What 60 Years of Marriage Looks Like – Part 1

Sep 11, 2013 by

Elderly-couple-walking-across-footbridge-Photo-GETTY

Yesterday, Jim, our son, Shay, his wife, Haley, and I went to breakfast at a local café. It was a quaint little place with a toy train that continuously circled the rooms on a high shelf. As I looked around the café, I noticed a little elderly couple sitting across the room. He was dressed in a sharply pressed maroon dress shirt and slacks. She was wearing a Kelly Green suit with a matching tam on her head. They sat side-by-side at the table and both had their napkins tucked into the tops of their shirts to protect their clothes.

I quietly asked the waitress about them. She said they were in the café every day and always dressed to the nines. She called them a very sweet couple and said that the wife often asked about the cook and even went back into the kitchen to greet him.

I couldn’t take my eyes off of this beautiful couple. They were so dignified and yet so “at home” with each other. I didn’t see them talk once, but their silence communicated something special between them – a familiarity, a comfort, a oneness.

Since we didn’t know the couple, we four started to make up their story. He was in WWII stationed in France. She was a member of the French Resistance. They met at a nightclub and fell passionately in love. (I think the tam she was wearing influenced our story a bit.)

However they got to this moment in their life, you could tell they were companions till death do us part. And they were going to live their lives united with grace and class – even in a little café in Northern California.

Have you ever imagined your marriage 30, 40, 50, even 60 years down the road? We can probably figure out how we will physically look by looking at our parents and grandparents. Genetics is a powerful thing.

But I’m more interested in what kind of marriage you will have. Our picture is of a strong, devoted, laughing and complete relationship. Maybe your picture is exactly what you pictured on your wedding day but have allowed life to dim the colors. It’s time to look again for the happily ever after like the sweet couple in the cafe.

The vision for our marriage is realized in two parts — who will we be individually and together? How will we choose to live our lives as a couple? I think those questions require two answers – how will I continue to grow as a person, and how will I invest my life in the relationship with my spouse?

Personal Growth:

Too often we get caught up in the “to do’s” of life and fail to carve out some time to examine ourselves. We must be sure to take time to reevaluate where we are spiritually, emotionally, physically, and psychologically and determine if we have grown in each of these areas in the last year or are we stuck in the same place. Growth in these areas can involve many actions:reading books

  • Seek solitude and a spiritual mentor. Find ways to give of yourself unconditionally to others.
  • Plan into your schedule fun time every day or at least every week. Seek out people who you can connect with and who enjoy your company.
  • Get on an exercise schedule and healthy eating plan.
  • Read some books that will help you grow as a person. They may be in the area of your career or how to be a better spouse or parent, etc. Read up on what is going on in the world, your country, your state, and your city. Maybe you need to seek counseling or therapy to move forward in your life.

If we stop growing as a person, we can become stagnate, bored, and rather dull to those around us.

On Tuesday, September 16, we will look at the marital side of reaching our 60-year goal.

~Jerolyn

 

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