When you look at them, they seem solid. Their union seems unbreakable, strong. After being married for just a few short years, I know they have had to have their struggles. I know I have struggled with the give and take of marriage, remembering that sometimes it is not about who is right or wrong, and that respect is a two way street.
My grandparents have lived such long lives and seen so much in those years. They lived through events that I have only read about or seen on tv such as the Great Depression, WWII, the Civil Rights movement, the assassination of JFK, the first man on the moon, Vietnam, Elvis's gyrating hips, and The Beatles. They don't own a DVD player or a computer and have never had cable tv. They finally gave in about ten years ago and bought a microwave.
They are getting older having outlived so many of their friends and family who they grew up with and shared memories. At times, you can see how fragile life is as they face more health crisises. Yet, their bond is strong and they still stand beside each other and take care of each other.
A few years ago I recorded my grandparents oral history and printed it had it bound together. I gave it to them, my cousins, my mom, and my sister at Christmas. I wanted their stories to live on. I had started the project while I was pregnant with my first child. It took me almost a year to finish.
When they were describing how they got married and marriage in general, one of the questions I asked was "what is the key to a successful marriage?"
My grandfather, who seemed to be the designated speaker during much of our sessions, replied with this answer:
- Divide everything 50/50
- Share and share alike
- Be agreeable
- Talk things over
What do you think are the "keys" to a successful marriage?