renew, reuse, retain

my parents - 50 years ago

*thanks for hanging with me while i was traveling and without internet.  by “without internet” i mean that my parents still had dial-up until 3 days ago.  ugh.  but i’m back now.   let the blogging resume.*

i’m at my parents’ house in washington state for the next 2+ weeks.  figured since i’m here to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, i’d blog about making it work/it can be done and what-not.

craig and i will be married 18 years this december.  in a town like nashville where the music industry divorce rate is 90%, that seems like forever to most people.

we feel like we’re just getting started.

my parents hit 50 years and his are at 47.  makes our almost 18 years look shiny and new.  watching them has also been about the best example we could ask for.

our parents aren’t perfect.  far from it.  but they have always understood that marriage is for the long hall.  they have worked hard to protect and honor the vows they made to eachother.

it hasn’t always been easy.  but 47 and 50 years later, they still joke and laugh and live and love.  my dad got up before the rest of the world to go find my mom roses on the day of their anniversary.  amazing.

a friend of mine got married young.  his wife was 20 when they got hitched.  after about a year, they were on the verge of divorce.  he was fighting to work it out.  she was trying to “break up with him” like they were still in high school.  things got rough.  by rough i mean that she was selfish and pouting and to her, that meant get a divorce.  hard as he tried, he couldn’t save the marriage.  the effort of just one person never can.  fast forward about 6 months after the final “end it” paperwork goes through and she wants to “get back together”.  he says no because he’s smarter than most people and now he’s wiser about his next life choice.

and he reads my blog.  *waves*

you might be thinking they were too young.  i’d disagree.  i was 20 when i got married and no more mature than my friend’s ex-wife.  i even put craig through an awful time of doubt and foolishness.  the difference?  i was taught, by example and by simply being told, that marriage isn’t disposable.  vows mean something.  they aren’t just words.  life with someone else isn’t a game.  i knew there were rules and that my “happiness” wasn’t the only consideration.

as our culture becomes more and more selfish, the divorce rate continues to climb.  happiness and self-gratification become the criteria for maintaining a marriage instead of selflessness and commitment.  the thing people don’t get anymore is that the latter are the foundation of happiness and self-gratification.  you find peace and contentment and joy by being a giver, not a taker.

my parents know this.  craig’s parents know this.  craig and i continue to learn it everyday.

when venturing into marriage, don’t feel like you have to have all the answers.  you don’t.  all you need is be willing to put the other person first and commit yourself to someone who is willing to do the same.  the rest can be figured out along the way.  and if you’re anything like my parents, you’ve got plenty of time.

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4 comments on “renew, reuse, retain

  1. Kristin says:

    Right on point as usual. My parents are up to 30 years and counting, I think it’s important to have great role models when it comes to healthy marriages (as with other things). Thanks to you and Craig for being another example in my life.

  2. Jenn says:

    My parents after 30-ish years of marriage (they’ve lived separately the last 2 ans counting) are moving towards divorce – they were two really messed up people who got married and thought they could work it out along the way. I don’t wish that they weren’t getting divorced because I cannot change that they are two very different people after they individually figured their business out.

    But that being said like I’ve commented earlier I do believe that marriage is a viable option – in that in a society that says it is no longer relevant or realistic that is both of those things – it is relevant and it is realistic. So thanks to you, your parents and everyone else modeling that daily.

  3. Kevin says:

    I like your post. My parents made it 39 years until my father passed away last year. I believe in marrying 1 time even though I find myself divorced. My kids weren’t supposed to have 2 houses but they do and it’s very sad. The truth is that one person can’t make it work if the other person isn’t in it any more. Ironically I was like your friend in that after it was all said and done my ex regretted wanting out. You don’t get do-overs when you end a marriage – some people don’t get that.

  4. MichelleK41 says:

    <~~~~~~~~~ Going on 26 years and counting happily. We married when I was 18. Love your blogs! ♥

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