Sunday, February 13, 2011
VALENTINES DAY THOUGHTS
These are the days when couples line up to be interviewed on the talk show with advice as to "how they kept love alive," or "tips for newlyweds, " or "whats' the secret for a lasting marraige." Stuff like that!
Those panels are fun to watch and the magazine articles are fun to read if you haven't got anything else to do. But, I propose that nobody knows the answers to those questions anyway.
Each couple is so unique, what works for one pair most certainly won't work for another.
SO, how would I answer? What advice would I give? I have NO idea.
Honeybuns and I have repeated our vows of love for one another for over 40 years. We'll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversay this next October. (Odd, since I don't even feel forty years old, mentally that is.)
What has kept the flame alive? Who knows?
We've been to all the marriage seminars, conferences and magic weekends and have since vowed to NEVER attend any of those again. We always ended up fighting over the principles that the expert told us we should be discussing. We never made any changes they suggested, never followed their lists of do's and don'ts, never took away any nuggets of truth that changed our lives. Sounds like a stubborn pair, doesn' t it?
For us, enduring love grew and matured over time. It appeared shortly after lust wore thin and has developed into something of substance. It seems it was birthed during difficult days, child rearing, problems, job changes, moves, financial pressures, grief and worry. It showed it's face as we held tightly to one another and refused to let go when letting go would have been easier and more pleasant. Throwing up our hands in frustration and giving up was the advice we often heard but never let it penetrate our thinking.
D-I-V-O-R-C-E was just not an option. (I'm sure we both allowed the word to flit briefly through our brains at one time or another, right after the word murder! ) Often laughter put everything in it's proper perspective and avoided police calls and bail bondsmen.
Our world says that personal happiness is the goal to be pursued at all costs. That's too bad, because sometimes personal euphoria must be put aside for the benefit of the other half. BUT...the result of temporary sacrifice is blessed unity. It truly is more blessed to give than receive.
I am always sad to hear of young couples that divorce after a year or two of marriage. They never really got to know one another. Knowing takes a long time. Enduring love grows with time.
Time is absolutely critical to have shared experiences, secret jokes, and sweet memories. It takes time to learn that the one wronged is the only one that can forgive and repair a rift. It takes time to be able to read the other's face, to know the meaning of a "look" across a room. It takes time to truly understand the other's goals and desires.
The love of a long time sweetie is far sweeter, and deeper and amazing than young lust.
Don't ever feel sad for the old couple walking slowly down the street holding hands! They've arrived and you can be sure it wasn't easy. They're full of innumerable stories of love and laughter, comedy and tragedy, feast and famine, anger and forgiveness, gain and loss. It's a picture of two people promising to do life together and then enjoying the beautiful results.
What could be more rewarding than that? We're there! Happy Valentines Day, Honeybuns!