Sounds inconceivable, doesn’t it? Fifty years, or even sixty five in the case of some people like my great grandparents – who are both still alive and kicking, talk over one another (for neither has a hearing aid), take a long walk every day side-by-side, and are still very much together.
The society in which I live is peppered with divorce. Has been since my childhood – where it was quite normal, and acceptable, for parents to divorce at any stage on the road of marriage.
Celebrities, on average, marry at least three times – and this too is perfectly acceptable. We might laugh, roll our eyes, scoff at their audacity, naivety, lack of restraint. But it is the background against which most of our marriages take place, and more than a little subtly influences the way we conduct ourselves.
The same type of world where built in redundancy is part of our everyday formula, where the latest model iPad, iPhone or car easily translates into ‘wife’ or ‘husband’ as we age and our tastes change.
But what about those rare specimens who remain together, not simply for ten years (although even this, by today’s standards, is regarded as marathon standards) but for far longer? How do they do it? What are their secrets?
Happiness is not a given
It is the result of having walked the road together; it’s what our marriage vows are about; the equivalent of ‘through thick and thin’ – and they’re not just words; marriage is about hardship, commitment, duty and responsibility. Only after a couple of ‘knocks’ together, can you call it a marriage.
Good health and a bad memory
In other words, being able to forget the mistakes, or the unwise momentary reactions when good judgement or temporary anger take the stage, and ‘niceness’ evaporates. Being ‘nice’, mutual respect, and actively seeking resolutions to problems makes marriage possible. And good health is essential.
Choose your arguments carefully
Getting angry over every little issue means that should a major issue emerge, the energy and commitment of the couple are already tested to an extreme. Learn to overlook, and let live. Your standards are not necessarily the yard stick of a healthy marriage – relook your expectations and reflect on what is really important.
Happy Wedding Planning!