S01E009, Highs and Lows, 25th Anniversary Special, Marriage Matters

Avatar The BerryBunch | 19/03/2022

You can Listen, Read, or Watch, the video. In this week’s Marriage Matters, Andy B and Jo talk about the highs and lows of their own marriage after 25 years.

As always, Andy B steers the episode with scripture, when Jesus spoke about his yoke being easy and his burden being light. Perhaps an unusual choice, but Andy B links this to couples and the need for them to stick together:

  • Matthew 11:28-30

Andy B and Jo take us on a journey through the seasons of marriage, for example the honeymoon period, setting up home, having children and different jobs and places that affect our lives together, bringing us our ups and downs or as Andy B and Jo prefer to say – ‘Highs & Lows’.

Join Andy B & Jo and reflect on your own highs and lows and how you can stick together through them.

Resources and Tips

  • Invest in your marriage
  • Play together, work together, eat together, sleep together….
  • Make the same effort towards each other in marriage as you did before marriage.

Andy and Jo

Andy 0:38 Well, hello, and welcome to another Marriage Matters. I'm Andy.

Jo 0:42 And I'm Jo.

Andy 0:43 And this is Marriage Matters, where we discuss all sorts of things, because marriage matters. And it's about matters of the marriage that matter, because Marriage Matters.

Jo 0:51 Absolutely

Andy 0:52 Absolutely. So, if you would like to keep in touch with all that we do, you can like us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel. And if you go to the website, www.BerryBunch.family, you can sign up to the newsletter, and never miss a thing.

Jo 1:09 Excellent.

Andy 1:09 Well, as long as it's us,

Jo 1:12 So, Marriage Matters. Another episode. And what we're gonna do today is look at our 25 years of marriage. We've been married for 25 years, we've just celebrated our wedding anniversary, and we wanna look at the Highs and Lows. And the reason why we do that is because very early on in our marriage, we watched a film with Michelle Pfeiffer, wasn't it and Bruce Willis. You may have watched it. The Story Of Us. Not that we completely recommend that, that that film

Andy 1:37 Language gets a bit ripe!

Jo 1:38 Yeah. But they do a thing where the family gather together of an evening, and they share their Highs and Lows of the day. And we just love that. And we've been using that for years now between the two of us, and now we've introduced it to our children. And so we thought, let's have the Highs and Lows of our marriage. That's what we're gonna do,

Andy 1:56 Starting with the low of our 25th anniversary struggling with COVID.

Jo 1:59 Well, yeah, that was that one wasn't there.

Andy 2:02 That's before we even kick off.

Jo 2:03 So yeah, we what we're going to do is just go through sort of randomly as our brains can, function with it. Reflections, really. But hopefully, as we journey through some pointers, and some tips, and some ideas, and something will maybe resonate with you. I dunno where you are on your journey with your, your marriage. Whether you've started, or thinking about it, or you've been going along a few years. But journey with us, as we think about and reflect on these years, and how we've stuck to it and stuck together, you know,

Andy 2:31 We have.

Jo 2:32 Through thick and thin.

Andy 2:33 Through thick and thin like glue that doesn't separate.

Jo 2:38 You got some scripture for us Andy?

Andy 2:39 I have.

Jo 2:40 Excellent!

Andy 2:40 Of course. You might think, where's he going? In fact, you probably frequently think, where's he going. This is Matthew chapter 11, verse 28, which says this.

Andy 2:53 "Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Andy 2:58 It gets better. Verse 29.

Andy 3:00 "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me. For I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Andy 3:12 And the reason why I thought, well, I'm gonna highlight that one is 1, we used it in something else we did, and it reminded me of the importance of this verse. Because, actually, marriage can get quite hard. It can get quite staid. It can get very mundane. It can get really kind of wearing you down. You've got life's issues coming along. But God loves marriage. God loves married couples. Therefore marriage should not be the hard grind, and slog, all of the time. And that's where that scripture comes in.

Andy 3:41 And hopefully as we talk about the last 25 years of our own life, we've got some Lows, and we've got some Highs, but actually through that is Jesus Christ has been with us. And yeah, His burden is light.

Jo 3:51 Yeah.

Andy 3:52 And we love being married. 25 years here and we still love being with each other. We still have been married. It gets better every day. And I think part of that is because as we've matured as a as people, as a married couple, actually we've, we've started to put into practice, more and more, the fact that God is there to help. That that yoke is light. And there have been some really difficult times in marriage. But, actually, they don't need to stay. And there are things we can do, quite often.

Jo 4:17 Yeah.

Andy 4:17 And we've been going through that as a family recently. You know, sometimes there are things you can actually do. We get defeated, and defeatist, and sometimes we can do something too.

Andy 4:25 Shall we take a break?

Jo 4:26 Yep.

Jo 4:27 So let's pray Andy's gonna come on and show us how to pray. Excellent. What, what have you got there,

Andy 4:33 It's my World Atlas.

Andy 4:35 Okay.

Andy 4:36 So I can pray for the world.

Jo 4:37 Okay.

Jo 4:37 You see. Prayer is good.

Jo 4:38 Right. Okay, you're gonna show us how to do that then?

Andy 4:40 Yeah, yeah. Yep! So I've gone, I've got me Atlast. And if you go to the letter A, I'm going to start here. So,

Jo 4:46 Yeah.

Andy 4:47 Please God please bless Abenrar, and Arcshun and Arbor.

Jo 4:53 What did you like about the story?

Dave the Dog 4:56 Bob.

Jo 4:57 You like Bob?

Dave the Dog 4:58 And the stick.

Jo 4:59 And the stick?

Dave the Dog 4:59 Me like sticks.

Jo 5:00 You like the stick?

Dave the Dog 5:01 Me like sticks a lot I do.

Jo 5:02 Okay, well, we'll try and make sure there's more stories with sticks in,

Dave the Dog 5:06 Thankyou

Jo 5:06 Dave, especially for you.

Jo 5:21 Welcome back. We're talking about our Highs and Lows of the 25 years that we've been married. And, interesting, when we get round the table, we talk about Highs and Lows. It's actually Lows and Highs, because we like to end on a high. And so we will try and end on a high on this episode.

Jo 5:36 And we're going to sort of not necessarily take it in order. But it's good to start at the beginning, when we first got married. And it's interesting, because we were sort of putting things in this High and Low category. So when we, our wedding day was definitely a high point because we're starting our marriage together.

Andy 5:52 It was amazing.

Jo 5:52 But we had some real difficulties in terms of relationships, and challenges that we faced. So it kind of went in the High and Low point.

Andy 6:00 Just clarifying. Not, not problems between us, relationships. This is the in laws situation.

Jo 6:04 No! Yeah and I know that we won't be alone in some of the struggles that people have when we first get married. Yeah, so that was a High and Low category. And I know, arguably, you're not supposed to put them in the same category. But sometimes it can go one way or antoher.

Andy 6:16 We do it all the time! The thing about the wedding day, and we've touched on this a little bit over time, but our wedding day was not just a really good opportunity for two Christians who loved Jesus Christ, to come together, and be joined in Holy Marriage. It, it was. But there was also an awful lot of grief, and family strife, and all the rest of it. People trying to stop us get married for all sorts of stupid reasons, quite frankly. And we've touched on that before as well. 'You haven't got enough money'. 'You haven't got enough friends you've made together.' 'This is evil'. All kind of nonsensical stuff, that just, rubbish! And that was our wedding day in fact.

Andy 6:53 So on our wedding day, this is why it's a Low, High, I got married to my wife.

Andy 6:56 On my wedding day somebody, just before the wedding ceremony began said, 'you know, it's still not too late, you can pull out.' Which isn't really what you want to hear as you're walking to the fornt of the church, waiting for your bride to appear. So that was our wedding day. Hence High and Low.

Jo 7:09 I suppose it's coming back to what we talk about with marriage and, and all things to do with relationships. Sometimes we romanticise, don't we? And everyone in the films have this beautiful wedding and all this kind of stuff. And it doesn't always work out. But it's not the wedding is it? It's the, it's the years that, you know, so even if you had an amazing day, it doesn't mean mean to say it's necessarily gonna work out.

Andy 7:30 And I think on that one, there's an awful lot about how much money you spend, and all the rest of it. But, you know, our wedding day, in so many ways, was horrible. There's so much of it that's really wasn't pleasant. That's not going to make the marriage good or strong, or weak or bad, because we're here 25 years. very happily so.

Jo 7:48 Yeah. So and also the the High end low was the, the, what do you call it? The honeymoon. I mean, it was lovely to go away together. And again, you know, the starting that new and exciting journey.

Andy 7:58 Cornwall. Can't say Cornwall. It's Cornwall.

Jo 8:00 But you had an asthma attack, didn't you so,

Andy 8:02 I had a fairly severe asthma attack?

Jo 8:04 Yeah.

Andy 8:05 Had to go to hospital.

Jo 8:06 So it was lovely having that holiday. But, again, as I say, that's a High and Low category.

Andy 8:10 We had a massive swimming pool to ourselves.

Jo 8:12 Yeah, that was fun,

Andy 8:13 And an A & E ward to ourselves.

Jo 8:14 Yeah.

Andy 8:17 That was the honeymoon.

Jo 8:18 But that's the beginning. That's the exciting part of of marriage, isn't it? When you're first getting to know each other. But there are some, we found, there wassome challenges as well on that journey.

Jo 8:27 I remember reading books and praying for you. But we're bringing different attitudes and, you know, thoughts and feelings about life, the universe and everything. And that clashes sometimes.

Andy 8:39 There were clashes. The first, the first year was pretty good. We bought our own house within a year. And that was really cool. Within five years, we'd bought a second house, well, to replace it, not two at the same time. And that was, you know, that, the first kind of 5, 10 years, it's about establishing a family. Children came along, nine years, eight years, eight years later, children came in, through, through our three boys. And the first ten kind of 10 years, it's very much building something. And it's kind of exciting and there's, there's lots to do, but I think through some of that 'to doing', can I have that word?

Jo 9:17 You' ve got it now.

Andy 9:18 Okay, so through some of that 'to doing', you can kind of lose yourself. And you can lose each other, and lose the relationship. Because children come along, it's quite tiring. There's no question about that! Having a little child that doesn't understand night and day is hard work. Having a child that's awake during the day and wants to play, and then a child that doesn't understand night and day, that's even more of a challenge! People I know, I mean, we know people with three and kids, and four kids. And two's kind of okay, 'cos you, it's like one on one. Three? Now they can gang up against you. And 4? You're just done. That's from some parents with 4 kids that I've met. It's good, but it's hard work, and, but it's great.

Jo 9:55 It is. And those are our highs, having having children, but we did have a low point and we were we lost our 3rd child.

Andy 10:02 We lost our third child, Magdi.

Jo 10:03 And I know that many people will have lost children. And that that is a hard time, and it can it, can actually make or break a marriage, can't it? I mean I've heard some.

Andy 10:12 Oh, it can rip you apart.

Jo 10:12 Yeah. I mean, obviously, we had our moments, and we, we struggled with each other. But again, coming back to the scripture of sticking together, isn't it helping each other through these things? That's really important.

Andy 10:23 Yeah. And we were really blessed to have some great Christian couples who came alongside. One particular couple, and they'd been through miscarriage 30 years earlier. And they came and they sat in our lounge, and we just sobbed together. It was one of the most healing times I think I've ever had in my life. This, this older couple who, who literally came and were the yoke with us. They came. They were the mature couple. They helped us through to identify what we felt, and be honest about it, and express it. And it was really quite powerful. But that was a really good example of a more mature Christian couple, in that case, coming along and helping us with the yoke as the younger couple. And that's why I keep going back to Matthew 11, 28. Because it's all about, 'we're not meant to walk alone'. We're meant to have people who can help. And we're meant to help people actually.

Jo 11:07 Yeah.

Andy 11:08 The Bible isn't really polite about that. It's, you know, older women, you go and look after the younger women. It's very, very direct. It's not, you know, if they feel like it, or you do. It's like go and help them. Older men, go and help the younger men. So there's an expectation that younger men should be ready for receiving help, and an expectation that older people will help other, younger couples.

Jo 11:27 Yeah.

Andy 11:27 So the Bible wants us to work with one another. But that, that miscarriage was certainly,

Jo 11:32 Yeah,

Andy 11:32 It was a really low point!

Jo 11:34 But, I, that reminds me of the Scripture, isn't it? The comfort that you give, that God gives usm we can comfort others with?

Andy 11:39 Yes.

Jo 11:39 And that's really a biblical principle.

Andy 11:42 Definitely.

Jo 11:42 Yeah, so I mean, marriage, you need other people to come alongside. When you first get married, people stand up, don't they, to say that they're going to support you in that Christian, Christian walk. And so, you know, we, we as a couple have God at the centre. We pray together, we plan, you know, we plan things. We work together, but we need others around us to help us and support us. Definitely.

Andy 12:04 Comning back to that first 10, let's call it 15 years.

Jo 12:06 Yeah.

Andy 12:07 First 15 years, there was some really good points. But within kind of a year or two, the honeymoon period kind of wanes. That's normal by the way. If you get to the end of a year or two and you think, I'm not really feeling like I'm in love anymore.

Jo 12:18 Yeah.

Andy 12:18 Actually, that's a lot to do with hormones. It's, you gotta be really careful with feelings, because feelings can lie to you, all the time. I feel hungry after a big meal and a big gateau. Well, my feelings are wrong!

Jo 12:27 Yeah.

Andy 12:28 And it's no different, actually, with coming to the end of that, kind of, 1, 2 year period, and feel like you're not in love anymore. Actually, it's just a hormone that makes you bond together, has stopped. It's not needed anymore. And that's where, essentially the hard work, but the good work, comes out. So the first, you know, first honeymoon period's wonderful. And it's not like, oh, it gets depressing after that. But it changes. And actually, as an older couple, we want to kind of prepare you for the fact that there's gonna be a change. And it's not a bad change! It's just a change. It's a different pace. It's like changing gear from first to second. It's just different. Means you can go further, which is cool!

Jo 13:03 Yeah, absolutely. So we've talked Highs and Lows. The wedding day, the honeymoon,.lwe've talked about having children. And we've talked about losing children as well. We've talked about difficulties around in laws.

Jo 13:19 We've got some, had some, high places where we've lived. High, literally high places, we lived

Andy 13:23 Yes

Jo 13:23 in a lovely place.

Andy 13:24 We lived on a mountain. That was very high.

Jo 13:25 And, and so I think when you. I mean, so I went on holiday once to see my dad. And, and it was a beautiful place I went to. But, you know, I missed it because I didn't have someone who I knew, 'cos I wasn't very close to my dad at the time. And, and so you do enjoy things more when you've got someone who you love, and you care for.

Andy 13:46 Abdolutely.

Jo 13:46 And so when we were in that mountain, I don't think I could have enjoyed it as much had it not been with us together, wasn't it?

Andy 13:52 Absolutely!

Jo 13:52 Because it ,that's, the point, isn't it. And there's been some lovely holidays we've had, and places we've been to, which have been, you know, because we've been together in in those places, hasn't it.

Andy 14:01 It creates some great opportunities. I think, just circling back that, that, kind of, first, excuse me, that first 10, 15 years, I think one of the things that it, it's really good to be aware of, and we fell foul of this, is the divorce word, which we talked about in our very first episode of Marriage Matters. The D word.

Andy 14:18 Divorce came up as a threat.

Jo 14:20 Yeah.

Andy 14:20 It came up as an escape route. There was no real reason for that. The Bible's really clear that there are reasons for divorce. We're not going into the reasons why it would be happening. But God's best plan is for divorce not to happen. And we would throw this word divorce around as a, as a threat as a, usually, I think as a kind of a self defence mechanism. Well if you do that, I'll divorce you, you know. And that wasn't good! But that, that came partially out of the tiredness of, of that period of just getting on with life. And having children. And trying to pay the bills. And you've got a mortgage. And you got to fix the shower. And you lose each other. And as you lose each other through the busyness of life, you start to drift apart.

Andy 14:59 My grandparents had some great advice when we got married, which I will share with you, because it was wonderful. It's priceless. I don't know that there's any other advice I'd ever wanna give a married couple, 'cos I think this is, this, this is the entirety of the advice that you will ever need. And they said to me, "Andy, Jo, when you get married, you need to play together, you need to work together, you need to sleep together, you need to eat together." You can stick anything on the front if you like. But it's about that mean together part.

Jo 15:00 Yeah.

Andy 15:01 And I think that's really important, because I'm not saying we lost that. But I think we lost each other a little bit. And I think losing our daughter, definitely put a wedge between us. I really did not do well with that time. Took me about five years to, to recover from that.

Jo 15:41 Yeah.

Andy 15:41 And Jo probably suffered the most. So be ready for these things, and keep fighting for each other

Jo 15:47 Yeah.

Andy 15:47 It's really important, because there's gonna be times where you just want to give up. And that's natural. But if you don't know it's normal, to go through that kind of a period, it might really scare you.

Jo 15:55 Yeah.

Andy 15:56 And actually just, just keep going. One foot in front the other and keep playing together, eating together, sleeping together. It's all good.

Jo 16:02 We did take that on board actually. And one of the things, the highlights of our marriage, is cycling, isn't it?

Andy 16:07 Yes.

Jo 16:08 You brought that into it, to our time together. I didn't even have a bike did I?

Andy 16:13 No.

Jo 16:13 I could ride

Andy 16:14 You could ride a bike, You didn't have a bike? So I actually bought you your first bike.

Jo 16:17 Yeah.

Andy 16:18 Your first brand new bike.

Jo 16:19 We've got some great experiences of cycling together, now we can use those selfie things, can't we?

Andy 16:25 I've got a selfit stick.

Jo 16:27 And capture those memories. But yeah, your grandparents were absolutely right. Doing things together is so absolutely, absolutely vital. And we've talked about in other episodes, Date Night and Dating, that kind of thing, always coming back to doing things togethe. Really important!

Andy 16:40 And I think it's making that time and that effort. Because when life gets a little bit mundane, a little bit samey, and you need to make time to actually be with one another. And the reason why we are still very much so in love with each other, at 25 years, we text each other. If Jo goes to work we're texting all day long. If we're in the same house, we want to be next to each other, you know, and the reason why that that exists still is not because we've never had any problems. Actually, we've had many, many problems. But we've gone to Christ, and said, look, okay Lord, we can't do this, please show us how to get through this situation. And that's back to that Matthew 11,28. It's that burden that we share. And because we're both working together, we can plough the fields. But if one of us is having a bad day, the other one can pull the load a little bit. But if you're not sharing that yoke you're going to be ended up with ploughing all over the place and making a right mess.

Jo 17:33 Are we gonna take a break?

Andy 17:34 We can take a break.

Nathan 17:41 Physical training is good. But training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life, and in the life to come. The point of this scripture is that while physical training is good, it is beneficial for us. It keeps us fit. It keeps us healthy. It's not nearly as beneficial as spiritual training and all that makes up training for godliness, such as reading our Bibles, praying and going to church. And that is the point of Endurance. It is to show how we can maintain self discipline, and how we can endure through our training for godliness. With that in mind, go check it out

Andy 18:33 Well welcome back for our Tips and Resources section. So, Jo, what is the thing that is probably most important to you right now?

Jo 18:42 In our in our marriage?

Andy 18:43 No. You personally.

Jo 18:44 Me? What's most important? Well, my family, isn't it?

Jo 18:47 Okay. So then what do you do to do something about the fact that that's the most important thing?

Jo 18:53 Yeah, invest time, in my family,

Andy 18:55 You see it's like we scripted this before. So the thing about marriage is if you want your marriage to prosper, and to grow, it's a bit like growing a plant, you can't just shove it in the soil and, and walk away.

Jo 19:04 Yeah.

Andy 19:05 It's gonna need nurturing. It's gonna need care. It's gonna need care when it comes to the winter, and bringing in, and putting back out in the summer, and not then it being too much in the sun if it can't cope with that. And it needs attention. And if it's important, we'll invest into it. And we've invested a lot into our, into our marriage, our relationship, our friendship. And that's the one thing that I would say is number 1 priority in any marriage. If you want your marriage to succeed, if it's important to you, then invest in it. It doesn't really matter if the other person is really with you even or not. There have been times when one of us is really pushing forwards through marriage, and the other one is just not in that place.

Jo 19:42 Yes.

Andy 19:43 Either because they're hurting or they're broken, maybe physically ill. There are times when we're just not together.

Andy 19:48 When we were ill I mean we barely saw or spoke to each other, or touched each other for like 2months because we had COVID, and I was in hospital all of a sudden, and you know, these these stresses of life come. But it's a bit like that bank analogy, again, that if you keep investing when the bad times come, and they'll come, you've got some't to draw off. So that when that two month period, which was hell, because we had COVID, and illness, and sickness and I was rushed hospital with lung infections, and heart issues. And, you know, it was a really, really rough time! And yet we invested a lot in each other. So, therefore, when it came, we had so much to draw on.

Andy 20:24 And I think the other part of this is. If you want something to succeed. If it's really important, or valuable to you, you will find a way of accomplishing it. It's not about some positive thinking nonsense of, you know, you can do whatever you want to do, 'cos that's rubbish. But it is about, if it's really important, how much are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen?

Jo 20:43 Yeah, absolutely.

Andy 20:45 So we've had all sorts. We've had websites, books, we've, we've listened to stuff, we've watched stuff. Christian resources. They're really, really good. There's loads and loads and loads of resources around, and just get stuck into it. If it's important to you, you'll find a way.

Andy 20:59 We knew a guy, he wanted to have a Porsche by the age of 30. And so he did. Now he didn't do anything particularly dodgy to get it. He wasn't, you know, betting and gambling. He just worked really, really hard until he got his car. And he did everything he could to make sure that nothing would prevent him from his goal.

Jo 21:15 Yeah.

Andy 21:15 He was a lovely, gentle guy, too, by the way, an amazing pianist. But we need to invest in what's important.

Jo 21:23 Yeah.

Andy 21:23 And part of investing is what are we willing to sacrifice? Cos it's not just going after something. It's what are we willing to give away, in order to improve it? So, if you want a nice garden, and you want to invest in it, that's great. But how much back breaking, sweat, splintered, bloody fingers from crushing your fingers in a stone? How much of that you willing to do to get to the end event?

Jo 21:44 Yeah, I was thinking about that. 'Cos when you are courting, or when you meet someone, you put a lot of effort in don't you, you know,

Andy 21:51 you do!

Jo 21:52 Make yourself look nice, and kind of have time together, and you put real effort in. And that shouldn't really stop, although obviously there are seasons and times in different sort of places. But that shouldn't stop when you're, you're married. In fact, it should get in better.

Andy 22:06 It should improve.

Jo 22:07 be more involved.

Andy 22:08 And grow.

Jo 22:08 Yeah. Like you say, I love the plant analogy. Because it is true, isn't it. If you're going to help that plant to grow, and if you've got, if you want your marriage to grow, if you want to survive and get through the tough times, you need to make sure you put things in place. Yeah, so it's really important to invest and why wouldn't you? You'd do it with, for your children don't you. In friendships and, and so it just makes total sense. But sometimes we do neglect it, don't we? We do kind of take it for granted.

Andy 22:12 Here's another Top tip is don't get too interested in what Hollywood tells you of marriage. Because there's, there's, there's a kind of a two fold problem. There's the one night stand that's amazing, and they're really not. And then there's the marriage is really boring and dull, because you're just married too long. And it doesn't have to be that way.

Andy 22:50 So be really careful about messages, subliminal messages, and really in your face direct to your face messages, about how horrible marriage is after 10 years. And well, you know, we're really bored and dull, but we're married. And, you know, it doesn't need to be that way. We don't need to accept that!

Jo 23:06 Yeah, I think the Bible makes it very clear. I love that how Jesus often uses the analogy of the bride and the bridegroom, He is the groom and we're the, we're, as the church we're the bride aren't we? But also, you know, marriage is actually a representation of the communion with God, isn't it, and it's really, really precious and special. So, you know, we should be looking after it.

Jo 23:29 And there is a Scripture also as well that, you know, if I don't look after you, and you don't look after me, you're kind of shooting yourself in the foot, aren't you? Because we're like one. We're, and we've done an episode on that. One flesh. And so.

Andy 23:40 Not two halves. One person.

Jo 23:42 Exactly. So you know, actually, you need to look after the other person and the other person need to look after you because you're kind of looking after yourself at the same time.

Andy 23:50 It's almost semi selfish, but it isn't. That would be the wrong perspective!

Jo 23:55 Yeah. So top tip, what was the top tip again?

Andy 23:57 Top Tip is be really careful what messages you're reading about marriages. Things like, for example, slagging off your other off in the pub, or, or wherever. I mean, you used to, there was a bunch of mums in a place we used to live at, and they said, 'ooh come out with us, Jo', when we've moved to the area. You went out and it was basically husband bashing for 45 minutes down the pub, and it's not healthy. It's not helpful. It's not appropriate. Now, you can kind of extrapolate from that that some of them might be a bit unhappy and, you know, trying to work out is this normal. But that's not that's not the healthy way of doing it.

Andy 24:29 So, investing, that's the Top Tip. Investing in marriage and be careful who you listen to. Get some godly advice.

Andy 24:35 We were really blessed when we lost our daughter, Magdi, that somebody came along, an older Christian couple. They came, they gave us a hug, they cried with us. They played with the boys for a bit and it just lifted our spirits. So if you're an older couple, like we are, then, you know, look out for couples who you can come alongside in your church family. And if you're a younger couple, reach out to all the couples. There's a lot of wisdom. There's a lot of problems you're gonna face, and expectations, and all the rest of it, that the older couples have been through. And an older couple doesn't mean to say they're in their 80s. It just means they've been there before. That's all the older couple part means is, they've been here a bit longer than you, and they've they've had these difficulties, and they've had these successes. And here's how to deal with the difficultoes. And here's how to really maximise those successes. But, if we haven't walked the mile, you haven't walked the journey, how do you know? And it can come as quite a shock.

Jo 25:26 I know there's, there's I forgotten the name of the person who wrote this, about the languages, Love Languages isn'tit. And I'm not necessarily agree totally with it. But there's some substance in that.

Andy 25:35 We're not big on love languages. We're not against it, either. It's just

Jo 25:38 But there's some substance in that, that you do need to understand how your other half works. And what, what would help them. You know, some people are huggers and like lots of touching. Other people like gifts, and things and there is something in that isn't there? And so I just think it is worth working out what, what, what your other half likes, so that you can sort of make them happy.

Andy 25:58 Can I just qualify that one? Well, the love language thing. I think it's a good idea.

Jo 26:02 Yeah.

Andy 26:02 And there's a lot in it. But we've gotta be careful. Again, don't make your world around it. I am this therefore I must do that.

Jo 26:08 Yeah.

Andy 26:08 And if this doesn't fit into that category, then it's wrong.

Jo 26:10 Yeah.

Andy 26:11 You know, it's a resource. Make use of it. A bit like a sat nav it's not telling you what to do. It's suggesting what it thinks is best for you. And it doesn't know everything.

Jo 26:21 Yeah.

Andy 26:21 And you know, don't get stuck in boxes.

Jo 26:23 Absolutely.

Andy 26:24 We're not, we don't

Jo 26:24 Good Point!

Andy 26:24 fit in boxes.

Jo 26:25 Yeah.

Andy 26:26 Don't fit in a box. Shall we take a break?

Jo 26:28 Yep.

Jo 26:43 How do people talk to you normally? Do they talk in burning bushes?

Dave the Dog 26:46 Sit

Jo 26:47 Sit

Dave the Dog 26:48 Fetch

Jo 26:48 Fetch.

Dave the Dog 26:50 Know what I say back?

Jo 26:51 What do you say back?

Dave the Dog 26:52 You chuck the stick? Get it yourself!

Jo 27:01 Dave, are you there?

Dave the Dog 27:02 Are, i'm here, are!

Jo 27:03 Oh. Hello, Dave. oh, I think we've got the same problem as last week. I can't see you.

Dave the Dog 27:08 Have you opened your eyes?

Jo 27:10 Yes, I've opened my eyes

Dave the Dog 27:12 Oh.

Jo 27:17 You name it, he could play it.

Dave the Dog 27:20 Pipe organ.

Jo 27:21 Pipe organ. Yeah, with all the,

Dave the Dog 27:22 Lots of buttons like a spaceship.

Jo 27:24 Spaceship.

Jo 27:25 Yeah, you're looking good. Have you done something to your hair?

Dave the Dog 27:29 I had me hair sorted.

Jo 27:30 You had your hair sorted.

Dave the Dog 27:31 Went to the dog groomers.

Jo 27:32 Cor, brilliant. You look great.

Dave the Dog 27:34 Thankyou.

Jo 27:34 It's good to see you!

Jo 27:35 Do you know what your name means Dave?

Dave the Dog 27:43 Dave.

Jo 27:44 Dave. It just means Dave.

Dave the Dog 27:45 Yes.

Jo 27:46 Well, I looked it up. And it's short for David. And it means beloved. That means you're lovable.

Dave the Dog 27:53 Long for D.

Jo 27:53 Long for D

Dave the Dog 28:01 Big long stick, to help him protect his sheep.

Jo 28:05 You like sticks?

Dave the Dog 28:06 You gonna throw a stick?

Jo 28:33 So we have a few minutes left now to just wrap this whole thing up.

Andy 28:37 The takeaway?

Jo 28:38 Yes, the 25 years, our Highs and Lows.

Andy 28:39 I need to do a jingle for that, don't I, The Takeaway.

Jo 28:41 Yeah. And so we're gonna wrap this up, with, what are we're gonna say then Andy? What is it you want to say about our 25 years? And what you want to offer to the people?

Andy 28:52 What do I want to offer to the wide world? Well, there was this time. No, I think, I think it's simply this. The culture of today, excuse me. Today's culture is all about kind of quick, fast, chuck away, temporary, short term, and no one wants to invest in the long term. And I don't think that's true.

Jo 29:15 No.

Andy 29:15 I don't think any of that's actually true. I think there's this kind of expectation on how we're supposed to be. But I think 25 years married. The beauty about our relationship, now, is I feel less nervous, less intimidated by you, which I did to start with, because, you know, I'm the husband. What am I supposed to do? What does this look like? What are my roles? What do I do? And that's, that relaxes that softens.

Andy 29:40 The richness of our language and being able to speak with one another, that just gets better. And, over 25 years, we're so much more comfortable with one another. And I think I just want to say this. If you're not in a marriage for a long period of time, that, that committed relationship, it can't grow unless it's over a long period of time. And, over 25 years, we have grown more close to one another, we've grown more similar to one another, we understand each other better. And there's a richness that comes out from a length of time, which is really exciting. So, don't give up!

Jo 30:15 Yeah.

Andy 30:16 But, also, look forward to the future. Because the thing that we enjoy about marriage is that, over 25 years, we've had all sorts of good and bad things. But the bad stuff, you know, how do you want it to define you? Do you want it to define you by pushing you away? Or do you want it to define you by fighting, together, to invest in the marriage. And we've had to fight with each, not against each other. We've had to fight with each other, against all sorts of things that have come along to try and destroy us. Whether it's a flood in the house, and we've just got to get on with, with fighting against that problem together. And there's that yoke again. It means we can do more together.

Andy 30:55 So 25 years of marriage, what's my little takeaway from 25 years of marriage? It just, everything, gets better? I've been saying this every episode. It, it, we, we're happier, we're more settled and more comfortable.

Andy 31:07 It's interesting. Sometimes you think, gosh, this, this life isn't quite where we were thought it was gonna be, or it isn't what we think it could be. And that all goes on. But, actually, I wouldn't want to change a single moment, because I've loved every second of being with you over the last 25 years. And I'm looking forward to the next 25. And there's gonna be changes. It's going to, it's gonna be different. You know, we're getting older. We're not old, but we're getting older. Things change. We're maturing. And I think that's the beauty of a longer marriage.

Jo 31:36 Yeah.

Andy 31:36 That you don't understand until you get there how good it is to be married for a long time.

Jo 31:40 Yeah.

Andy 31:41 But I don't think we're in a throwaway culture. Really?

Jo 31:44 No, I mean, well, yeah, but there are, I mean we can see that there's a lot of divorce rates. And

Andy 31:48 Yeah

Jo 31:49 A lot of problems and stuff. And so, yeah, there's a bad press in some of the films of people, like you were saying earlier, being in a marriage a long time. But there's some really good, rich, wonderful stuff involved.

Andy 32:01 There's a richness and a depth that

Jo 32:02 Yeah.

Andy 32:02 Not get unless you're married for a long time.

Jo 32:04 Absolutely.

Andy 32:05 It just doesn't happen.

Jo 32:06 Yeah. And I think it's an absolute lie to say that if you've been with someone for a long time it gets boring and stuff. 'Cos I've met people who've ben together. I love seeing real, older couples, holding hands still. You just think, yeah, they still got it. They still got it.

Andy 32:19 Yeah, there's a sparkle in their eyes.

Jo 32:21 Yeah.

Andy 32:21 And they're happy together and.

Jo 32:22 Yeah. there's some. Yeah. And I like that, that comfort. That you feel comfortable. Like, maybe I shouldn't use this analogy. but it's like a comfortable old chair, isn't it. One that you've got really comfortable and used to?

Andy 32:33 So, I'm like a comfy old worn in chair? I can go with that.

Jo 32:38 You get clothes like that, don't you? Like an outfit that you particularly wear and it's like all, it should probably have changed it, but it's really comfortable.

Andy 32:44 So I'm like the dirty socks that are comfy? Awesome!

Jo 32:46 No!

Andy 32:47 There's Your Take Away! I'm a comfortable pair of slippers.

Jo 32:50 But there is a comfort isn't there and, and yeah, it's like a warm blanket isn't it? Being with someone that you know

Andy 32:55 Ok, you're getting better.

Jo 32:56 Yeah, and my son said, the other day, how it's really good when you can sit in a room and that you're not to have to say anything. There's that comfort, isn't it, of knowing someone? And almost, and it's you don't have to talk because you're comfortable in each other's company.

Andy 33:10 It's awesome. So we've got two big highs,

Jo 33:13 Yes.

Andy 33:13 From the 25 years. So mine is Jo trying to kill me. Well,

Jo 33:19 hang on a minute.

Andy 33:19 Kinda. So she was walking through a town one day, and she bought some mistletoe. And Jo always says she's not romantic, which isn't true. She's very romantic! She just expresses it in a different way and I've learned to appreciate how that is. And she came home with some mistletoe for us to kiss under, at Christmas. And it's one of the, it's one of my highest from life. I didn't know mistletoe actually would kill you if you, you know, ate it. But, actually,

Jo 33:41 No.

Andy 33:42 poisenous but it was fun.

Jo 33:43 Yeah.

Andy 33:43 And the boys got involved. And they were, you know, pushing us together to kiss again, and kiss again and that's not that long ago. And it was just good fun.

Jo 33:50 Yeah.

Andy 33:51 And I think, what, it was one quid or something.

Jo 33:53 Yeah, a pound.

Andy 33:54 And it just brought joy. And and I think that's, that's, that symbolises some of the high points of our marriage. Where it hasn't got to be big, or brash, or expensive, or opulent. Some of the simplest things can be the most precious. And that little little sprig of mistletoe

Jo 34:09 Yeah.

Andy 34:09 really made my year.

Jo 34:11 Well, my high was the ring that you gave me for our, the 25th Wedding Anniversary.

Andy 34:16 Yes.

Jo 34:17 And the story behind it is that Andy saved up, didn't you in you in secret? And I didn't know about it.

Andy 34:24 18 months.

Jo 34:24 And I think it was the effort that you went to with the boys. And it was the fact that it was a surprise. And the fact that you chose a ring that I, I would want as well .

Andy 34:35 This is my favourite moment. This is what happens at 25 years of marriage! So me, and the boys, we went into a jewellery store. We said look this is what we're trying to do. The woman got a bit emotional, behind the till 'cos, you know, these four lads and. Anyway, so we said look this is what we want. And she's looking at, you know, 'here's a a £5,000 ring. And it's like can you just come down a little bit to normal budget land? Anyway, I saw a ring which I really, really liked, which was kind of in budget. And it was the one I would really, if I'd have chosen the ring for Jo, that was the ring I'd have bought for you.

Andy 34:37 However, we wanted to do it so that we gave Jo an amount of money, then we could go with her to go and choose a ring. COVID happened. November 21 happened, which for us was, was, it was, it wasn't just COVID. I mean, I was in hospital twice in A & E. And it wasn't a good month. So it wasn't quite the plan. But, anyway, Jo went off in the end on her own to buy this ring, at the first moment, and she chose the ring. And what really got me was I was at home with the boys, knowing that she was going to the jewellery store. And me and the boys are waiting for photos of the rings that she's looking at. And the first one she sends is the one that I'd really liked. And the boys said, Yes, that's mummy!

Jo 35:38 Yeah.

Andy 35:38 So, that was precious.

Jo 35:41 I think that sums up being married for 25 years, isn't it, knowing each other so well.

Andy 35:45 Maybe that's where the boring thing comes in. It's like you didn't do something to surprise me. And maybe that's where people think, oh, that's really boring. Do you know, there's a huge comfort. Oh, I'm back on the old slippers now aren't I?

Andy 35:57 It was good. No, it's great. We love being married. It's wonderful!

Jo 36:00 Yeah It's very comforting. And yeah, good. It's good!

Andy 36:05 Okay, so let's do this at the end.

Jo 36:07 Yeah.

Andy 36:07 What was your, if you were to go over 25 years, what's the single lowest moment of your 25 years, that you regret?

Jo 36:14 Oh, regrets? Low. Do you know what? I think it's all the arguments. And it's coming back to what you're saying is, after all these years, I've realised what you've meant. A lot of our arguments was 'cos I misunderstood. And I've, now I see some of your nuances, or some of the things that you're, and I just step back a bit and wait for you to just say what you need to say, and.

Andy 36:38 So what you're really saying is all the arguments are your fault?

Jo 36:41 No, that 's not quite what I said.

Andy 36:42 You heard it here first! No?

Jo 36:44 So I think, yeah, I've, I've learnt. I've grown, I've changed, you've changed. And it's a two way process, isn't it? But some of the arguments, I look back and think no, what, why, you just, it was, there was no point to them!

Andy 36:56 I think actually fairly similar. For me, it's just waiting long enough for you to realise that you'd got it wrong.

Jo 37:01 Oh, come on.

Andy 37:03 No? Too soon?

Jo 37:04 No

Andy 37:04 Too much? No, I think it's sometimes that, that pause. It takes maturity to be pausing, rather than responding when things aren't quite as sweet, and happy as they could be.

Jo 37:16 Yeah.

Andy 37:17 But actually, just pausing and letting the other person get out their system, what they need, to sometimes. Because what I realised about you is, sometimes, you're saying things, or doing things, and I mean, who knew that it has nothing to do with me? That your frustration, or whatever is coming out, and it's got nothing to do with me. And I respond to something that you're like, 'What's your problem? I wasn't even talking about you!'

Jo 37:36 Yeah.

Andy 37:37 No assumptions!

Jo 37:38 Yeah.

Andy 37:38 Makes a.

Jo 37:39 That would be the, I think, the low yeah, and the regret. Yeah.

Andy 37:42 And the, what's the what's the biggest? I'm trying to think. Not the biggest success. But what's the biggest thing you look back and think, oh, yeah, we actually managed to sort that. Or an improvement. What's the biggest improvement in the marriage for you?

Jo 37:55 I think it's the efforts that we have made. And when we realise that we need to make an effort, rather than just let marriage kind of happen. I think it's been like, I love that idea you came up with having a notepad, and we'd write little messages to each other because we're busy.

Andy 38:09 Ooh, Top Tip, Top Tip, bonus round. So we've got a little book and it flies back from one side of the bed to the other. So when Joe goes to work, I write her a note. And when she comes home, she writes me, a note.

Jo 38:18 yeah.

Andy 38:18 It's really simple and sweet.

Jo 38:20 It's been those things through the marriage. How we've done things to improve and so we've been reading different books, and we've just taken tips from other people. And like that, that little book, little things to keep things fresh, and exciting, and new. and different.

Andy 38:37 Yes.

Jo 38:37 And so we've talked about Date Night as well. So we've done Date Cycling and Date Lunch, and

Andy 38:41 We had a Date Shopping trip today. It's quite exciting.

Jo 38:44 You know, so we're just keeping it

Andy 38:45 Buying some milk and some bananas.

Jo 38:47 Yeah.

Andy 38:47 Good.

Jo 38:48 So I think yeah, all those different things that have helped us keep going.

Andy 38:51 I think my, my biggest kind of plus point would be realising what I can accomplish, which I didn't believe I could. 'Cos I wasn't really brought up to believe in myself. But, actually, being married to you that just the amount of times that I feel like I can actually do this. One, I'm actually valuable enough to want to do it. And, two, I've got a family behind me.

Jo 39:08 Yeah.

Andy 39:08 That are really rooting for me, which is awesome.

Jo 39:11 That's cool.

Andy 39:12 And that's marriage. That's something I don't think I'd have had in another context, in the same way. I've got friends, and people who support us and stuff, but not in a way that you could, which is awesome.

Jo 39:21 Which is that scripture, isn't it? When two people are together, it's stronger isn't it?

Andy 39:25 Yes, the 3 corded

Jo 39:26 3 corded

Andy 39:27 The 3 cord thing, or the yoke.

Jo 39:29 You're better off with another person, 'cos then if you're on your own, you might fall or something.

Andy 39:33 But don't drop the yoke 'cos it makes a mess,all that kind of stuff.

Jo 39:33 We're getting them all mixed up.

Andy 39:37 I think so. Well, that's the end of Marriage Matters, our 25th anniversary. We've really loved being married. And we love being married. And I'm looking forward to the next twenty five years.

Andy 39:46 So I hope you enjoyed this episode? A little bit of a glimpse into 25 years? It's, it's a lot!

Jo 39:51 Yeah.

Andy 39:51 And we've barely even seen the surface let alone scratch it. But, yeah, with some Top Tips. Go back and watch those again. But thank you for joining us. We'll be back next week for even more, not for a 30th. It'll be, what are we, what are we doing next week?

Jo 40:04 We haven't, I don't know actually. We haven't worked it out.

Andy 40:07 I don't know. I needa cup of tea. I know that much. So thank you for joining us. My name's Andy.

Jo 40:12 I'mJo.

Andy 40:12 And we've been married 20, 25 years and we love it.

Jo 40:15 Yes.

Andy 40:15 That's really cool. So, thank you for joining us. We will see you again real soon. Bye for now.

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