I don't have a lot more than 2 cents worth of commentary on marriage. So take it for what its worth.
We've had it pretty easy, hubby and I. So almost 10 years into it I don't have lots of tips and tricks for making it work. For us, it just does. I genuinely like my husband. I trust him; I know he's a man of integrity. We respect each other, and treat each other kindly. Our marriage is a priority for us. That's it.
The reason I feel ill equip to offer more than 2 cents is that I know its not that way of some people.
Sometimes trust is violated.
Sometimes people marry someone who is just plain selfish (and selfish doesn't work in marriage).
Sometimes financial stress or heart break tests the limits of what 2 people can handle.
Some people are just mean or violent; some people have the misfortune of being married to said mean people.
To these people I have very little to say. Sure, I have some pat answers that I got out of a marriage self-help book. But I have never walked it. I don't know the pain. I'm pretty sure that any advice I have to offer would sound trite.
This is the sum and total of my advice: Be kind; be gracious; be trustworthy; give more than you take; forgive, forgive, forgive. Unfortunately, it takes two. I cannot guarantee that following my advice will result in the other spouse doing the same. I cannot guarantee a "happily every after".
10 years into my own marriage I have witnessed other people struggle in their marriages. I've seen people who I thought would never get divorced divorce. I know stories of violence. I know some guys I'd like to kick in the shins for being such jerks to their wives. Both shins, and a kick farther North just for good measure.
I get why people divorce; and for some I say "get the heck out of Dodge". But bottom line: Divorce Sucks! It's death. Death of a dream. Death of a relationship. Death of a family. It destroys a potent picture of God's love for his church. Divorce Sucks!
In the Old Testament it says that God allowed for divorce because of evil.
And that's it, isn't it?
I am not Pollyanna and we don't live in Candyland. This is war, the ultimate war, between good and evil. Sometimes there are casualties. Sometimes the casualties are marriages, and families. There is death. But death is part of war. Evil exists. And it plays out in our relationships. We lose battles, and "happily ever after" never comes for some.
"I lift my eyes up to the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from you, O Lord, Maker of heaven and earth."
And I say:
"Come, Lord Jesus, come."
"And my hope is build on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness."
There you have it: my cheery 2 cents on marriage.