And They Lived Happily Ever After

I love Disney …in fact the last time my family went to Disneyland, I was right there in the middle of the pack helping my grandchildren (mostly my granddaughters) get their pictures taken with Disney Royalty. However, if there is one concern I have with Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White and their fellow princesses it is that they all have a happy ever after that seems to come magically without any effort.

Love and marriage between a man and a woman is meant to be happily ever after but in real life it only comes with deliberate effort.

I am blessed to be a part of a wonderful marriage. My husband and I have been married for over 34 years now. In celebrity years, that is almost forever!

You might think that we have just been extra lucky or that each of us has an extraordinary amount of patience.

The truth is that we have been very blessed and we ALSO have been willing to cherish our marriage, make it a priority, and work really hard at keeping our relationship strong and healthy.

For us, getting to know each other is an unending process. We both understand that our courtship and relationship building did not end with “I Do” – it is an essential daily component of our marriage.

These things have been important to the success of my marriage and I believe they are important to other successful marriages as well:

·    We are best friends
·    We set aside time for date nights and other “Just Us” activities
·    We have interests in common and we do things together
·    We are committed to working out our differences
·    We share common values and beliefs
·    We understand the importance of being unselfish
·    We know that the best gift we could ever give our children is parents who are lovingly     committed to each other
·    We have fun together
·    We recognize that every worthwhile endeavor (including our marriage) requires good old fashioned work
·    We genuinely like and respect each other
·    We are able to acknowledge and honor our differences
·    Probably most important – We make God an essential part of our marriage

My husband and I were both eye witnesses to the less than stellar marriages of our parents. Those marriages eventually ended in divorce. However, even though we have witnessed troubled marriages within our circle of family and friends, we have also been blessed to witness some really wonderful marriages. Those strong marriages have been an important example for me and my husband.

Marriage is meant to be a wonderful and fulfilling experience and when the right attitudes and priorities are in place – I know it can be all of that and more.

Although wearing crowns and dressing up in gowns and tuxedos isn’t likely to do much for our marriages – marriage really can be Happily Ever After! Happily Forever after We Give Our Best Efforts to our Marriage!

PS – For those married couples who struggle with their relationship in the bedroom – a really wonderful and sensitive book that I would highly recommend is And They Were Not Ashamed by Laura M. Brotherson.

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