Monday, August 12, 2013

Make it Last

I'm kicking this week of Wedding month off with something a little sweet. 

For one of my bridal showers, one of my oldest dearest friends and bridesmaids gifted me this sweet little Hallmark book titled "A Love that Lasts". The whole book is filled with wonderful insight from couples who have been married for 50 years or more. 

A Love that Lasts Book

When I started to flip through this book I thought the advice shared by the couples in it was just so sweet and so perfect. What a great reminder for any couple getting married that a marriage involves work. All great things involved work.

Today I really just want to share some of my favourite advice from these couples with all of you. 

A Love that Lasts Book

     Much is said about the importance of "being committed to marriage." But for the Harpers, commitment to an institution - even one as time-honored as marriage - left them a bit cold. "I believe strongly in marriage," Tom says, "but I've always focused on being committed to Judy, to her as a person."
     Judy adds, "Our love and passion is for each other. That's what inspires us every day and what has brought us through some very difficult times. Illness. Crumbling finances. The physical changes that age brings. What I've learned through it all is this: You can respect, even revere, and institution or dial, but I've never been in love with one. I'm in love with Tom." - Tom and Judy Harper. Married November 29, 1947

A Love that Lasts Book

     It started with an eye room from Ann's sister, Sue. "I was 'asking" A.J. to do an errand for me," Ann says, "and Sue, who was over for a visit, gave me this look. Then she said, 'Are you always this much of a grump to him? You didn't even say please.' I got defensive. I said something like, 'He talked to me the same way.' Then Sue gave me the look again. 'Well then,' she said, 'I feel sorry for both of you.' Those words really got to me. We've been married only three years, and we were already taking each other for granted, not even showing the common courtesy we'd show to a stranger."
     When the Jeffersons started paying closer attention to their interactions, they were shocked at how much sarcasm, indifference, and sometimes downright rudeness had crept into their language. They made a vow to show each other more kindness, more grace.
     "It makes a world of difference when Ann asks me for something in a voice that's sweet and polite," A.J. says. "And I know she appreciates it when I don't get all bent out of shape when she asks me to repeat something I just said. It's ironic, you know. Sometimes your own spouse is the last person you'll show a little kindness to. He or she should be the first." - A.J. and Ann Jefferson. Married July 18, 1946

A Love that Lasts Book

     What do you get when you combine a prim and proper schoolteacher with an irreverent, Navy vet auto mechanic? A marriage the endured for 67 years. Jim and Neva seemed like the classic odd couple. Neva always dressed impeccably and couldn't even bring herself to order "chicken breast" in a restaurant. Jim, on the other hand, practically lived in his mechanic's coveralls, sported permanent grease under his fingernails, and was fond of using a raunchy Navy saying or two - even around the grandchildren. But, despite all of the surface difference - which had casual onlookers shaking their heads - the Springstons shared deeper, if less visible bonds. 
     Their work ethic was virtually unmatched, even when they entered their 80s. They shared a deep faith in God and a steadfast commitment to their family. They thought nothing of driving 16 hours round-trip to see one of their grandchildren compete in a wrestling match. They also shared a love for travel, setting a goal to visit all 50 states together. Jim's death, due to cancer, stopped them just a couple of states short of their goal, but Neva isn't disappointed.
     "Visiting all fifty states would have been nice," she says, "but that's not the most important thing. What means the most to me is the way we saw all those places - together." - Jim and Neva Springston. Married June 10, 1936

A Love that Lasts Book

     We all know the painstaking preparation one goes through for a date - especially a big date on Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve, or a birthday. Male or female, we want to look our best, smell our best, act our best. So every stray hair is plucked or trimmed. Every flaw is eliminated, or at least disguised. But no one can look perfect (or smell perfect) all the time. Especially in a long-term relationship in which two people share the same living space, including the same bedroom and bathroom.
     So what happens when the defenses are down, the makeup is off, the morning breath reeks, the hair is messed up, and the stomach can't be sucked in any longer?
     For Joy Dominguez, these questions separated Alex from all the other potential mates. "When I really thought about a life with someone," she explains, "it became very clear to me that I didn't want anyone but Alex watching me drool while I slept. Even with such a vulnerable, potentially embarrassing situation like that in my mind's eye, I felt okay about it - felt safe about it - when I thought of Alex. And I honestly couldn't say I felt that way about anybody else."
     Alex found the same kind of acceptance and security in Joy, and that's why, more than 55 years later, they're still loving each other, morning breath and all.
- Joy and Alex Dominguez. Married July 14, 1953

What advice do you have to share with us as we embark on this next stage of our relationship together?


  1. Oh that is so sweet! I am going to see if I cant find a copy- my best friend is getting married this weekend!

  2. awww that is so cute, and such a thoughtful gift. Those all ring true...probably if you try to do a quarter of the stuff in that book you will be well ahead of the curve :)


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