Three Marriage Secrets I Wish I’d Known Years Ago

I love putting words together. My husband loves putting nuts and bolts together. Because we’re so different, it took me years to appreciate his mechanical giftedness. He communicates through tools. He can fix anything. The washing machine, the dishwasher, the air conditioner, whatever. He doesn’t have to read directions and has fearless creativity for new projects.

The other day, I showed him my friend Robin’s blog post about making a jewelry hanger. “I’d really like to have one.”

He grinned. “I’ve got an idea.”

I knew you would. That’s why I love you!

Pretty soon, I heard him sawing in the back yard. Fascinating sounds for someone like me.

He used a table saw and a chop saw in case you’re making one too. 🙂

He’d found a tree branch in the woods, split it, and used thin plywood for backing.

After painting the backing green (with suede textured paint), he used dowel rods for pegs, and drilled holes in the plywood.

“I’m making a separate hanger for your bracelets,” he said.

“That’s okay. I can put everything on this one.”

“That’s too crowded. I want it to look right.”

And then he, himself, hung my jewelry for me. 🙂

“This might be my favorite gift you’ve ever given me.”

“Two pieces of wood?”

“It’s not just wood. You put your heart in it. That’s the best kind of gift.”

Three marriage secrets that took me years to learn:

1. Appreciate the differences in each other.

2. Focus on the good qualities and the other stuff fades away.

3. Say thank-you. Out loud. A lot.

Are you and your spouse opposites too?

P.S. This bracelet and a lot of my other jewelry was handmade by a friend. If you want to contact her, let me know. 🙂




  1. Thanks Julie, great lessons! We get too busy trying to make others like us that we miss the beauty of what their differences create. That was a gift of the heart!

  2. I’m teary eyed reading this! The love just simply pours through your words. Thank you for blessing me with your beautiful perspective this morning and showing what true hubby love looks like.

    The jewelry holders are so unique and hand crafted with love!

    Blessings on your day!

    • Oh, Vicky, my friend. I’m tearing up seeing that you teared up! Hugging you from my little loft office!

      Thank you so much. Blessings right back to you!

  3. What a blessing your hubby truly is. I’ve always treasured the gifts I received that were handmade as they were gifts given from the heart. Mine is handy too as he inherited all his step-father’s tools and machinery when he passed away. And, my daughter Hope is always making jewelry. This is a wonderful idea for a birthday present for her.

    Enjoy your day and that beautiful gift!

    • Thank you, Eileen. I LOVE gifts of the heart, just like you. Give Hope a hug for me. And happy birthday to her. 🙂

  4. Pat Garczynski says:

    Hi Julie from my home-away-from-home, Denver, until March 13. My son Craig and wife Tina are on a trip to Ecuador for their 10th anniversary. My daughter, Jenny, just posted this last weekend about having some construction done at her home and how when walking in, the smells took her back to her Dad’s workshop in the basement! She also said how glad she was that now that he is gone, my condo holds all of the pieces he made: a dining room hutch, a dry sink lined w/copper and a mirror above, a tall secretary, end tables, a shelf, a curio cabinet, a desk. Reading your blog also reminded me of when my mother-in-law had a stroke in 1975. On the way home from the hospital, Al stopped to buy lumber to make Julie a doll house! I was young and thought it was so insensitive. Wrong! Because he wasn’t a verbalizer or explainer of feelings, it took me years to realize that this was his way of dealing with the stress and grief – to build something. Love you on Wednesday and always, Pat

    • Oh, Pat. Pat. Pat. Yes, you understand!!! And it took me years to figure out that my husband talks with a hammer and nails. And you’re also right about the stress issue–I think that’s how he handles life. Working with his hands.

      Love to you, my precious friend.

  5. Just beautiful, Julie.
    I used to wish my husband would/could fix my car, unclog the sink or build me something… It took me too long to realize that while he was not a gifted mechanic, plumber or carpenter; the man has a way with computers & their peripherals. He is his clients’ favorite “network whisperer” and as such earns a living — wherewith we can pay the mechanic, the plumber & the carpenter.
    And, while I thank God for Keith’s gifts every day; I do, unfortunately, forget to verbalize it to him frequently. Bless you for reminding me!

    • Her, Melody. Okay–the computer stuff, no–that doesn’t happen here. I’ve gotten to know the Best Buy Geek Squad team very well. And you’re married to a network whispere!! I love that! Beautiful.

      Yeah, there’s something about saying, “Thank you,” that seems to matter to my husband. Figured I might pass it along to my friends.


  6. Georgia says:

    Julie: Love reading stories about you and your husband. My husband made one for me with a frame I purchased from Michaels to hang earrings on. Love it and it means alot that he took the time to assemble it and hang it on the wall. 😉

    • See, Georgia? It’s these heart gifts that mean so much! And it took time too. I love that! Thanks for sharing with me…with us. My husband reads the comments too. 🙂

  7. Sue says:

    Hi Julie, Your message really went right to my heart. My husband and I will be celebrating our 39th anniv. this month and I am still learning new things about him. One thing I have known for quite somethime is his ability to “fix” almost anything; from home appliances, car issues, to even my
    tracheostomy when I am having breathing issues. I now call him “Dr. Bob”. He is truly an amazing man, and I am so lucky God sent him to me 39 years ago!

    • Hey, Sue! Didn’t know you were also married to a Mr. Fix It. 🙂 And bless his heart–he can even fix your trach tube. Some things take us so many years (at least they did me!) to appreciate. We’ll be married 35 years in December.

      Great big hug today from Georgia! xo

  8. I love this, Julie, and I love the jewelry hanger! What a smart man you have. And what a smart woman you are to recognize the gift of your differences. It took me a lot of years to realize what a blessing Gary was and is to me. Yes, we’re just about as opposite as you can get about many things. But on the important things of life, we’re right there, side by side. 🙂

    • Us too, Vonda! On the biggies, we’re a team. Side by side, just like you said. But man, oh man, did I spend years trying make him just like me. : / So silly.

  9. Arie Strobel says:

    So does he have a single brother?

  10. Arie, you have me laughing out loud! Too funny. No, only a sister. XOXO

  11. I love this, Julie! And I’m envious of all your lovely jewelry. What a sweet hubby you have, and it sounds like you complement each other in all the ways that matter.


  12. My sweet friend Carla–thank you. You and Max seem to compliment each other in the same sort of way. 🙂

    And this jewelry of mine–it’s all so special to me. A lot of it is handmade. My favorite kind.

  13. Oh Julie, that’s PERFECT!!! I absolutely love what Ricky put together for you!!!!
    (And knowing the differences in your gifts is so important isn’t it?)

  14. Amen, Robin! And thanks for the incredible idea. Your creativity spurred him into an idea!

  15. Great info. Lucky me I found your site by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have saved it for later!

    • Thank you for saying Hi, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Will have to check out your blog. My mother has CFS. 🙂

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.