The dictionary uses evocative terms to define and describe the unique properties of Gold (chemical symbol Au): durable, malleable, resistant to corrosion. It is a precious metal, connoting beauty and elegance as well as great value.
These definitions may be applied to a 50-year marriage: durable, malleable, resistant to corrosion. Likewise, the long-lived marriage is precious, signifying beauty and elegance in addition to great value.
Eight days ago, my Beloved and I achieved the 50-year mark! Our Golden Anniversary! We were two love-smitten 20-somethings, eager to entwine our lives, joining two souls as one flesh on December 20, 1969.
Looking back on that particular day and the ways a singular event shaped our lives, we stand amazed. Did we have any perception what being married really meant? Was it probable (or even possible) for two self-centered individuals to forge a path of unity and oneness … until death?
I can’t itemize the milestones, even decade by decade, because in my memory they’ve all blended into a marvelous collage, elements equally sweet and endearing, occasionally sad or sorrowful, while more often silly and delightful.
No marriage is perfect. We knew from the start ours would be no exception. Still, we purposed to laugh and cry, together, no matter the challenges.
Whether due to death, divorce or other reasons, I’ve read only about 5% of marriages reach the 50-year mark. Search the web for Secrets of Long-Lasting Marriage and you’ll find numerous suggestions for the “secret steps” to attaining wedded bliss.
In my view, expecting marital bliss is to court disappointment and perhaps even disaster. Bliss is a euphoric, rapturous concept. In contrast to such unrealistic felicity, marriage requires selflessness, hard work and constant applications of forgiveness … realities of life which are always worthy of our most strenuous efforts.
A commenter (David Hitchcock) posted about his long-lasting marriage on another blog and offered a poignant observation. He wrote: “One lifetime together shall not have been enough.” I echo his words and thank God everyday for my Beloved. I am blessed beyond measure!