Are you happily married? Unhappily married? Not married, but would like to be? Whatever your situation is, if you’ve ever wondered what it takes for a marriage to thrive, this particular episode of Candid Conversations with Joyce is sure to pique your interest. Watch as Joyce shares the secrets to how her marriage to Dave not only survived 54 years, but just keeps getting better! Ginger and Joyce get up close and personal concerning marriage in this very candid conversation.
Today on our candid conversation, the one many people have been asking for and waiting on. A lot of people on social media have said if they could sit down with you, they would ask how to make a marriage last 50 years and um Dave, I’ve been married, 50, how many now? 50 for 54 years. So a lot of questions throughout the process, but is there a key or a few keys that you would throw out as this is really important if you’re going to make it for the long run? Well, first of all, I do think that uh being believers in jesus and both of us wanting to please him and be obedient to him has made a huge, huge, huge difference and especially in the beginning of our marriage when I had so many personality problems because of being abused in my childhood and um I mean I honestly really didn’t know how many problems I had, I really didn’t, I didn’t, I look back now and I think how in the world did he make it through those first few years? So Dave had definitely been prepared by God spiritually for me. He had had a very strong walk with God and you know, I don’t want anybody that’s listening. He says, well yeah, I don’t have, you know, my husband’s not like that, so you know, mine will never work. I mean God can work in different ways in different relationships and situations, but in my case, you know, I tell the story that Dave and I had five dates and he asked me to marry him and he had been praying for a wife and he wanted God to give him somebody that needed help and that when you, when you think about that, who prays that. So it really had to be a desire that God put in his heart. I mean nobody prays, you know, I want to get married but make it somebody that’s got a bunch of problems so I can help. Not so Dave and I both realized that our relationship was supernaturally put together by God for the purpose that we all see. And no, that doesn’t mean that, you know, we didn’t have anything to do with decided to throw in the towel and quit or to stick it out. But I do think that if people are going through troubled times in their marriage, if they don’t have that, I really want to please God mentality, it’s too easy to just say, I’m not putting up with this anymore, I’m out of here. You know, there was only one time that they’ve ever said to me, he said, if you continue to treat me the way you do, he said, I honestly don’t know what I’m gonna do in the future. And Dave was not the type to threaten and so that kind of put the fear of God in me so to speak. And I realized that I really needed to get serious about changing. And I remember after a year of me being what I thought was on really good behavior, I said to him, so how do you feel about me now? And he said better, but we still got a long way to go and I was really disappointed. But I would say the first three years were probably the most difficult. But even in the midst of that, we still had fun. You know, we everything wasn’t bad. You know, we had, we went to church on every sunday. We, we did things together. You know, we, it wasn’t that it was all bad, but there were times that were really bad because I had a really bad temper and I would get mad and stay mad at him for days on end. But Dave had a real ability to not let me steal his joy. And so I would say to anybody that’s in a, we’ll just call it for the sake of anything else, a troubled marriage. I think that you, you have to be strong enough in God to not let the troubled person steal your joy. Yeah. Because if you flip the tables a little bit, you’re looking at it as a person who married a godly man who was well grounded and ready to do whatever he needed to do. But if you look at it the other way Dave married, a person who had been through a lot of pain in her life had been abandoned, divorced and was going to be a challenge and very strong personality and our personality mix was also a godsend because Dave is more easy going and laid back and I was just like a spitfire, you know, and actually God caused him to like some of the things about me that most people just wouldn’t have put up with it all. Like he said, I like your sassy personality because I’ve told him, you know, I’ll really try to change. He’s like, I like I like you you know, I mean he now if I get disrespectful, he doesn’t like that and he’ll tell me, but we we argued a lot in the first few years or maybe I argued with myself, I don’t know, he wasn’t much of an arguer but he’s told me, you know, since it happened that there were times when he would just go out drive around and just cry because he just didn’t, he didn’t know what to do, he didn’t, he didn’t know what to do with me. And I remember him saying, you know, I’ve tried everything to keep you happy and you’re just not gonna be happy so I’m just gonna quit trying and so Dave just basically lived his life, but the thing he really did love me unconditionally, you know when I would receive love, he never he never mistreated me or stopped loving me, I didn’t know how to receive the love because I’ve been hurt and wounded, but I just think about how many people that are christians that are in situations like he and I were and because he stuck it out, look at, look at what’s happened and how many people if they wouldn’t just throw the towel in or say were incompatible or you know, I’m not putting up with this anymore. How many christians could have an opportunity to really dramatically change somebody’s life if they could be consistent in front of them, but still have that unconditional love. See if if he would have gotten mad at me and mistreated me or not talk to me or, you know, been mean to me, I wouldn’t have made it through that, but he, he still was always ready to love me if I was ready to receive it. And like I said, it wasn’t like it was all bad and we fought all the time. I mean, we we had kids, we did things, we did things with couples at church. You know, I eventually started playing golf with Dave and you know, a lot of times we think, man, I married the wrong person or our personalities just don’t match at all. But I think more often than not, God’s picked out the right person for you, it’s just, there’s things about them that you don’t like and you focus on just that Yeah, we’ve talked before that personalities being very different is sometimes feels like a bad thing, but is often used as a good thing that God does for us right now. I mean Dave’s personality was absolutely perfect for me? If he would have been a type a like me, we would have probably made it about a month, you know? Yeah. And uh, I think God, he gives you somebody that’s different than you are because you kind of fill up each other’s weaknesses. You know, Dave sometimes needed me to put a little fire under him. He needed to hold me back a little bit and let’s fast forward past those years where, um, you know, you went through that really difficult time in the beginning and God began to work on both of you and shape you and pull you together and I’m sure sometimes pull you apart. Um, I’ve always kind of seen marriage like, like a pyramid and a lot of people see it this way. You know, as you move closer to God, you move closer to each other. So you get to the point then where you’ve been married many years, you’re both walking with the Lord. Was it always perfect rosy after that? I mean, because no, 50 years, I’m sure it still had to be rough at different patches along the way. A matter of fact, I’ll tell you something, it’s not funny, but it would be good for people to hear this dave and I rarely ever argue now, I mean we might go a whole year not have an argument, but This year 2021, we’ve had three arguments and two of them have been pretty hefty and I’m like, what is going on? And I just think that it’s, it’s time for me to again come up higher in some areas. And there’s just been some things that have come up with that normally doesn’t bother David all that. He’s just been bothered by it and, but I know that it’ll work out good. I know that it’s like, I already see good fruit from in here again. He never stays mad. I don’t stay mad. You know, we’re both quick to forgive, but I thought it would be interesting for people to hear that, that, you know, it’s, I mean, it’s been years since we’ve had that many arguments that close together. It’s just like, and I know you guys, so for you to call them arguments, they probably really are. Yeah, they were because, you know, there are a lot of little things that we all have together, but but it’s encouraging to people, I think to hear that, that, okay, it’s been over 50 years and you still have things to work through together and they would probably say we didn’t have an argument, but we did, it was, let’s put it like this, it was a a heated disagreement. If we don’t want to call it an argument. It was a heated disagreement where we just felt differently about some things and, you know, there were some things that he said that I just thought he was totally wrong and you know, but you always have to go back to God usually, like what I do is I may have my feelings hurt for a couple of days. I don’t stay mad. You know, I’ve I’ve got more spiritual wisdom than to stay mad because I know that opens the door for a devil, and God always gives us both the grace to free. And he said, even the last time this happened, he said, I’m not mad at you. He said, I just feel like this needs to change. And you know, at first I just didn’t get it. I mean, I just didn’t see it and then, but if you if you ask God, is he right or is she right? You know, a lot of times he said to me, you need to see this from my vantage point, and that’s what we don’t do. A lot of times, we only see our we only see the way we feel about it and we don’t walk around to the other person’s side and say, how would I feel if this was me and you know, but like I said, that just rarely ever happens, and I do believe that if we let it when there is confrontation in a marriage, I do believe that if we let it, it can work out good and everybody can learn something from it and we can go on and be happy. You know, you I remember reaching a point and I think everybody has to do this where, you know, I didn’t like this that day and I didn’t like that and I didn’t like something else, you know how we get and it’s like, you know, I want him to do this and when he and I remember him saying one time, you better be glad I’m the way I am or you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing. I thought, you know, how many men could let their wives do what he’s letting me done do and been right there beside me the whole time. And a lot of people don’t realize the key roles that Dave played in the ministry behind the scenes, he worked very hard and so he’s had a big, big role in this and you know, I just was very supportive all the way, but he was very supportive all the way. He always sits and listens to me, he always, you know, laughs at my same stories all the time. And he said they’re funny every time he said, even though I’ve heard you, you know, so God has definitely anointed him for his role in the ministry and uh just like he’s annoying me, but I was going through this time, I wish they would do this moment. And I think sometimes everybody if you’re gonna stay together, you come to what may be what I call, I don’t want to call it a crisis point, because we weren’t having a crisis, but it’s like you, you have to decide at some point, I’m sticking with this forever no matter what our, if they keep doing this, I’m out of here, if they keep doing that, I’m out of here, if they keep doing that, I’m out of here, you have to be really fully committed and if you are then that makes all the difference in the world. A lot of the things that people marry somebody for are still there, but they just find out other things when they start living together in marriage that well, I didn’t know you did that. Do you know, I didn’t even know Dave played golf when we got married. That’s hard to believe. I didn’t even know he played golf. Well, I mean it was a whirlwind romance. Well we had five dates and he asked me to marry him, I mean I met him in october and said, wait you golf. Yeah, I met him in october and the next year by january the seventh we were married. So it was very, very quick and I always tease and say he had to marry me fast before he found out what he was really getting And now he’s had 54 years of its 54 years doing some great things, we have a good time. Yesterday, we went up together, we both want a couple of places together and had a meal and Dave is normally not what I would call a funny person, but I told him, I think you took a funny pill yesterday, he was just cracking jokes all day long and making me laugh and and I was such a good wife. Yesterday, I asked him every sports question I could possibly think of, nice, good job, I was just like go girl because you know what, we are pretty selfish all of us sometimes and to, to ask other people what they’re interested in and give them a chance to talk about that I think is important and I probably don’t do enough of that learn a person’s love language and Dave’s love language is quality time and he does like it if people listen to him when he’s talking to them about something, but because so much of what he likes is sports and I’m not interested in them a lot of times. I, you know, I don’t want to listen, but you know, love will set aside its preferences and prefer the other person. You cannot marry anybody that’s not gonna disappoint you once in a while, that’s not, you know, like I didn’t feel good the other day, I had a little stomach virus and you know, Dave’s not, he’s just not the kind to say, oh come here, you know, blah, blah, blah, you know, I called my daughter and she’s like, oh I’m so sorry and she just like felt sorry for me and you know, that’s just not dave and I used to get mad about that kind of stuff and you have to learn to accept the things about people because honestly, they don’t know how to give it to you if it’s not in them, they don’t even think about, they don’t know how to give it to you. Yeah, well, thank you very much for the encouragement for the advice. I know that a lot of it is very applicable for any kind of relationship and marriages will be better for it. So thank you.