by Neva Bodin
October 21, 1967, I was making my wedding veil when my soon-to-be brother-in-law, age 12, wanted to go out and look at the pigs on our farm. The veil lay unfinished until later.
October 22, 1967, I was married to the love of my life at two PM. After the wedding we had our car brought out of hiding (to avoid limburger cheese on the engine, tin cans dragging behind, and messages written on the windows), and spent our wedding night 40 miles down the road, returning to my parents farm the next morning, and flying from ND to Seattle, WA where we lived the first two years.
October 22, 2017, family members collected at Red Lobster to eat and celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. A member of the party was that same brother-in-law, a sister-in-law, our daughters and their families. It was wonderful.
We had an open house hosted by our two daughters on our 25th and 45th anniversaries. So we opted for a card shower this time. And that has been so much fun. We have received 140 cards! Some from people we haven’t seen in 50 years. And some ignored the “No gifts Please.”
How do you make a marriage last 50 years? Is it just being in love? Everything always rosy, sunshine, and kisses?
Hardly, as I’m sure any other couple with longevity can tell you. Marriage is a commitment. The minister will say, “Let no man put asunder what God has put together.” OR something like that.
I’m not sure God puts all marriages together. Sometimes we charge ahead on our own steam. Be that as it may, marriage is still commitment. A word that can certainly have many connotations!
Romantic love, sexual attraction, and lack of knowledge gets the ball rolling. But to keep it rolling, I believe it takes patience, forgiveness, waiting through some tough times, thoughtfulness, and selflessness. And a choice to keep on loving, even if the feeling waxes and wanes. And these things aren’t always practiced by both parties! Sometimes one is patient and forgiving while the other isn’t, or vice versa.
We change too as we grow in maturity and the relationship. We aren’t the same people we were 50 years ago! And every 7 or 8 years, statistics show, marriages undergo a bump in the road. We re-evaluate, re-think our decision, wonder if this is it, I think. And then we honor our commitment, remember the reasons we married each other, continue side by side, and praise God for our marriage all over again.
Lots of advice out there for married couples. What works for one might not work for another. Customize it. Every marriage is unique.
And I am so glad we have just celebrated 50 years of uniqueness!