Love For A Lifetime

marriage, couple, love

True love is dead. Marriage is an outdated, old-fashioned concept that is irrelevant in today’s world.

Did I shock you? I hope so, because if not then that probably means you find the above statement true and practical. Unfortunately in today’s world, we do not often witness true love and commitment. Divorce rates are high, infidelity is everywhere, and when someone sees an example of true love and commitment it is questioned and criticized.

I am not here to judge anybody who has gone through a failed marriage, who has cheated, or simply does not want to ever get married. However, in our culture I believe marriage is sometimes entered into lightly. We think in the back of our minds, “If it doesn’t work out we can always get a divorce.” Or perhaps people enter marriage wanting it to last, but not fully intending to stay monogamous. There are some people who probably believe marriage is “bad;” that it prevents someone from fulfilling their life’s dreams because they are tied-down to another person’s expectations and needs.

These are all false.

The true meaning and concept of marriage, I believe, is fully committing to another person through unconditional love, and encouraging each other to be the best version of themselves. This includes (but is not limited to!) providing words of encouragement, allowing room for each other to grow as individuals and as a couple, at times sacrificing your own desires for the greater good of the other person and for the relationship itself, and forgiving each other over-and-over-and-over again.

In all of this, there must be a balance. If you are in a relationship where you are the only person who is doing any giving and never any of the receiving, then something is not right. If you are sacrificing all of your values and morals so the other person can get whatever they want all the time, then something is not right. If you find yourself on the crap-end of every decision and aspect of a relationship, then something is not right.

However, we should not forget that we are not entitled to be in a relationship that benefits us all of the time in every way possible either. Love and marriage does require some sort of sacrifice. It may be space in your apartment, sharing the pets, less time doing whatever you want whenever you want because you sometimes do things your other-half wants to do. Sacrifice can mean many things, but if it benefits the relationship and both parties overall then it is good to make these sacrifices.

What makes me the expert on all this?

I’m certainly no expert on love and marriage. Heck, my own marriage is just shy of 9 months old. I did, however, have the great blessing of growing up in a household and witnessing how a strong, functional, healthy marriage should look and operate. And after 40 years together, the people I call “Mom and Dad” are the experts I am gathering my information from.

We celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary a few weekends ago with a party full of their close family and friends. Especially in today’s world, if there was ever any reason to have a celebration 40 years of marriage fits the bill!

Doing things for each other despite your own wants and needs is not only a part of the package, but it is good for a healthy marriage.

Along the way I witnessed both of them make sacrifices. They each sacrificed their free time to raise us kids for the better part of 20-30 years. They each sacrificed hobbies they enjoyed so they would have money to make house payments, pay the bills, and buy our family food. And occasionally, one would sacrifice a Saturday night doing something they did not want to do because it made the other person happy.

Though I don’t know everything my parents went through along their marriage, I know it had its fair share of difficulties. Any marriage that lasts that long will. The one thing that they made sure of was that they kept their commitment to each other, unfailingly, no matter what troubles came their way.

So thanks Mom and Dad (and to my in-laws who are approaching 40 years of marriage quickly!) for showing us that true love and marriage are not dead!

love, marriage

Photo Credit: Ebby L Photography

love, marriage

Photo Credit: Ebby L Photography

love, marriage

Photo Credit: Ebby L Photography

love, marriage

Photo Credit: Ebby L Photography

love, marriage, anniversary, cake, pink, yellow

love, marriage, family, pictures, wedding date

love, marriage, anniversary, party, cake

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