A local news channel did a very interesting Valentine’s Day story about a couple who just celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary. In case anyone is wondering, both of them are 99 years young. They spoke of their true love and admiration for each other, even mentioning how they love each other’s great sense of humor. They also have a very large family of sons, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It was a very touching story that nearly left tears in my eyes. In the near future, chances are good that one of them will die and the other person will be greatly heartbroken.
Imagine being married to the same person for that long. I often wonder how people stay married that long; what is the key to that kind of longevity? Surely in the case of this couple, there had to be some bumps in the road that threatened their relationship. Perhaps there was another person involved that posed a threat to ending that relationship. Or maybe they had, at one time, a huge dispute about finances or some other problems that normally splits couples apart. If I were the reporter covering this story, I would have dug deeper into what really was the key for keeping them together for that long. It would be interesting to hear what they have to say about how they handled some of their disputes.
Sadly in this day and age, it is totally uncommon for people to stay married that long. Heck, if a couple even stays married for 10 years, that is looked upon as some sort of great achievement. Nobody values longevity in a relationship or marriage anymore; we are a society of rushing into marriage and if it works great, but if it doesn’t, well there is always someone else who I can find to replace my mistake. These type of attitudes are a terrible threat to our society. Broken homes and marriages lead to so many problems in our society, especially when children are involved. More times than not, these marriages can probably be saved if one of the couples involved just learns to quit being so self-centered and stubborn. But it is just far too easy to opt out and get a divorce. After all, why continue when you can go on the internet and find many choices to replace your spouse?
People who stay in long-lasting marriages are to be commended for their loyalty to each other. Ask anyone who has been married for a long time and they will tell you that it takes a lot of work and sacrifice to be in a successful marriage. People in their early 20’s think that marriage is some great thing that will make them happy for the rest of their lives. They are deeply blinded by the love that they have for each other. Before long, one of them might have a temper or some sort of emotional problem that was not known during the courtship. Or maybe one suddenly discover that their spouse is a free spender and financial arguments start to develop. People also tend to change a lot from their early 20’s. Every decade of living poses new changes to a couple. A couple who wants a successful and long-lasting marriage will understand these issues and learn to communicate with each other about them, even before they tie the knot.
The elderly couple that I mentioned is strong example of what marriage should be about in our society. Imagine if more marriages lasted that long? We would be much better off as a society. More children would come from homes where there is a dad and mom to come home to and be a part of their lives. Unfortunately, our society is not like that anymore. We don’t stress the need for families to stick together anymore. Marriage is something that should last a lifetime, not some long-term relationship that only lasts 5-10 years. If a couple does not see themselves being married together for the rest of their lives, then why even get married? When you look up the word marriage online or in a dictionary, a picture or short story of that elderly couple should be included. They define what marriage should be about, everlasting.