Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Celebrating 40 Valentine's Days
We've got something to celebrate! Forty years of Valentine's Days and we're more in love than ever. Why did our love grow? How did we last 40 years? What lessons have we learned that we can pass on to others?
Marriage takes commitment. For us it began in the bathtub. I write about it in "My Wedding Began in a Church--My Marriage Began in the Bathtub." (See the first reflection in Splashes of Serenity: Bathtime Reflections for Drained Wives). Forty years ago I packed Dan's bags with every intention of throwing in the towel. He was in the bathtub (we had no shower) with his feet dangling out the bathroom window (you need to read my book to find out why). Looking up at me he said simple words, "Elaine, I'm committed to you for a lifetime." That statement changed our marriage.
Dan meant it. I'm not easy to live with. Fellow writers understand why. But Dan committed to me for a lifetime. He proved it 20 years ago when I faced surgery that could altar our lives and disfigure my body. Dan's reaction, "Well, I'll just have to love you even more." What a gem of a guy. And to think, I almost threw him away with the bath water.
Committing to lasting love changes things. In the early days, we fought fiercely and had trouble making up. Now, we rarely argue and love making up. Why? Because after 40years we know each other so well. Now we understand what upsets the other and we don't do it. We've learned what to say and when and how to say it.
As time passes and love grows, we realize we can't even remember why we fought the battles that nearly knocked us out of the marriage ring. Of course, there are issues that need to be discussed and behaviors that need changed. But the majority of our marital disagreements are silly and not worth the energy.
Too many marriages give up too soon for too little reason and the consequences are felt for generations. Hold on young lovers. Sometimes you just have to stick your feet out the bathroom window and commit!
What about your marriage? Are you committed to last 40 years and more? I hope so. It is worth it.
Make a Splash on Valentine's Day! It might just bring you some serenity!