The following represents a summary of three family’s viewpoint on how to have a successful and a happy marriage. In many ways, their comments and responses seem to share a common thread, but more importantly, their unwavering commitment to each other was sincere and admired.
The first time they met was at a county fair, both knew immediately they were for each other.
I asked Ms. Berg if she had ever regretted anything during their long marriage. Without hesitation, she told me that there was never a time when she doubted her husband’s love for her. Mr. Berg simply ended her sentiments stating that this was a fact.
In his opinion, he went on to tell me that there were many reasons why the divorce rate is high but that the underlying cause, simply put, is finding fault in another. A committed relationship of an unspoken love that only two can understand promotes a healthy relationship.
I asked the Bergs if they had to work at their relationship and both just shook their heads, no. For both, their long marriage was in harmony. They instinctively knew that everything they did with one another, moderation was the ticket to their success. Give and take is everything! Love to them meant going out of their way to please one another. A negative thought never crossed their mind when it came to sharing domestic responsibilities, participating in activities, attending events, etc, for each found a way to discuss and to resolve any issues with mutual understanding and respect. To the Bergs, trusting your better half to make the decision was the way.
With a polarizing and a fast pace world, I asked them how it perhaps affects relationships. They agreed that, in spite of turbulent times, the underlying love conquers all things and that two people would find a way to get through it all through perseverance and mutual certitude.
Must a partner change their viewpoints on multiple aspects of their lifestyle, religion, beliefs, politics, etc, in order to please their spouse? Again, what comes into play is that unspoken understanding what one must learn to develop a relationship. With that certain love, it does not matter the belief system, ideological viewpoints, etc, because the couple knows that their deep love for one another remains rock solid. The idea that because a couple may have differences of opinions, personality, or what ever, is not grounds for animosity. The Bergs commented that people have to have mutual respect for one another, and it all comes down to one word that they must know, humility.
When two people meet for the first time, the wisest thing to do is to communicate effectively with one another. No matter how large or small the issue is, discuss everything. When the right mate comes along, all of the pieces will fall into its proper order. To the Bergs, they considered their marriage balanced in every aspect.
How do the Bergs keep their marriage alive? They have common interests. Fishing, shopping, functions; it did not matter for they did everything together. With the Bergs, there is never a dull moment.
I asked about infidelity, and they both just said that this was something that never entered their mind. Since the first time they met, words such as trust, assurance seem to be in place, and they never doubt each other’s motives.
The couple first met when they were in grade school and after they graduated from college, they married.
I asked them how they knew that they were meant for each other at such an early age. Even though they did not know the meaning of a romantic relationship, they both indicated that they just knew they had to be with each other. They remain sweethearts throughout their school years. By the time they were in high school, they knew the meaning of grounded love but had the presence of mind to wait until they completed their academic achievements.
I asked about submission in a marriage, and Mr. Alexander said that thought never crossed his mind. I asked Ms. Alexander if they ever compromised about things in general and she dittoed what her husband had said. I then asked them both about boredom, and they reiterated with the same answer.
They both have an understanding of quiet times, and relaxation of doing things, more importantly allowing each other their space.
I then posed the question of religion. Both did not attend church but believed in God. She playfully accused her husband of being an agnostic than a believer. Laughing, he admitted there were times when he had doubts about certain things written in the Bible. He humorously declared that this did not make him an agnostic.
I asked the wife if it is possible for one or the other to be too much in love to where it could ruin a relationship. She indicated that this is possible with some, but without responsibility and common sense, a successful marriage would not work. When two are in love with one another, and each understands the value of compassion, thoughtfulness, consideration, etc, it requires little or no effort to have a successful relationship. Is smothering another a terrible thing for a relationship to last? This depends on how two people interact with each other. Every couple needs space. Again, everything needs to be in moderation.
Was growing apart or falling out of love possible for them. She replied that this is not possible when two are truly in love with one another. She also maintained that love grows when two people cannot exist without each other.
What about a couple, married for forty years, and for whatever reason, they decide to get a divorce and go their separate ways. Both acknowledged that this, unfortunately, does happen. She quickly pointed out that, in a deeply seated love, a divorce would never take place. He followed by saying that if a couple should get a divorce and remains together; he supposed this was a legitimate reason. For the Alexander’s, it would not have mattered if they married or not, they would be together anyway.
On the subject of their five grown children, I asked Ms. Alexander if their lasting union has made a difference on their married children. She said that, by their example, her children modeled themselves after them. She also said that she and her husband’s love reflected upon their children and as such, have made them keenly aware of what it takes to find that perfect mate.
The couple met at a sports car rally when they were in high school and married during his senior year in college.
I asked Mr. Johanssan if they ever have arguments, if so, how they were able to make amends. He told me they never argued. When two people are profoundly in love, the ego seems to fall by the wayside. Rarely do they have disagreements, but when they do, they know that constructive criticism was far better than destructive criticism, and both agreed that a destructive argument would leave them with the feeling of an arrow piercing through the heart. To them, a successful marriage is about taking and giving, all with consideration and solicitude.
I asked both why they felt the reasons for a high divorce rate in the US. Their sentiments were many reasons, selfishness, jealousy, lack of attentiveness, arguments, etc. The bottom line for both was that if either one had any idea, or notion of doubt then the relationship would not last. They also elaborated on never having the feeling that their partner would do something behind their back, or doing something without discussing the issue. For the two, misgivings never entered their minds.
When two people meet for the first time, the wisest thing to do is to speak with one another. Discuss and learn everything for compatibility and mutual respect is a fundamental ingredient. If it is the perfect mate, all of the pieces will fall into its right order.
I asked what their thoughts were about the many online dating venues, and what chances the subscribers have in meeting the right person. With the advent of computers and the various social media venues, the Johanssans did not mind letting me know that this practice is dangerous and risky. They agreed that meeting someone and being able to be see and talk on a regular basis, were the best measure in learning and knowing everything about the other person.
On the subject of effort it requires to make a marriage successful, they both agreed they did not believe that they had to go the extra mile to make it work for to them, even though fluid, it all came quite natural. They knew from the beginning of their relationship that from a gradual learning experience, their life together was amicable and grounded.
I asked them about chores, raising children, handling certain responsibilities, and they said that they did whatever it took to get the job done. Whenever needed, he always helped her in the kitchen, housecleaning, changing diapers, and to reciprocate, she always helped him with the yard work, splitting logs for the fireplace, etc.
The Johanssans are quite lively with each other. They seem to tease a lot and then laugh about it later. On a daily basis, they never failed to hug and show how much they love each other.