Posts Tagged 'Long marriage'

The (mostly) Universal Marriage Quirk*

Circa 1979

Turns out that the thing that most attracted you to your spouse in the first place is often the same thing that drives you the most crazy!

Let me show you a few examples….

Spontaneity is so fun when dating…making decisions in the moment for what’s next, ready anytime for a fun adventure.  You really like that quality in your spouse until it is time to PLAN something or to pin down details.

A “free spirit” personality can stand out in a crowd of conformists but becomes  frustrating when the wisest choice becomes to go with the flow.

Creativity is a delight to observe whether it is in the arts or crafts until mundane tasks get neglected too often.

Athleticism is a real draw unless sporting events fill your entire social schedule.

Careful with money can feel over-restrictive when you just want to have some fun.

Gorgeous can involve very high-maintenance or expensive services to preserve that beauty.

Sensitive can flip to moody.

Hard worker sometimes feels like someone’s always at the office.

Next time you feel an annoyance coming on, try to flip it back to the “other side.”  How does this thing that bugs you, serve you?  Can you look deeper and find the original trait and give thanks?

It helps to look at your own foibles through the lens of finding the strength on the other side too.  I haven’t yet identified just which of my attractive traits keeps my cabinet doors open all the time but I’m sure there is a connection!

Hope for the Best,


* I am celebrating my 47th anniversary (August 18, 1973) all year and will be sharing a few popular marriage posts on Thursdays through August.

Stay With Me

Stay With Me

He showed up on my list of patients to see as a “self-referral” but at that age (91), someone else is usually doing the asking.

When I stood at the doorway and knocked, a woman in a bathrobe motioned me in. Clearly not the patient.

I introduced myself as the Chaplain and she greeted me warmly as if she was expecting me. I decided to start with her. “How are you doing today?” I inquired as part of my oft standard greeting. “Tired.” But there was a light of some sort that was not diminished in her face.

Noting the bathrobe, I inquired, “Did you sleep over night?” “Why yes!” she almost exclaimed as if it were usual protocol at this hospital (it’s not.) “We’ve been married 64 years, do you think I’m going to leave him now?” We didn’t cover this scenario in my training.

I quickly took back the role of asking the questions and decided to follow her trail. “64 years is a long time. Do you have a secret?”

Why yes,” as if there was any doubt. “Keep looking at the BIG picture, don’t worry about the little stuff…remember why you came together and keep looking at that.” I mentioned that I also enjoyed a long marriage but only 42 years. She congratulated me, repeated the advice and then spontaneously opened her arms and hugged me like we had both arrived at a safe place after a long journey.

I noticed her husband then, semi-sleeping in a chair and seemingly unaware of our girlfriend-like connection by the door. She didn’t leave him now or ever in spite of all that “little stuff” that sometimes we can make so big. That probably was part of why he made it this far, she stayed. Not just in the marriage, but also in the day-to-day.  I imagined all the other times in these 64 years that she made that same decision.

Once again, I was the one that received the spiritual care that day. BIG picture. Let’s remember that. I can still see the light in her face.

Hope for the best,


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