Marriage - It's All About Choice!

A few years ago, my husband decided he wanted to speak at our daughter's wedding reception. Normally he's happy to just sit back and enjoy, so our daughter took notice and gave both sets of parents a chance to speak.   I was terrified. What could I possibly offer that was from my heart and didn't sound contrived? 

Looking at statistics, 50% of marriages don't make it. I'd seen ones I was sure were blessed by the stars fail, and others I thought didn't have a chance go the distance.  Why did Glen and I make it when so many others dissolved? Glen had one failed marriage when we met, and as we lived in different countries, we'd only spent time together on weekends. I was giving up easier access to my family, my job, my dance partner, my friends..........what the hell was I thinking? Fortunately for us it stuck!  36 years and counting. 

Somehow, the night before my daughter's wedding, I managed to quiet my mind and an idea bubbled up. It felt right. I snagged a poem about daughters to get started, and took a breath, and began sharing from my heart.  Unfortunately, I had no laid out idea on how to wrap up, and no idea if I did that well or not.  Then Glen started speaking about daughters and fathers, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  The night moved on. 

Photo by Timo Stern on Unsplash

To this day I hold onto this advice for myself and my marriage.  The gist is simple. Success in marriage is about choice. Every day when you awake up, you both look at each other and choose to stay married one more day. You choose to place this relationship above work, above kids and above other family.  You choose to embrace your partner as they are, flaws and all. You choose to love each other for what you each bring to the relationship that is positive. You choose first and foremost to love each other for one more day.  Then one more.....then one more...then one more.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

WOW! I still get goosebumps when I share these words.  While I don't think anyone does a relationship perfectly - Glen and I certainly didn't - I still feel in my heart this is true. Looking back, though, I feel a few caveats are needed. You both have to choose. It has to be a joint effort.  And embracing your love as it is means focusing on what you love about each other and letting go of the ways you differ.

I think this same concept can be applied on a wider basis to relationship with our children, our friends, our neighbors and more.  Loving and committing to being in a community means focusing on the positive and choosing that positive every single morning when your day begins.