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Advice for young married couples
A Woman's View
Judi Tabler color mug

Dear young married couples,

I once was like you, newly married and totally consumed by this new life. In those early years, there was very little advice available, and most of us learned “by the seat of our pants,” learning how to cook, to clean, to raise babies, to take care of each other, to often hold an outside job, to get enough rest, and lastly, to take time for oneself. Nothing has changed much.

Actually, just staying on one’s feet was a major effort. Just like today, these young mothers baked brownies, eating the entire panful, slice by slice, as they changed diapers, washed endless piles of clothes, cooked, cleaned, and gained weight! The times might be different, but the results are the same; Overworked parents, time pressures, and stress were and are still major challenges.

Marriage, establishing a family, and meeting deadlines were hard work. There were tough times, and there were good times, as well. So, I ask myself today, as we and our friends approach and pass the 50-years of marriage point, how on earth did we succeed? Especially considering the many divorces today, our enduring relationships must have been fed and nurtured by someone or something, but who?

Of course, love is a factor. And love does grow deeper with time; but it’s not the pant, pant, exciting emotion that pervades the image of romance today. It’s much deeper and selfless than that. Regarding deep love, we would not want to live without our mate, even though we definitely would have liked to kill him or her at some time or other. 

Kidding aside, I believe that there were some basic relationships that guided us. They are as true today as they were back then.

Here are just a few points that showed us the way, and taught us how marriage could be.

1. Having other, well-adjusted couples as good friends. These friends were not necessarily open-professing Christians, but each of us came from good Christian-based ideologies. We shared the same morality, and mode of conduct. And in having these couple-relationships, we learned from each other. Their bond strengthened our bond in that we shared many of the same experiences, and our times together reinforced the man/woman in marriage-relationship for each of us. We laughed and socialized with our good friends 

Observing other couples and how they related, we learned that our guys were not so different from the other guys. And they learned the same about us. We weren’t alone in our frustrations of learning how to live with our mates. They were a learning, foundational, strengthening support; these friends.

2. Although we were all at different levels of faith, we all attended church. Our children attended Sunday School. We grew in our faith together, and this Sunday meeting time together usually followed with us eating lunch together as families. Eventually, we began to look to God and His importance in our lives, but at the beginning, just the habit of going to church was a strong glue.

3. Older couples invested in us, and took the responsibility of including us in the town’s activities. They befriended us; took us in. They invited us to meetings, church, clubs, socials; they taught us how to play bridge, gave us recipes, and shared their lives with us. It seemed to be a natural process, being discipled by older couples. The social habits were different then, but the message is the same today. Young couples need older couples. And young couples should not be isolated or immersed socially only with couples their age. It is important for young couples to allow us in, and for us to be willing to invest in these couples.

It must have been important because it worked.

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at or juditabler@awomansview.