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The Secret to Staying Married for 60 Years

Last Spring I wrote a series of posts on what it means to keep our wedding vows.

I thought that reminding ourselves of what we agreed to in the first place might be a good way to strengthen our marriages. After all, most marriages start strong as a commitment made from an overflow of love that makes the early days/weeks/months/years of marriage fun and exciting. Years go by and kids come along and routines get established and we get complacent.

So, a reminder of how it all began seemed worthwhile.

Keeping the Romance Alive!

An Interesting Realization

Before starting this blog, I read through several different articles on why people get divorced.

In revisiting this series, I came to realize that, for most lists of “top 10 reasons couples get divorced” that I found, the reasons corresponded directly to a vow that had been broken.

  • They promised to forsake all others, but she had an affair.
  • They promised to honor and cherish, but he got bored and took her for granted.
  • They promised to be together in sickness and health, but when a truly serious sickness hit her, he sought companionship elsewhere.
  • They promised to stay together for richer or poorer, but being poorer caused constant stress and arguments.
  • They promised, but…

Life is Hard

I’ve said this before, but we make these promises precisely because life is hard. Commitments are hard. We have to promise and remember those promises and value our word highly enough to be ashamed if we break our promises.

This marriage is something you once wanted strongly enough to stake your honor on. Remember that.

Maybe you already knew this, but it was revolutionary to me to realize that the marriage vows are designed precisely to counteract the types of temptations that will break up a marriage.

#StayingMarried – Click to order from The FamilyMan

Staying Married

The other day on one of my favorite podcasts, comedian Jonnie W. told a story about a show he did at a marriage retreat. He was questioning the audience, trying to find the couple who’d been married the longest. One couple announced they’d been married for 60 years!

60 YEARS!!

Jonnie was impressed, and he asked the husband if he’d share the secret to staying married for six decades.

The man sat silent for a long time, so long that Jonnie asked if he was still breathing.

Finally, the man took the microphone and said…

 

“Don’t get divorced!”

 

Now, maybe it was just meant as a joke, but it also contains a profound truth.

Getting divorced is a choice. I’ve never heard anyone say it is an easy choice, but it is definitely a choice.

I think the man was saying that he had committed to being married, and as much as it was up to him, he was determined to honor that commitment.

If you want to leave a legacy…

If you want your children to know what commitment to another person really means…

If you want to stay married for 60 years (and more!)…

Honor your vows.

Don’t get divorced.

Homework:

Think about the vows you made when you got married. What challenges do you face in keeping those vows? Let me know how you’re doing in the comments!

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