Today my husband and I celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. And, while it doesn't seem like yesterday when we took our vows, the years have passed by much more quickly than we would've liked. We've been blessed with two beautiful, intelligent daughters who have made our lives full, rich and complete. They have given us joy and happiness every day of their lives. We've lost our parents and other loved ones through the years, and have gotten through the rough times with each other's love and support. We have shared countless happy moments with family and friends. We worked hard for everything we have, made many wise decisions and some mistakes along the way. We've gotten through some significant health crises through prayer and by being there for each other. Looking back, I am amazed at all we have lived through to get to this point.
Someone recently asked me what is the secret to a long marriage. I think it's a combination of things. For us it was having a good foundation that began with a friendship that we built on. Friendship grows into love and trust. Without trust, all the love in the world will not make a marriage survive. Without love, all the trust in the world will not make you happy. You need an unwavering commitment to work through your problems. You need to communicate with each other so there is understanding. Our focus was always on each other and our family. We spent quality time together as much as possible. We weren't materialistic. Things will make you happy for a short time, a solid relationship will make you happy for a lifetime. Decide to stay out of debt. Money issues are stressful and destructive. Better to have a little less and no debt, than to be burdened with paying bills for a lot of things. As far as working overtime, if you don't really need the extra money, limit the overtime. The time spent with your children will make you richer than any check. And, no one I know ever got rich from working overtime. It's a matter of priorities. Before you know it, the years will go by, your children will be adults, and you will see they have adopted all the good family values you modeled for them.
In two weeks my older daughter and son in law will be celebrating their first anniversary. As I listen to them and watch them together, I can see that they are on the right path. They have been brought up to appreciate marriage and family and everything that means. I have no doubt that, when the the time is right, they will be wonderful parents and raise their children in a loving, supportive family just as their parents have done with them. I couldn't ask for anything more.
If my husband and I had our lives to live over again we would do it in a heartbeat. When you are with the right person, thirty-four years goes by way too fast.