The wedding invites have filled the June and July weekends on the calender. Young couples, full of hope and joy, reciting vows of forever before smiling friends and families. What wonderful, happy occasions are these..... the culmination of dreams and plans, the future looking so bright.
I wish these young friends of ours the best. I wish them success in this partnership. I hope they are able to remember the joy of this day when the dark clouds loom overhead, and they recall the promises made to each other to love and respect and honor one another for a lifetime, when leaving seems like the only option.
My happiness for the newlyweds is dampened by an equal number of couples we know that have ended their marriage this summer. Lives are torn apart, so much heartbreak and anger, friends and family divided and saddened. These same people had their day in the sun once, the music, the flowers,the champagne, and the promises. What happened to them? Where did it go wrong?
Marriage is not for the faint of heart. It takes commitment, compromise, courage, and care to make it last. That Love that brought our happy young couples to the altar, ebbs and flows through the years, becoming more the action verb than the heart-fluttery noun. Feet must be planted in facts and rooted in those vows, not to be led astray by feelings. There is little room for the "I, Me or My" mentality.For a marriage to succeed, each party must give 75% and take 25%..... at least.
The happiest couples I know, are each committed to the fulfillment of their spouse, through the good times and bad. They pull together over the rough spots, ease each others burdens, respect and encourage each other; they complete each other. They are committed to making it through whatever comes their way; together.
It takes such hard work, but is so worth the reward. I see the result of such commitment in our friends, Jay and Janey. Their marriage of forty two years; decades of changes, joys and sorrows, held fast by perseverance and commitment. I love the way they look at each other, smile and connect on a very private level. The love they share is not an accident, they have cultivated something special.... something that is rare in this day and age of throwaway marriages, but, by the same token, available to anyone willing to make the effort.
My hope, my prayer, for the young couples making promises to each other this summer, is that they live a long joy filled life together, loving and learning and growing closer, where ever the road leads them. And for those who would like to erase the vows they made, I hope they are able to step back in time to a better day, remember the dreams and the plans, and perhaps heal the hurts and dissolve the disappointments that have pulled them apart.
I wish forty two years and more for us all.