Along With Me: A Long Married Life

My husband and I just celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary. I suppose I’m obligated now to lay some wisdom on you about how to stay married a long time, so here goes.

  • Step 1: Choosing someone you’re compatible with. Not only on big things, like global politics, but even more on small things. Is it OK to watch ahead on the Netflix queue when your partner is busy? How important is it to keep the dining room table cleared off? WHICH WAY DOES THE TOILET PAPER ROLL GO??
  • Step 2: Really caring about each other, taking your partner’s concerns, thoughts, wishes, and dreams seriously, even if you think they’re silly. Being able to say, “I don’t get why you care about this, but you do, so it’s important.” Being able to say, “I know you don’t agree on this, but it matters to me, so pay attention.”
  • Step 3: Being determined to stick with this relationship even if it’s not fun anymore, as long as there’s fundamental respect for each other as people. (But if it’s abusive, then get help and get out. Now.)

When I think of our long and (mostly) happy relationship, I think of a poem by Robert Browning called Rabbi Ben Ezra. Most of it is a long and convoluted ode to the wisdom of age, but the first three lines resonate with my experience:

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made.

It inspired this John Lennon song, on the Lennon/Ono album Milk and Honey.

I’m blessed by this strong marriage and my whole family. I hope you are blessed as well with good relationships in your life. Share some of the things you count as blessings in the comments.

Plane Crashes and Writing: Six Sources of Common Ground #reblog

Re-blogSerendipity. I have decided to add a regular re-blog feature to this site, where I share some of my favorite messages from people who say things so much better than I do, and then today this splendid message came along. I’m hoping to have a re-blog post once a week, generally on Mondays. Check in for the weekly wisdom!

JanO'HaraToday’s post is called Plane Crashes and Writing: Six Sources of Common Ground by Jan O’Hara, posting over on Writer Unboxed, It is a lovely essay on writing, marriage, hopes and dreams, canola plants, and radio-controlled airplanes. Yes, everything fits together like a Swiss watch. No matter where you are in your writer’s journey, there’s something there for you.