Occasionally people will ask how I've been able to stay with one person for so many years. There really is no secret formula, it's all about decisions. When Dan and I were engaged we had to go through various preparation classes before we could get married. One of those was called "Evenings for the Engaged". I have no idea if they still do this, but I think it's a great idea. We met one night a week for six weeks at the home of a married couple from our church. They took us through what life as a married couple is all about. They talked about the reality of living day to day with a person as opposed to the fairytale. Like the fact that sometimes you have to do things for the other person that aren't so pleasant. Like when your spouse falls and breaks both ankles and can't get up and down off the toilet by themselves. Yes, this actually happened to us. I broke both my ankles at the same time and Dan had to help me do all sorts of things I'm sure he would rather not have done. That is true love.
The one thing that made the biggest impression on us was when they told us that there would be times when you would have to make a decision to love the other person. It sounded kind of crazy to two people so in love that they couldn't see past themselves. To us, that decision had been made and we were happy with how in love we were. But as always, the more experienced couple was correct. There are days when, honestly, you just don't like each other. Someone does something that irritates the other and all those lovey dovey feelings fly right out the window. But, if you stop and make a conscious decision to love the other person, it makes a world of difference. Maybe not right then, but in the long run. There have been many, many times during the last 30 years when one of us has said to the other, "I'm making a decision to love you right now". It really makes you stop and think about what you are doing that might be irritating the person you love most in the world. As with anything in life, it's all about the decisions you make and marriage is no different. I made a decision 30 years ago to love, honor and cherish until death do us part. It's been the best decision I've ever made.
Quote for the Week:
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.