Today would have been my cousin & her husband’s 40th wedding anniversary. Lots of emotions and thoughts have been drifting in and out all day. This cousin was more like an older sister. I miss her and I hate that her husband is alone, marking this day in sadness and grief rather than joy.
She was a unique person and no one will ever take her place in our lives. Her sense of humor is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of her but that wasn’t the whole person. There was a certain wisdom about her, steeped in common sense. She had a good, strong marriage and she loved her family above all things.
That got me to thinking – what are the qualities that make a good marriage? I’m guessing people will have their own list but here’s mine:
- Love: Kind of unnecessary to include that since that’s the first thing people will think of but I can’t leave it off, either. The Beatles may say, “All you need is love,” but that’s not at all true. It’s not all but it is an essential component.
- Respect: To me, that’s a big one. That’s my benchmark for whether or not a marriage will last.
- Faith: I know people who are not religious will argue about this one but there is actual statistical data to back this one up.
- Flexibility: No, not the contortionist type! I’m talking about the ability to compromise.
- Self-sacrifice: If you’re not ever willing to put the needs of your spouse ahead of your own, you’re just heading for trouble.
That’s off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more but I do think these are important. They are also the common traits I see in the marriages that have gone the distance, like my cousin’s.