30 Ways to Walk the Marriage Line

We just celebrated a milestone in our lives – 30 years of marriage.

When someone congratulated us I told my hubby, “I think we deserve more than just congratulations, we deserve a trophy. This has been a HUGE amount of work.”


30 Ways to Walk the Marriage Line @MindyJPeltier

I was thrilled to discover it’s also the anniversary for my musical favorite, Johnny Cash, and his wife June Carter Cash, who had a legendary 35-year marriage and died within months of each other in 2003. Their son, John Carter Cash said, “by the end of their lives they were more in love than they had ever been.” Their love was celebrated in the movie Walk the Line.

A couple doesn’t live Happily Ever After because they’re more suited to each other than other couples. They didn’t have less troubles. The magic of staying married is that  BOTH spouses show up EVERY DAY. You don’t have to always show up with dancing shoes on, but you have to show up and walk the line with grace and strength from the Lord.


Wedding @MindyJPeltier


We celebrated 30 years not because we walked down the aisle March 1st, 1986,
but because we walked the line for the following 10, 949 days.



30 Ways to Walk the Marriage Line

  1. Keep the Lord first. We love, because He first loved us.
  2. Unpack the dirty laundry you each brought into the marriage, wash it together, and repack for the journey.
  3.  Fight fair to resolve issues and not leave them searing beneath the surface.
  4. Parent together and don’t let the children come between you.
  5. Help each other through health issues. (Divorce rate increases for female cancer patients.)
  6. Help your spouse through their problems and be a part of the solution.
  7. Choose your spouse if someone else appears more suitable. (Don’t be deceived!)
  8. Accept and love the new spouse changed by disease or medication.
  9. Build-up, don’t bash, your spouse.
  10. Kindly reprove your spouse’s faults to help them become a better person.
  11. Graciously accept reproof for your faults.
  12. Spend money only in unity. Set budget together even if one person handles finances.
  13. Allow a few annoying (not harmful) habits your spouse can’t/won’t change.
  14. Enjoy at least one of their interests.
  15. Don’t give up all of your interests.
  16. Find interest(s) to enjoy together.
  17. Spend time together often and celebrate your marriage, not just on your anniversary.
  18. Spend time apart.
  19. Forgive and forget. Keep a grocery list, not an offense list.
  20. Learn something new about your spouse. Ask questions about past and future.
  21. Learn to identify and avoid an emotional affair.
  22. Encourage and enable spiritual gifts, talents, and abilities.
  23. Understand and respect your different ways of handling grief, stress, and loss.
  24. Don’t keep secrets from each other. Exceptions made for counseling conversations.
  25. Don’t tell secrets about each other.
  26. Respect spouse’s family members, no matter their issues.
  27. Stay in touch during the day. A five second text or email works wonders.
  28. Use manners.
  29. Voice expectations kindly, don’t expect them to read your mind.
  30. Actively listen, don’t just listen.


One spouse may have to carry a heavier load while walking the line, but you both show up without accusations.  After my two cancer surgeries, I only had the ability to recover. I couldn’t do much for my husband or kids. For years he was a road warrior and was gone about every other week. He wasn’t there physically, and this was before cell phones, but he showed up mentally every day.

There might be a time when one of us is totally unable to handle a problem. The other one almost always has the ability and willingness to go forward after creating a battle plan together. We call it tag team.

It takes two to tango, but only one to divorce, as we’ve sadly learned from friends. Scott and I didn’t work harder or have stronger convictions, we both chose to walk the line every day. Others weren’t so fortunate. They started their marriages with the same intent to “I do” for a lifetime, but their spouse walked away, physically or emotionally.  We have unfaithful friends and friends with unfaithful spouses. Another walked away from years of abuse. Others had spouses who refused to treat mental issues. As much as we rejoice in our situation, we grieve for theirs. It takes more than one to make a marriage last.


The magic of staying married 30 years of marriage isn’t magic at all.


TweetWalk down the aisle, then walk the line.



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7 Responses to 30 Ways to Walk the Marriage Line

  1. Deb/Sweet Tea March 2, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

    Thirty years is a big accomplishment.
    Such a good post.
    Forever and ever amen.

    • Mindy Peltier March 3, 2016 at 8:36 am #

      Thank you! I think mostly we’re surprised that we’re this old.

      And yes, thank you for putting that sweet song in my head! 🙂

  2. Kendra March 3, 2016 at 7:20 am #

    Amen and congrats!

    • Mindy Peltier March 3, 2016 at 8:38 am #

      Thank you, Kendra, I know you and your hunky Scott have gone through so much, as well, and know the effort it takes to stay married. You two are a great example!

  3. Dana March 3, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    Congratulations! 30 years is worth recognizing!

    One of Aaron and my rules is to not even joke about divorce – it’s not an option, even in humor. Your list is quite good!

    • Mindy Peltier March 3, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

      I love that rule! I was going to have a question at the bottom and have people add their own advice and I forgot. So glad you spoke out. We went to a wedding with John Dabill one time. In the vows the couple said, “I promise to never divorce you.” It was powerful. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. M.Venkatachari March 7, 2016 at 1:10 am #

    Wonderful tips. Thanks for sharing and guiding people.

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