On Marriage

My grandparents had one of the happiest relationships I had ever seen.  I'm sure it wasn't always perfect, but it worked and they worked to make it work, and the result was that they were still in love, right until the end.  I remember my grandmother lying in a hospital bed near the end, and my grandfather would come to visit, (the staff there nicknamed them "The Prince" and "The Princess" because of how devoted he was.) and they would just hold hands and smile at each other.  It almost made us feel like we were intruding, because they were truly sweethearts.

And, when I think of it now, we were intruding.  Oh, I'm sure they didn't mind, but what we saw as a sweet gesture probably symbolized more than we even understood.  I don't think many of us can comprehend the love and depth that come from a lifetime with a partner.  Imagine the understanding you would have after weathering so much together.  When I think of their generation (many of whom married so young) and all the events they saw together (wars, recessions, technology, social change), I find it difficult to comprehend the closeness that would come after raising a family with someone; watching children grow and eventually leave the house and learning to be "just two" again; and then one day welcoming grandchildren and enjoying a whole other generation of offspring.  What about the fact that often the role for one (or both) at some point, becomes that of caretaker as physical (and sometimes mental) health fails.  Does your love change when your partner is no longer a partner?  What's it like to look into your sweetheart's face and see an older person with failing health?  Perhaps it just shifts and the future that a young couple sees, eventually evolves into memories.

Like all couples embarking on life's journey together, we hope to weather the storms and grow old together and many people have wonderful advice to guide us.  This article offers some of the best marriage advice I have ever heard.  I especially like the part about bragging about your spouse and letting them hear you do it.

What's the best advice you've heard or received for a long and happy marriage?

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