What makes a good marriage?
Is it the simple act of getting married, then all is well?
Is it the act of going forward into this big world together as a team? Us against the world?
It seems every marriage is different. They all start off differently and they evolve differently. It depends on the players. There are some common ideas, however, that substantiate a ‘good’ marriage. Trust and sincerity seem to be the most common topics that people use when talking about this subject with me.
I read an article by Joshua Becker (click here to read it) about minimalism and marriage. It made a lot of sense to me and really struck a chord, especially when he talks about being the right mate. So often, we want ‘them’ to be perfect, to fix it, to make concessions. I find that when I’m the giver (and I’m not talking about giving in, just giving love) love blossoms in me and we’re both better for it. Trust me, it’s pretty even though, and that’s a big deal to me, lol.
So, let me share a little bit about my marriage (ps~ I’m not good at this part…. I’m super private, but I feel this is important).
I have been married for 37 years.
That sounds like forever when I write it down, but it seems like only yesterday… We were young, and we beat a lot of odds. It was truly ‘us against the world’ and it worked out for us. Not only because of our teamwork, but because we built trust up throughout. I’m not saying we didn’t make mistakes, we did… But when we did, it enhanced our ‘human-ness’ and actually made us fight harder for each other (we’re both pretty stubborn).
Trust builds over time. It must take experience and a kind of wait and see attitude. ‘How is she going to handle this?’ or ‘what’s he going to say when he finds this out?’. We don’t really know how the other person is going to react… we are not them! We definitely know how we will react, that’s a given. But remembering that this relationship is not only about ‘me’ is so important.
It can be the little things, like making breakfast. Yes, he feeds me (well) and that’s just a little link in our marriage armor. It’s not only that, though. It’s the nice things he says to me, the way he goes out of his way to make sure my tires are okay because he drove by my office the other day and thought my car was sitting funny. He stopped, checked it out, took it down and had the tire fixed, brought it back and went on his way. I didn’t find out about it until a few days later, and it was no big deal to him..
But it was to me!
Like I said, the little things. And these can make or break a relationship. I admit, I am a Pollyanna when it comes to stuff like this. I think everyone is as happy as I am. And the thing is, I want everyone to be this happy! It really gets to me when people I love are unhappy, and especially when I thought they were doing okay!
Recently, I was shown that someone close to me is very unhappy in her marriage. The one thing, she told me, that stopped her feelings of love for him was the way he talked to her. Mean and spiteful when they are alone, then all lovey-dovey in front of others. I don’t know many relationships, whether they are friends, coworkers or married, that will survive that! Her marriage may be over, and it’s so sad. But, staying in a degrading relationship must be heartbreaking.
This is just me, talking to you about things that are important to me. Marriage and relationships are a big deal. Work… they are work, and it takes a big commitment and effort to make it be the thing you want it to be. When we can get past ego and open our hearts, love is what emerges. Love is my religion and my most precious and strongest mantra.
So, I will leave you with one of my favorite movie scenes from the Princess Bride (and one we use frequently when we talk Marriage).
I challenge you to put your best foot forward and be the right mate!
I’d love to hear your story! What works for you and how did you realize it would work? Please share in Comments.
Love always, ~T