Happy 36th wedding anniversary to us!! There’s nothing like a bridal shower to remind you of the importance of keeping a lasting marriage safe.
We were married August 14, 1981 in Los Angeles, California. Two different people asked me just a couple of weeks ago how has it been? Well—it’s been a fun-hard-heartbreaking-resilient-joyful-patient-steady-loving-never look back-keep moving forward 36 years. We’ve learned a lot together. We’ve grown a lot together. And I wouldn’t have it any other way with our lasting marriage.
Last week, I attended a bridal shower for a darling girl, the youngest daughter of a dear friend. I hadn’t been to a wedding shower for a long time. It was so refreshing to sit around with long, long, long time friends, reminiscing and honoring the bride-to-be.
As the bride-to-be was opening her gifts, the hostess asked each of us to give a piece of marital advice for a lasting marriage as our present was being unwrapped. The guests’ own personal experiences with marriage were varied: long-timed married, short time married; divorced; with grown children, young to teenage children, and some with grandchildren. Their responses reflected the sage wisdom they have come to know firsthand about a lasting marriage:
The advice I gave for a lasting marriage was the same advice I received from my mother’s best friend when I was married:
Keep your own bank account
For a wedding gift, my mom’s friend gave to me a check for $100 (from her own bank account) which to me, in 1981, was a huge amount of money. In her card, she wrote, that it is important for a wife to have some financial independence; “mad money” that you don’t have to account for to anyone but yourself. I opened my own bank account with that money just before we were married and have kept it going ever since. There’s never a whole lot in there, but I have appreciated having that account to get things for either for myself, my husband, or my kids; to be able to give donations; to surprise a friend. Best advice given and received.
My favorite advice that night? “It’s not his job to make you happy—find your own joy.” With natural differences that exist between a husband and wife, you can’t expect him to know everything that gives you joy or you’ll just be setting yourself up for disappointment.
And after 36 years of marriage, I’m still trying to follow the advice to “laugh at and with each other” (I’m way too serious) and “communicate in his love language,” especially when that language changes with age and circumstances.
Being in a lasting marriage takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. It also takes a lot of compromising, a lot of sharing, and a lot of unconditional love. With all that said, making a lasting marriage a priority can be one of life’s greatest blessings. And hopefully, that is what this new bride-to-be is going to find out!!!