hand.
  4. One good turn gets most of the blanket.
  5. Listen and agree with everything she says even if you don’t understand.
  6. Look her in the eye, hug her, and tell her that you love her at least three times a day.
  7. Always open and hold the door for your wife. She will enjoy being treated like a lady, you will enjoy the view.
  8. Go on a date at least twice a month, preferably once a week.
  9. Tell her she is beautiful, even when she feels ugly. (ex.: 8 months pregnant, she won’t believe you, but she will feel better.)
  10. Remember: PMS is only one week out of the month. That is the week to plan those out of town business trips.
  11. Never say anything negative about your wife to someone else, and do not allow anyone else to say anything negative about your wife; It’s none of their business, and they don’t know her well enough to say anything to you.
  12. Take long walks together and share your dreams. Don’t laugh at hers.
  13. Pray for your wife everyday.
  14. Serve your wife daily. She will enjoy it…and wonder what you are up to.
  15. Encourage one another in your individual relationships with Christ.
  16. When coming home late, there is a certain point in time where your wife will be more worried that you are late than angry.
  17. Put God first, wife second, and family third, everything else will find its own place.

Do you have any advise to share?

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