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My friends call me Elldee. And breaking the half century mark has been highly motivating: happy wife, mother, writer, teacher, day dreamer.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Married for 30 years: How did that happen?

Keep as much as you can in common
When I look back at all my husband and I have done in our lives together, it is not so hard to understand how we could be married for more than 30 years.  Rather than go into the specifics of all those adventures, I  am going to supply a list of general rules that we follow that I feel are the reasons we are together and are planning on staying that way.
  • We recognize that we have many dissimilar interests, so while we respect those differences we encourage those interests we have in common.  We both love to waterski.
  • When we have disagreements, we work on the premise that everything we say should be geared towards working it out. 
  • I cannot read his mind nor he mine, but we have had plenty of time to learn to read the body language we use.  Given that, we make every effort to keep the lines of communication open.  Sometimes that means taking some time to figure out what it is we want the other person to know, whether he/she "should have figured" it out or not.
  • We don't say anything negative about each other to other people.  We don't argue in public.  We do say positive things about each other to other people.
  • When it comes to spending a large sum of money on something, we both have to agree.
  • We have a designated bill payer, designated lawn care person, designated kitchen cleaner, etc., but the other person is welcome to help anytime and does. 
  • One of us is always better at something than the other, so we always help each other.
  • We don't make the other person feel uncomfortable.
  • We happen to have the same occupation, but we go about our jobs differently.  So we know there is more than one way to do something and still do it right.  That means we can learn from each other, even when we are already experts.
  • We don't love each other despite or in spite of our flaws.  We love each other because of all we are: flaws and finer qualities together.
  • There are some things neither of us like to do, but they have to be done.  So we make sure we do them together.
  • Most importantly: We like each other.
We do mess up on occasion, but we always come back to one thing:  underneath the problem is the promise that we love each other.
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