Making Marriage Work – It Doesn’t Matter How Slow You Go, Just Don’t Stop!

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, just don’t stop!”

Apparently, it was said by Confucius, but given to me by a dear friend just before Mike & I left on honeymoon. Michelle was my bridesmaid at our wedding and I had borrowed a sturdy pair of hiking boots from her. Part of our honeymoon was the Otter Trail and the phrase “it doesn’t matter how slow you go, just don’t stop” applied to the many mountain peaks we were going to have to summit before the end of the 5 days. Michelle had done the Otter Trail and before we left, she said, ‘whatever happens, it doesn’t matter how slow you go, just don’t stop!”


It was advice that we referred to many times, almost 30 years ago, on honeymoon while labouring up the rugged, steep, but beautiful Southern Cape mountains. We have said it hundreds of times since! When you struggle through a difficult patch in your marriage, it’s a good phrase to not only remember but to repeat to yourself on a regular basis.

When it comes to marriage, here are 12 Don’t stops:

~ Don’t stop being married.
~ Don’t stop trying to improve yourself.
~ Don’t stop paying attention to your spouse every single day.
~ Don’t stop complimenting your partner.
~ Don’t stop showing appreciation.
~ Don’t stop being affectionate.
~ Don’t stop saying thank-you.
~ Don’t stop saying I love you.
~ Don’t stop meeting your loved one’s needs.
~ Don’t stop being positive.
~ Don’t stop talking.
~ Don’t stop smiling.


~ Don’t stop praying for one another.

The not stopping is sensible and an important value, but slowing down is also essential. Sometimes you may feel that things may spiral out of control and you feel you are losing it. Before you get to that stage, stop and slow down. Take a day off. Cancel a few appointments. Make yourself and your marriage a top priority and put it in the urgent category. If you are serious about making your marriage work, give it the attention & effort you would give your top million-dollar client.

I am reminded of the old poem

When things go wrong and they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pushing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t quit!

Success is Failure turned inside out,
The silver tint on the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
It’s when things go wrong that you must not quit.

There’s good reason to be encouraged:

Deuteronomy 31:8

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

I tell you what, this is valid for anyone, anytime, married or not….just keep going!

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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