She Said/He Said (Part – 1)

Update: Since my parents just had their 45th Wedding Anniversary, I decided to re-run my version of She Said/He Said. Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad.

Welcome to a new segment I call She Said/He Said. It’s an attempt to empower newly married couples by reading stories of couples that have persevered to remain married 20+ years. According to Divorce Magazine, first marriages on average last 7.9 years. If you have the opportunity to stay married to the same woman/man for over 20 years it should be celebrated. And if you want to reach this milestone, why not receive information from some of the masters.

So I am going to start with a couple that gave me my first ideas of marriage, my parents.

My parents in the early years.

Their relationship was one of the reasons I wanted to get married. I always admired the fact they enjoyed each other’s company and never had a shouting match around us. My mom was skilled at getting her point across and still kept a smile on her face.

I asked them a series of questions about marriage. Because it’s She Said/He Said, my mom goes first.

1. What was the initial thing that attracted you to your wife/husband?

I am a quiet and not really shy but a more introverted person,  my husband is the opposite of that, it is his outgoing personality and the way he is able to connect with people and make people laugh that attracted me.

2. When was the moment that you can remember that she/he was the one you wanted to marry?

I don’t really remember having a moment.  I had only known my husband 2 months before that Christmas Eve that he asked me to marry him.  We had a connection and he showered me with attention.  He wined and dined me, But it was a shock when he asked me to marry him.  I paused a bit because I knew that Marriage was a serious thing and did he really know what he was asking. But after about a 30 minuets discussion I said yes.

3. In your 45 years of marriage what has surprised you the most about marriage?

The love comes and goes; it takes on a different form.  So that cloud nine feeling comes down to earth after a while so you try not to dwell on all of the things you don’t necessary like about your husband, recognizing that he has to do the same about me.  No one is perfect.  However in the blink of an eye you are back on cloud nine with that feeling of a new bride.

4. What are the three things that have helped you maintain your marriage longevity?

Trust, forgive and forget, and try to be understanding.

Compromise No one is always right. Working through our problems.

Trust in the Lord, I do strongly believe that my husband was handpicked for me by God.  He placed him in front of me, and I had a choice.

5. Knowing what you know now, would you have approached marriage in a different way early on? How?

I don’t know that I would have approached it any differently.  We tried to work together and work through all of the baggage that each person brings to a marriage from their own family upbringing.  We had an unplanned roadblock that pushed us to move quicker, but we still kept it together and did what we had to do. All in All Life has been good.

6. What tips can you give modern day couples in order to achieve longevity in their marriage?

I would tell them to understand that it is a person they are marrying, no one is perfect and beauty fades.  So you have to recognize that it is the love you have for that person that can keep it together and if you truly love them you can accept those little things that get under your skin.  Marriage is work and you have to work at it.

Be willing to compromise, listen, try to be understanding, and get the money issues straight.

There is only one head of the house but there are 2 people creating a home so you must work together to make it work, recognizing that you won’t always agree but you can work through it.

When you marry someone you are gaining another family and that family should become just as important to you as they are to your spouse.  Not all family members are liked, even in your own family, so you must learn to tolerate your spouse’s family as well.  This can cut down on a lot of friction that I have seen in marriages.

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Keith has over a decade of experience in the field, counseling and coaching individuals, couples, teens and their parents to help them improve their relationships and their ability to achieve their personal goals. For the past seven years Keith has developed specific programs to help teens and their families achieve success in all facets of their lives that may have eluded them in the past. Academics, relationships, athletics, college preparation and applications, goal setting and developing specific plans are areas where working with Keith as a Coach can help young people set the patterns that promise a brilliant future. He works with couples to help them achieve the kind of relationship they envisioned when they first made their commitment to each other. Strengthening communication and revitalizing their understanding and empathy for each other helps couples regain the romance and closeness they long for – even in their everyday “real” world. Having a coach is like having a GPS for life. Keith can help you get a realistic picture of where you are and focus on the best path forward toward your goals. Unlike counseling, coaching focuses on the future, not the past.

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