June 10, 2014

The Secret To A Long And Happy Marriage

Twenty years ago last week, my wife and I laid eyes on each other for the first time, as we began a summer internship as hospital chaplains in Iowa. It was dislike on first site -- though by the end of the day we had established a friendly relationship over a dinner of really awful pizza. Within a couple of weeks we had what in retrospect was our first date (we still love the Steve Miller Band). A few days later came a first kiss that surprised both of us, coming as it did in the middle of a heated argument (and we have actually argued over who kissed whom that day - each blaming the other). About 13 months after that kiss, we were married -- and not quite nineteen years after the wedding, the adventure continues.

So why all of this personal information in a post on a blog where I very rarely reveal personal details? Because of this article that crossed my screen a few minutes ago.

Through war and peace, in sickness and in health, they have been man and wife for 75 years.

So any little tip that Joseph Littlewood, 98, and wife Sally, 99, might care to impart about the secret of a long and happy partnership must surely be worth its weight in gold, pearls, rubies, silver and diamonds.

And the advice is? ‘Argue,’ said Mrs Littlewood. ‘Argue lots but always remember to get over it.’

It may go against convention, but it seems to have worked for this couple. They have just celebrated 75 years of marriage – and 81 years as a couple – and are still arguing as they approach their 100th birthdays.

Believed to be Britain’s longest-married couple, they have long since stopped counting the number of the times they kissed and made up after a tiff.

‘People always have arguments,’ says the delightfully no-nonsense Mrs Littlewood. ‘In 75 years we’re going to have had a lot – but the key is to move on. It’s never worth stewing over.’

I have to agree with the Leftwoods. Lord knows that my dear wife and I have had our share (maybe more) of arguments in nineteen years of marriage, but we've ended most of them with a kiss (and always with an "I love you"). Maybe it is that neither of us can stand to see the other cry, or that our canine companions really dislike raised voices and need to be reassured that everything is OK (yes, our dogs have been the source of our best marriage counseling). But I think that the real reason is that we realize that, even in the hardest moments, our lives are infinitely better with each other in them than they would be if we were apart. And as I have told her more than once, she has made me a better person than I ever would have been without her and provided me with an anchor at times when I would otherwise be completely adrift.

And so let me say it here, with no shame whatsoever -- "I love you, sweetheart."


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Comments on The Secret To A Long And Happy Marriage

Congrats! MH and I just celebrated 24 yrs of marriage this last March and while we don't necessarily argue, we do understand the need to not stew on something and just get over a degree. Some things need to be rehashed from time to time due to the fact that there are two people making one life together, but it's all good.
Here's to many more years of kissing and making up.

|| Posted by DL Sly, June 10, 2014 11:58 AM ||

Congratulations! I would say "God bless," but it looks like God has already blessed you and will likely continue that blessing.

|| Posted by Mark, June 11, 2014 06:34 AM ||
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NAME: Greg
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