by Samantha of A Spoonful of Sugar
The Secret to 19 Successful Years of Marriage
After 19 years of marriage through infertility, miscarriages, failed adoptions, and the adoption of our sons… I usually get asked the same question: “How did your marriage survive?”
My answer is always the same… “Sometimes we dance”.
There are six aspects to good dancing: relational, physical, emotional, communication, sacrificial, and rejoicing.
Dancing is a relationship between the two dancers. A successful marriage is a relationship between a man, a woman, and the Lord. It takes this trinity to support and grow the marriage through whatever trial it may experience.
A good dancer will show respect through the movements that aid their partner in the next step. In marriage the physical aspects deal with more than just the sexual relationship. It is how the couple show daily respect and love for each other and for the Lord that support the marriage as it goes through a trial. Things like hand holding, praying for each other, or a spontaneous hug can have a greater impact on a marriage’s longevity than just great sex.
When a dancing couple is in emotional sync it is seen in their faces and movements. Just as when a couple is in sync with each otherand the Lord, they exhibit this as they move through life’s trials. Whereas when a couple is out of sync those trials cause the couple to stumble or fall. And the relationship suffers. As my husband and I have been through many trials, we have experienced them both ways. In some, we were in emotional sync and in others we were in conflict. Those trials that we have gone through in which we were in a close step with God, were still trials, but there was a peace and knowledge that we had the Lord’s strength to carry us through.
Good communication is critical both in dancing and marriage. In a waltz, the woman is dancing backwards depending upon her partner to lead her through the dance. The man communicates through his eyes, his shoulders, and the subtle hand pressure on her back. In marriage, each partner sometimes dances backwards – depending on their spouse to safely guide them through to the next step. This is accomplished by one partner clearly communicating the next step while the other partner is focused on the subtle guidance.
In dancing, one partner leads while the other follows. The sacrificial following of a partner’s lead is critical to a successful marriage. Have you ever seen a dance where both partners are trying to lead? The dancers are not moving in unison and the dance is stilted and ungraceful. The same takes place in a marriage where both are trying to lead. This submission is not one of subservience; it is the conscious decision to assume the supporting role as both roles are critical for success.
A good dance ends with both dancers appearing as one. This “oneness” results in a rejoicing in the dance itself. In a marriage that strives towards oneness not just with each other but also with the Lord, there is an assurance that the marriage’s mourning shall be turned into rejoicing (Psalm 30:11). As we have gone through many trials, we have rejoiced in surviving the trials and in our relationship being made strong because of the trials. Focusing on the Lord’s assurance that the rejoicing will be there enables you to walk through the trials.
We have Danced
My husband is not a dancer… whereas I love to dance. I daily dance around my house with the music blaring hoping the neighbors don’t think I am a nut. But sometime he takes my hand and waltzes me around the room. The music isn’t on but we rejoice that together we have danced in praise of the Lord (Psalm 149:3)… through times of mourning and times of rejoicing.
We have danced.
Samantha Bradley is the owner of “www.aspoonfulosugar” a blog detailing her transforming journey from Shop-a-holic working Accountant married with no children living off two incomes into a Frugaliesta SAHM with two young adopted sons trying to live off of one income. She has been married to her husband and best friend for over 18 years. Their marriage is focused on the Lord’s will for every facet of their life together. The goal of the blog is to be the sugar for others who are going through the hard bitter pill of the current financial market. The blog is focused on frugal living through reduction in expenses by utilizing coupons, strategic shopping, taking advantage of rebates, participating in giveaways and frugal lifestyle changes.