30 years ago tomorrow, March 14, 1981, I exchanged marriage vows with a beautiful woman named, Noni. We made a commitment to honor, love and cherish one another till death do us part. Reflecting on our thirty years of marriage, I am humbled by my wife’s dedication to her family, her moral fortitude, and life long support of our journey together. Actually, I should submit her application for sainthood for having the steadfast loyalty to still be with me. I can honestly state that if it were not for her internal strength of character I would not be the man, father and husband I am today. This is a tribute to all couples that believe there is strength in togetherness, and share a mutual belief in the values that make a positive difference in the lives of those around them.
Through the peaks
and valleys of any relationship it is, and will be, a couple’s common core
values that creates the resiliency to persevere through the doubtful and
difficult times. I have learned
over these many years, or maybe I should say have been trained, that it is also
a couple’s display of mutual respect that illustrates an appreciation for one
another. Personal honesty is another key to any relationship’s survival. To be
honest with yourself eliminates the potential to blame your partner for your
potential discontent, self-doubt, and lack of self-respect. When we take
advantage of those we love, and point to them as an excuse for our own
insecurities, it destroys the very fabric of mutual respect, trust, and lasting
commitment. Disappointment with ourselves is not the fault of those we love, or
those who love us. Using our relationship, or our family, as rationale for not
taking ownership for our own behaviors and decisions is self-destructive.
Commitment is defined as, “dedication; application, a pledge or
undertaking”. I am sure you would
agree that marriage is quite an undertaking. However, as challenging as it
might be, the rewards of healthy companionship, raising a loving family, and
building a life together encompasses the human experience that provides added
purpose and meaning to living each day.
In celebration of this auspicious moment I thought I would share some selected insights from others in regard to their thoughts on marriage.
“Men marry women with the hope they will never
change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are
both disappointed.” – Albert Einstein.
“Do you know what it means to come home
at night to a woman who’ll give you a little love, a little affection, a little
tenderness? It means you’re in the wrong house, that’s what it means.” – George
“In my house I’m the boss, my wife is just the decision maker.” – Woody
“By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll be happy. If you get
a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.“ – Socrates.
“I love being married.
It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy the rest of
your life.” – Rita Rudner.
“Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the
reasons that families work.” – Author Unknown.
“Never go to bed mad. Stay up
and fight.” – Phyllis Diller.
“Don’t marry the person you think you can live
with; marry the individual you think you can’t live without.” – James C.
”Come, let’s be a comfortable couple and take care of each other! How
glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to talk to and
sit with.” – Charles Dickens.
“Some people ask the secret to our long marriage.
We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight,
dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.” – Henny
“What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another
should rest on the same pillow.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne.
As the years have passed I have grown to love my wife more each day. It has been a trip with twists and turns along the way, and moments of wondering what tomorrow may bring. Although not always a vacation, the adventure has brought with it a love and a friendship that will never end. I am thankful to have married up.