Phil Ryken wrote an exellent piece, reflecting on the first 20 years of his marriage to his wife, Lisa. I was surprised and amused by our similarities! (So much so that I emailed the link to my wife so that she could get a chuckle). The most important similarity was how Ryken closed his reflection:
If there is one practical principle that Lisa and I would insist on for marriage it is the absolute necessity of resolving any conflicts the same day they occur. We have taken Paul’s words to the Ephesians very literally: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Eph. 4:26-27). In order to prevent Satan from ever getting the chance to divide our partnership, we have sometimes stayed up late into the night. But in twenty years, by the grace of God, we have never gone to bed without being totally reconciled.
In nearly 14 years of marriage, my wife and I have followed this same principle. It made for some late nights (2 or 3 in the morning; yikes!). And yet, I think it has been important for us/me to pursue repentance and reconcilation so that we/I would not grow bitter. The other key principle has been the verse at the end of Ephesians 4: "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another just as Christ has forgiven you" (4:32). Extending forgivenness freely and maintaining tender-heartedness toward each other, especially when we've sinned against each other, has been hugely important for us as well.