(How Dusty and wife will look in old age)
Something upbeat for a Saturday!
"Give with no strings attached and give often. You'll be amazed how happy you'll become and how happy the people around will become."
by Dusty Rivers
I saw your Tweet this morning [asking people to describe their happy marriage] and had to write in. I have been married over 15 years now - 20 years together - and have never been happier! My wife and I thank each other everyday for the hard work and effort we put into our marriage. It's not easy in this day and age, especially with 2 teenagers.
We met early in life, 24 years old, but late enough to have sown our wild oats so to speak. We were both poor, making minimum wage and only high school diplomas on the wall. We fell in love and wanted to work towards a family. We saved, lived in basements, worked a ton, went to business school at night (we both sought employers who paid for courses if we passed) and after 5 years had enough to buy a condo and get married. (Our wedding cost $3,000 including the honeymoon! - haha).
It's been the best 20 years a guy could ask for! I think because we started with nothing, what we have achieved, we have achieved together and it makes it so hard to throw away. You could say we're dedicated to each other through sweat and hard work.
My wife and I attribute our successes to having defined roles for each other - I'm big picture and she's the details person. We've both agreed on our role in the marriage and we base our opinion of each other on how much effort we exert. But, we're flexible too and can take on each's others roles in an instant - we call it "cross-training". We trust each other a lot in this part of our lives. It's always worked for us - because we've always worked for the marriage. I must say at this point in my dialogue; it is a ton of work - more than I could ever have imagined. After the kids arrived, the amount of cleaning alone is enough to make you cry - haha!
The Future: We've always had a 6 m, 1 yr, 2 yr and 5 yr plan. Its invaluable to know what you're working towards and being on the same page.
Personal Growth: We're like 2 plants in the same pot. Growing separately but alongside each other. Because we're on the same page as far as life goals we can branch out into new endeavours and try new things. At the same time, we stay grounded with family traditions.
Conflict Resolution: If we argue - and we do once in a while - we apologize as soon as we've cooled down. Whether we were right or wrong. Nothing is worth destroying your marriage over. This is a 2 way street as well though - neither of us are vengeful or spiteful and we would never do anything to purposely make the other angry. I've seen this happen to other people, unfortunately.
These are just a few of the aspects that have made us successful. We make an effort every day with each other - why throw away 20 years of hard work cause you're feeling lazy for a day or two?!
We try to be understanding, compassionate, loving, forgiving, accepting, strong and smart. So many people out there don't think ahead or plan in my humble opinion.
Lastly, I would just like to say to anyone you may share this with Henry. STOP BEING SO SELFISH! Selfishness is the reason the world is going to shit. Give, give, give. Give your attention, your assistance, your humour, your sensitivity, your heart and soul to the people around you. Anything you can give that's free has the most value. Give with no strings attached and give often. You'll be amazed how happy you'll become and how happy the people around will become, how easy it is to forgive and to be forgiven. Charity and forgiveness are key to happy and successful marriage.
As a former reprobate whose only concerns was himself I can attest to the fact that the less you think of yourself and give to those around you the more you will get back and the happier your marriage and life will be.
First Comment from J & G from South Africa-
Thanks for your positive remarks regarding marriage and the article from Dusty Rivers.
It certainly struck me as true which I believe my marriage confirms. I'm married for 45 years and we both are in our late 60's. Recently we were on holiday for 2 months travelling 10500km in South Africa, staying in 25 different locations, ranging from our own little tent, through backpackers cabins and a 3 star Villa.
We bought no newspapers, watching no TV and even not listening to the car's radio. We were in each other's company virtually 24/7 and not even once had a disagreement! It was magic! We even visited "hell" for a couple of days and "live" to tell!