Wednesday, June 28, 2006

 

25th Wedding Anniversary

It's the day after my 25th wedding anniversary, and I'm sitting here wondering where has the time gone. It seems like only yesterday when I saw him walking down the street of NAS JAX headed in my direction wearing his sharply pressed Marine Corps uniform. Now it's 25 years later, and we're still together and still in love. And although our love has changed with the times, we've managed to keep it on a level playing field. Because people do change and considering that we married at such a young age (I was 20 and he was 23) we've both changed quite a bit. But the key is that we've adjusted to each other's changing personalities, tastes, and most importantly, our bodies.

Over the course of our union, I've seen many friends and family members get married and then get divorced, and then get married again and divorced again. Each time I hear of someone getting married, my heart jumps with joy to know that in this day and age of prominent promiscuity, couples are still finding their way to the altar. And then when I hear about that same couple getting divorced years later (or sometimes months later) it deeply saddens me to know that someone's family is falling apart. Three years ago when I was writing my first novel titled "Forgive Us This Day" about a married couple that has been together for 15 years when the wife discovers that her husband has cheated with an ex-girlfriend, I did some research on marriage and infidelity. Here's some of the facts that I discovered: In 2000, 58 million couples were married, yet separated. People between the ages of 25-39 make up 60% of all divorces. Over 1 million children are affected by divorce each year. And 50% of married couples never make it to their 15th wedding anniversary. These are startling figures so let me try to give some advice to those seeking a mate by answering some of the questions that I've been frequently asked over 25 years of marriage.

1. How do you know if HE is "the one?"
First of all, if you have to ask yourself that question. He probably isn't "the one" that you're going to marry. However, if that answer is too vague, here's some alternative questions to ask yourself: How does he treat me? How do I feel when I'm with him? Has he ever disrespected me? How does he treat his mother? How does he treat his sister? How does he treat homeless people that he met on the street asking for money? Because in all honesty, that's probably how he's going to treat you. And for me, marriage is all about treatment.

2. How do you know when it's tme to "let it go?"
Well, it's time to let it go when you're no longer being treated the way that you wish to be treated in the relationship. However, you should make sure that you've exhausted all efforts and given your mate every opportunity to change their behavior towards you. This is why communication is crucial in maintaining a stable environment. If your man is not aware of your unhappiness, how can he make you happy. Of course, he should have some hints that you're not happy, but don't give him hints, give him conversation. Let him know what's on your mind before he runs out of time.

3. How do you keep romance alive in your marriage?
Well, this is the one that I write about in my books. And while I haven't given away all of my secrets, this is a very important aspect to any long-term marriage. People get bored with each other, couples fall in and out of love, marriage has it's ups and downs, but you keep looking for new ways to keep the sparks burning. I used to change my living room furniture around every month just to get my husband's attention, and normally he would notice it right away when he came home. One day he told me, "You know, you change things around so much until I never know what I'm coming home to." I smiled inside as I planted a soft kiss on his lips because that was exactly what I wanted to hear.

So on our 25th wedding anniversary, we celebrated by staying home with our daughter and having a nice family dinner together complete with a decorated cake for dessert. Amani sung "Happy Birthday" because she knew that we were celebrating something, even though we tried explaining "anniversary" to her, she still related it to a birthday because of the cake (I guess). Anyway, my present to him was one of his favorite things in the world, a well seasoned home-cooked meal. And his present to me was washing the dishes while I soaked in the tub. Now, that's a marriage made in heaven to me...

Comments:
Wow! Congratulations, and God grant you many, many years.
 
Now that ain't nothing but beautiful! Congrats and congrats. :) This year is our 15th and I'm very thankful.
 
congratulations. TrueMarriage.net is working to help keep more people married and end the tired cycle of divorce.
 
What a nice way to spend your anniversary.

Congrats and may the Lord bless you with many more happy years together.

This year we celebrate 10 years. It amazes me how the time flies.
 
Barbara, I could have commented on any one of your posts but this one struck my interest.

The wisdom you share here is a keepsake. I wish more people could see this and reflect on what relationship should be built on...love, communication, time and energy and most of all longevity.
 
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