What does it take for a marriage to last 50 years?
I have asked a few people that, and what I usually hear is this:
Patience. Lots and lots of patience. Also, the ability to let go of the need to be right about everything.
I think it was Frida Kahlo’s father who told her that the secret to a good marriage is a short memory.
Ten years ago (in 2010) I met the man who would become my husband in 2017. He proposed in 2015. It took me many years of therapy, personal coaching, spiritual growth and a leap of faith for me to enter back into such a contract for a second time.
I read books like “All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation” by Rebecca Traister and “Committed: A Love Story” by Elizabeth Gilbert. The first time around, I had known I could get out of it. That marriage was borne of familial rebellion and personal stubbornness.
The second time around, I waited to be sure I could outlast my tendency to get bored and move on every 4-8 years. I already knew living with other people (anyone really) can be difficult for me. Solitude is precious. Personal space is one of my highest values. It’s why the era of COVID-19 has held blessings in disguise for me. I realized this reflects a lot of privilege. It also reflects the personal choice I made not to become a parent.
My parents love my sister and me fiercely and protectively. Their division of labor is not what I would choose, but it seems to work for them. They taught my sister and me that all people are worthy of respect. They contributed to their community in so many ways, especially to their students and neighbors. They focused their attention on us, our educations and our futures. We have never doubted their commitment to us. I am forever grateful for those gifts.
Within hours, I was getting texts. And FB messages. And then a call from a quasi-terrified sounding former student: “Any articles or books you can suggest about how my spouse and I spend the next many weeks together in our tiny apartment without offing each other?” Then, as if on cue, my husband of 28…
I found this post interesting, partly because my husband predicted that there would be a baby-boom post-quarantine. I predicted there would be a spike in divorces as people forced to be together in closer quarters than usual might spark greater than average disagreements. Ha! And usually I’m the optimist!
So I share this in case it would be helpful to anyone else who wants to maintain good relationships in tighter quarters than usual.
Oh, the beautiful and joyful experience of being on vacation and devouring a new book by a favorite author!
I typically read books I love more than once. This one made me close my eyes at times, and just breathe in the wisdom and the impact of the words. Glennon has a way of speaking to my soul. One of my many favorite passages:
“The blueprints of heaven are etched in the deep desires of women. What women want is good. What women want is beautiful. And what women want is dangerous, but not to women. Not to the common good. What women want is a threat to the injustice of the status quo.”
Like Love Warrior, Untamed is a book I will read many times because of the ways it made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes.
I have recently discovered some insightful books by Dani Shapiro. One is an audio book called Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love. The other is called Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage. Dani Shapiro also has a podcast called Family Secrets, through which I have discovered some other beautiful authors as well.
So this week’s Saturday share is a quote that resonated with me from Hourglass.
Wow. Yes. Time is ever falling away. Be present to your life, as much as you can. And don’t take it too seriously. It’s only life, after all.