Hindsight is 20/20 (Ideas for an Long-Lasting Marriage)
For the month of February I’m continuing the focus on love with husband and wife stuff . . .(#lovestuff) Go here to read last week’s post about loving yourself: When Your Wedding Gown and Teeny-Bopper Jeans Don’t Fit Anymore (The Struggle With Body Image and What To Do About It
My mom and dad just celebrated 47 years of marriage. 47 YEARS!!! WHOOHOO!! After visiting them the morning after their big day, I had a few moments of epiphany. . .
I’ve been married almost 22 years. Just a drop in the bucket, comparatively, but still. Something, for sure. As I drank my hot tea and watched my parents chatting together, I realized it really wasn’t a big deal. For me, maybe, but not for them. On their big day they had appointments in a nearby city, drove home promptly to check on the cows, and came home to a minimal dinner of apples and peanut butter. No, not a big deal at all.
So here, enter the following ‘light bulbs.’ If you’re just getting started on the marriage ride or if you’re standing in the middle of something messy, I hope these jewels will help your journey somehow. (Thanks, Mom and Dad. You never imagined I’d throw you in my blog for your anniversary, did you?) 🙂
Here we go:
- The big deal of an amazing, long-lasting marriage is more about macaroni and cheese than filet mignon. I think we tend to continually hope for perfection instead of just enjoying the ride. With a rock-solid covenant, riding the waves of ups and downs can become an adventure, just because. Because we’re together. Just us, far from perfect. The good, bad, ugly . . .all the ugly. Looking back, I know my parents endured more than they ever thought they could, but really. They made it look easy.
- All that glitters is not gold. The world is always throwing the next shiny something in our faces, whether it’s McDonald’s new sandwich or the latest fad from Gap. Let’s get real. Marriage isn’t about the latest tricks or treats and it’s definitely not what you see on a movie screen. When you have the real deal, you have to laugh at all the supposed glitz and glamour. Mom and Dad weren’t opting for a fancy hotel or shrimp for dinner, they just immensely enjoyed another day together (not that they don’t go there sometimes). Whew! The pressure is off.
- When you’re in for the long haul, you don’t remember the bad moments so much. Having a child’s selective memory, I only remember certain highs and lows of mom and dad’s journey, but looking at my own relationship, I’ve learned to shake off the “lows” and embrace them. There’s no “highs” without them!
- Every marriage and every family has their own ‘basket of troubles.’ We say it a lot, it’s cliche’, I know. But no one’s perfect. Everyone has skeletons in their closet. And that basket of troubles our marriages carry isn’t better or worse than the family across the street. Truly, our “basket” makes us better.
- The real honor of a long-lasting relationship is found in covering each other. Getting through each other’s mistakes involves having mercy and grace. Our spouses need us to be gentle and compassionate, with a knowledge that God knows our hearts. We truly can’t cast the first stone.
- They that fight hard should always make up hard. Our children have seen arguments. They’ve seen us mess it up. Though it used to make me horribly uncomfortable to know they observe us being big fat failures, I’ve gotten better at knowing it’s ok that we don’t fake perfection. If we mess up, we ‘fess up. Humility and asking forgiveness goes a very, very long way. And believe me, the kids have seen A LOT more indications of our makeup sessions than they have cared to!!!
- If both of you think you’re the luckiest person in the world, you’ll make it. Watching my mom and dad throughout the past forty years or so, I’ve gained much more than I can articulate. But this is probably one of their biggest secrets. . .They each think they’re the lucky one.
When I was younger, I liked to toss heavy questions around with my dad (and I still do). He’s not a big talker, so he can get straight to the point. Those conversations usually ended with a quip similar to my blog title.
And when dad wrapped up our deep problem-solving talks with this quote, he was right.
Because after 47 years, mom and dad probably look back over their shoulder, and they know.
Hindsight is 20/20.
Coming up next week: Children. . .it will be something about loving them, but not sure yet exactly what! Ha! Jen 🙂