FIFTY Ways to Keep Your Lover
How to Survive and Thrive Fifty Years of Ardent Marriage
My husband and I recently celebrated our Fiftieth wedding anniversary. I can remember when I thought couples who had made it fifty years were old. But hey, we aren’t old at all. Are we? Well, maybe we are. One thing’s for sure. Any couple whose marriage has survived fifty years has experienced a special bond.
We have often been asked our secret–and those whose marriages have not just survived, but thrived, do have a secret to share. However, we have more of a formula than a secret. A formula not just to survive, but to thrive in a successful marriage. After all, soldiers and victims survive. We want more than that.
Our marriage has flourished. Through the years we have not only bonded, but the storms we’ve weathered have melded us together like lightning welds metals when it strikes. And like lightning, the years have been electrifying—sometimes threatening, and dangerous, yet beautiful and awe inspiring. When you make it through a storm you realize how fortunate you are to have someone who went through it with you. The survivors of Hurricane Katrina can attest to the friendships and bonding that occurred once the storm passed. If you separate or break up during a storm in your marriage, you’ll never know the joy of making it through the crisis. Once the skies have cleared, life can be fresh and new again. With a solid understanding of how much you can endure together.
Sometimes the danger to a marriage is not a terrifying storm, but monotony. Like a horticulturist grafting a wild branch into a domestic one, God brought two different personalities together to create an entirely new nature. Our different personalities added sugar and spice to our lives, and the combination brought a beautiful flavor to each. No longer the original two who said “I do” fifty years ago, we are better, unique because of what we each bring to the relationship. The Bible says, “two shall become one” and I understand that concept now. We produce the same and equal genuine love, yet as individual branches of the same tree. It’s simple. Bill really is my other half, as he says I am his. Together, we make a whole. That old saying is true for us. We complete one another. Grafting is a risky process, and we have survived. Each thriving as individuals and yet as one united. With our roots planted firmly in the fertile soil of sincere love.
The big question is “How?” I want to share our formula with you. Just like sex starts in the kitchen, the grafting process starts before the splicing—before the vows. Here are the top five I have found most important to consider first. Maybe you can add to these.
- Be friends before you marry. Remember though, even best of friends break up so being friends is not enough,
- Accept each other—warts and all. If you know one another and can enjoy each other’s company, if you can accept each other’s faults without trying to change them, then maybe you have found the right person.
- Make sure you have found the right person before you say, “I do.”
- Establish a Prenuptial Agreement: No tolerance for Divorce. Absolutely none. Really look at the vows: “for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, till death do us part.” If you can’t say these vows with real comprehension and commitment to this person, you aren’t ready to get married.
- Be prepared to share concern and joy with your new mate. Be glad when they are happy and mourn with them when they are grieved. (My husband’s formula for the basics: I Corinthians 12: 25,26.)
There are at least fifty ways to help your marriage endure and thrive even through day-to-day boredom. Over a series of blogs, I will share our recipe and the ingredients with you. Watch for the next steps in our formula. And if you have any ingredients for a happy marriage, please share them in the comment section below.
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