Saturday, July 23, 2011

Secrets to a Successful Marriage

In just a few hours, New York State officials will be legally empowered to perform same sex marriages. According to the news media and  people who track statistics, “thousands” of same sex couples have purchased marriage licenses, some waiting on the first available day in line beginning at pre-dawn hours to fill out paperwork for a future privilege.
Two cities in New York will open offices at midnight. In Albany the mayor will officiate at the first union at 12:01 AM. One local gay bar is holding a pre marriage reception (perhaps in reverse of the usual order of things) for the two men who will be uniting as a couple. Congratulations to them and those who follow.
In light of the current focus on marriage in New York, Mama wishes to dispense sage advice to all newly married couples regardless of the gender of the two people involved.
Traditional marriage is supposedly based on love. Love will be everlasting. Love will conquer all. Love will see us through- richer, poorer, better, worse, etc. Of course, the less stress, the more likely two people will live harmoniously; ergo, richer, better, healthy, etc. are desirable. Nobody normal enters a union looking for poverty, poor health, bad times, bunions, flatulence, snoring, and the heartbreak of psoriasis.
Recently Mama, Inc, interviewed several hundred couples who have been married to their one and only partner for over 40 years. If you can stand someone for at least forty years, chances are pretty good you can tolerate them for the next forty, mainly since any change is too much to fathom after that. Why go to all the trouble breaking in somebody else.
Here are snippets of wisdom gleaned from the interviews:
Couple 1:
He: We have slept in the same bed every night since we were married 57 years ago.
She: Not always at the same time.
Couple 2:
He: As the years pass she has stopped snoring. She’s more beautiful now than the day I married her 42 years ago.
She: You have developed cataracts and a hearing loss.
Couple 3:
He: She always put me first in all she did.
She: First I put his personal hygiene items in the guest bathroom. Next I put his clothes in the guest room dresser. Then I put his pillow on the guest room bed. Then I put him in the guest  bed.
Couple 4:
He: After we had been married for 10 years I took her to Hawaii for our anniversary.
She: It was such a wonderful trip.
He: Last week, for our 50th anniversary I went back and picked her up.

Mama says,  “Life happens. It’s not about self, but selfless. Only when one gives away self can one receive self back.”