Has it always been easy? Hell no.
Is it always easy now? Negative.
Do I expect it to always be easy in whatever time we have left together? Absolutely not!
Then why can I without reservation say, “I adore my husband.”
I have a new friend and fellow writer that wrote an article, “The Gray Divorce,” and she asked me why my marriage was a success story. It set me thinking. Why do some marriages last and some not? And as this is a second marriage for both of us, I am looking back at these 36 years only.
We both made mistakes, lots of them but we tried again and, this I believe with all my heart, once we decided to try again, there was NO looking back; NO recriminations; NO stone throwing and flogging dead horses; NO absolutely NO mention of the past.
In true Biblical fashion, as St Paul said: “But one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Phil.3:13. (Taken out of context, I know.)
But still, so many lessons in the Bible. Lot’s wife was told not to look back (Gen. 19:21) and look what happened to her!
In time to come loss drew us closer rather than push us apart. And once again, there was no blaming each other for perceived action or non-action in the past. The Blame Game is deadly. Don’t. Play. It.
“If only” was scrapped from our vocabulary. Those are dangerous words.
He listens when I talk (most of the time) and he still makes me laugh (often.) I listen when he talks (all of the time) and truly try to understand even if it goes over my head, (often.).
He encourages me to follow whatever crazy idea comes into my head and believe me, some of them are real strange, (like hugging a stranger a day) and in turn I encourage him to pursue his passion which luckily we share – his boat. I cannot emphasize enough the value of a shared interest, any interest, as you grow older and it’s just the two you.
We’ve both learnt when to walk away and when to keep quiet. Wait till tomorrow, it might no longer be relevant and to be honest, sometimes I forget what upset me in the first place. This is a good place to fall back on something one of my favorite saints said, it’s on my bedside table and I look at it every morning. (And yes, I know I’m using it out of context.)
“I apply myself to practicing little virtues, not having the capability of practicing the great…my mortifications consisted in breaking my will, always so ready to impose itself on others, in holding back a reply, in rendering little services without recognition….. “(St. Therese of Liseux)
We are both in our seventies now and that initial passion and fire “I’m going to die if I don’t see him soon” has settled into a wonderful calm, comfortable relationship. We’ve gone from being in love to deeply loving each other. He’s my husband, my lover, my friend and I know he looks at me the same way. Mutual respect is a given. We might not see much of each other all day or talk much, but sacred family time is 5.00 pm and cocktail hour. We talk about our day, our plans for tomorrow and maybe beyond; the kids, friends, maybe call one or two of them. It’s “Our” time.
My personal happiness is my responsibility, not his. It comes from the “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Phil.4:7) which I carry within me. I know he doesn’t expect me to create his personal happiness.
There’s an old Anne Murray song which I consider Our Song. It opens this article. Please listen to it.
Steve says I can’t give advice on what holds a marriage together as everybody is different and every story is different. I know, I know, I’m only telling about what held, (and is holding) us together. But still, the core ingredients remain the same. Faith, Hope and Love. “And the greatest of these is Love.” (Cor.13:13)