Monday, February 10, 2014

Marriage Monday: Create Your Own Blessing

My sweet parents 
Thank you, thank you, to all you dear friends and readers who have offered up relationship tips and advice in the past week for me to ponder!  Each Monday, I am going to highlight tips and/or research on marriage, and I hope that these discussions will be as interesting and meaningful to you all as they are to me.  (I find relationships so fascinating!) 

Many of you have offered such beautiful words of wisdom about marriage relationships.  One thing that I found to be a common thread in wisdom from friends who have been married a long time (over 20 years) was the idea that long-term relationships create a shared history that, in and of itself, is gratifying.   

Robi and I have been lucky to have wonderful models of lasting relationships in our parents.  Both of our sets of parents have persevered through the ups and downs of life and love and kids and work and good and bad economies, and have maintained love stories that continue to be written.   I know that it's a blessing to them to look back on the lives they have lived together and all the shared memories they have--places they have lived, children they have raised, people they have loved, lost, mourned--together.   Lasting relationships give us someone with whom to anchor ourselves in time, allow us to feel completely known and understood, and keep alive those we have both lost. 

My friend and mentor, Anne, said it this way:

My wonderful in-laws
"Having a long history with someone becomes its own separate, and very, very deep, blessing. When my brother died last spring, the fact that [my husband] Jim had known him for 40 of his 54 years was such an incredible comfort to me. The same was true when my Mom and Dad died over the past couple of years." 

I love what she said.  A long shared history itself becomes a deep blessing.  A comfort.  

I find this to be true in my marriage relationship.  I also find it to be true in my long-time friendships.  In fact, I sometimes think it is downright luxurious to be with people I have known over 10 years.   

So, to those of you who are just beginning your relationship, and to those of you with decades of a shared history, revel in the intertwined story you are weaving.  Allow yourselves to look back often and bask in your shared memories.  And realize that, right now, with each day you spend together, you are creating your very own blessing.  

What lasting relationships bring you the most comfort?  Do you and your partner look back on your life together very often?  If not, how could you create an opportunity to do just that? 

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