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Married for 47 years: It is easy to say!

Sally and I have just celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary, and I have to say it was one of our best.

We arrived home from the family holiday the day before our wedding anniversary. It was a relief to be home to celebrate alone.

It was the first major gathering since 2019. Our Sydney family were present – our US family were present -a grandson aged 14 over 180cms. It was an experience that extended over 10 days.  As one member said, “it really is our tribe!”  The age range is 3 to 73, with no more babies to come. (Unfortunately, our step – grandson couldn’t attend.)

The Elders – Grandma and Grandpa (Oma & Opa)– our siblings – our own four children and their spouses plus their children (12) There were many stories/reflections to share. So much is happening! New schools, jobs, business opportunities, myriads of achievements and disappointments, milestones (some children in the pool finally unsupervised!) and loads of stories, much laughter, beach time and walks – even dancing! It was a wonderful few days and a grand celebration.

As it has evolved, I have married my best mate, and every day together is fun. Just observing our tribe and chatting with them is a good thing to do.

On 5th January, our wedding anniversary:

We cooked breakfast together

We had coffee together -a few times!

We went shopping together – I had wanted to buy a silk nightie for Sally but accumulated ‘wisdom’ allowed me to propose that I join her on a shopping expedition so she could buy it herself – she bought a dress!

We had lunch together and then dinner. All the time, we chatted about… stuff.

Not a ‘spectacular celebration’ but a great day.

We pondered 47 years, and we had talked about growing old together – Sally reflected that when we were first married, we used to see old people. Still, she did not think it would happen to us!

Now we are those old people.

We remembered our parents; both couples were married for over 50 years –their lives were profoundly different – World Wars (2) Depression in their early formative years – how did that influence them? Yet, both couples were great models of love and commitment, albeit living in a different world – my mother-in-law, who was a great woman, was often heard to say in an expression of frustration and/or confusion, ‘it’s not my world’!

The challenges they lived with make our lives look relatively simple from our perspective, BUT our challenges were beyond their comprehension. Likewise, at some levels, our children’s challenges are beyond my comprehension – but they are working hard to meet their challenges just as we did! Parenting children in a world of advanced technology.  It is a serious challenge! (As was TV for my parents!)

I can almost hear myself saying, “It’s not my world!”

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”

AS tricky as it is to process -we are the past! (And it’s not our world!)

I wrote earlier that everyone needs a mate, so mateship is one pillar of marriage.

It is an Australian value that we loudly proclaim. The definition:

Mateship: A culture that embodies equality, loyalty, and friendship, which is an essential part of Australian life.

It is a formal view of mateship.  Marriage?

In marriage, I have pondered it, while Australian values are expressed more formerly, in a marriage, the ‘culture’ must have the following elements: A couple must:

  • Be friends – Like each other! (respect)
  • Have the capacity to be vulnerable
  • Have the capacity to endure together (commitment)
  • Have the willingness to work with and for each other (service)
  • Have the desire to have each other’s back, whatever (loyalty)
  • Have the capacity to have fun and laugh together (Fun)
  • Have the willingness to say sorry and the ability to forgive (humility)
  • Have the ability to chat interminably about stuff together (communication -especially listening)

In our early days, we knew we were poorly equipped to create a great marriage – which was our hope – so we engaged in the form of self-directed marriage education. We learnt many things and gained many ideas. However, none was more important than the concept that:

Love is not a feeling – LOVE IS A DECISION. It is an ongoing decision or choice you can make every day.

Over several Blogs, I have written about many of Sally’s qualities – one of which is her unique capacity to identify and give the right gift or card to a friend or a family member –

On 5th January Sally gave me a special card which said:

Your heart and my heart are very old friends. Hafiz

Inside the card she finished with – TOGETHER FOREVER – For me it highlighted I have an exceptional mate!

7th January 2023

Other Blogs on Marriage:

A marriage story – everyone needs a mate

Marriage Milestone – Family Holiday.

Married and sailing towards 50 – feeling valued is the key?

Married – 40 years

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