To My Valentine's Couples
I have completely enjoyed doing these articles for Valentine’s Day. I cannot express my gratitude enough to all of the beautiful couples who helped make it possible. Not only have I enjoyed it, I learned from it. Even though my husband and I will be married 35 years as of June, we still have a lot of years to go before we catch up to my Valentine Couples.
I believe I have written before (I know I’ve said it out loud) that when Scott Harper first mentioned writing a Valentine special, I didn’t think it would go over so well. I truly felt I might get one or two couples to choose from, but that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. The response was so overwhelming that I decided to write about everyone I could up to Valentine’s Day.
I think my original opinion was largely influenced by the many young couples who put their personal business on Facebook and then complain that people stick their noses into their relationships. I quickly learned that these couples, who have been married for 50 plus years, do not ever do that, with emphasis on ever.
Long-term marriages do not succumb to social media. Take Scott and Rebecca Harper for example. They’ve been married for only 20 years and they don’t put their personal business out there and he’s a reporter. It’s his job to run his mouth...So to all you new couples just starting out, take notes and learn, just as I did about how to stay married to the one you love.
For the most part, they all had the same recipe (just about anyway) so apparently it works. Nonetheless, I am going to choose one thing from each couple’s recipe to bring back home to my own marital cookbook. Here are some of the things I’ll add:
1. First and foremost, all of the couples have said that God is important.
2. From Harriet and Frankie Davis, I bring with me: “Do things together as a couple, vacation as a family and not separately.”
3. From Jeanne and Tom Rea: “Try not to argue a lot. Bad days are going to happen so don’t take everything to heart.”
4. From Mary and Ronnie Cavalieri, I will sprinkle a pound of: “Marriage is not 50/50, it’s 100/100 – you have to put your all into it and not just a piece.”
5. From Marilyn and Lenair Altman, I will add: “Humor. You have to able to laugh together and enjoy life. No one is getting out alive.”
6. From Evelyn and James Wragg, I will put in my mixing bowl: “Honesty. If you cannot be honest with one another then you cannot trust one another and vice-versa.”
7. From Connie and Wesley Owens, I will add a pound of: “Not going to bed angry. Respect each other, always.”
8. From Ruthie and George Dugan: “You should be best friends so you can talk to one another and tell each other everything.”
9. From Catherine and Joe Lawrimore, I bring with me: “Values and sharing them with my husband so that he knows, when the chips are down, I won’t be,”
10. From Weezie and Jeep Ford, I will add 100 pounds of: “Kisses and affection. Every day, kiss one another and tell them that you love them.”
When you put all of those ingredients together, it bakes a huge pie of the vows we took before God and everyone to love, honor, and respect one another for better or worse, richer or poorer, and in sickness and in health, until death do we part.