marriage

A Shout Out To My Parents – 30 Years of Love

My parents recently celebrated their 30 year wedding anniversary. While divorce rates may be dropping, 30 years is still pretty impressive. The thing that makes my parents’ anniversary even more impressive is that not only have they gotten through 30 years of marriage, they’ve done it with a whole lotta love and happiness.

mum and dad wedding
After 30 years together, they still can’t go a night without talking to each other. They still have date nights. They are still very much in love.

Their relationship is one that makes me believe that ‘till death do us part’ does exist. Their relationship has also taught me a thing or two about what it takes to make a marriage work, because as much as you might love someone, there’s a lot more to it than that.

So, here’s what I’ve learnt from my parent’s shining example of 30 years together;

  1. Marry someone who amazes you
    My dad genuinely believes that my mum is the smartest women he’s ever met. If you asked him, he would gloat about her intelligence in a heart-warming way that only someone who is truly amazed by their partner could gloat. Whether it’s their intelligence, humour, skills, kind-heartedness, or something else entirely, being amazed by your partner seems to make you a lot happier to be around them, day in, day out, for the rest of your lives.
  2. You need to plan time together
    After 30 years, 3 kids and both of them working, my parents prove it’s not only important but very possible to still make time for each other. They exercise together every week, go for beach walks, have movie nights, head out dinner or even out dancing and I believe that making time just for each other has been an important part of their long lasting marriage.
  3. You need to plan time apart
    On the other hand, they also plan separate holidays – my mum goes on girls’ weekend getaways, my dad goes on boys’ golf trips and they each have their own, separate hobbies. This has also taught me that keeping your own identity and giving your partner space means you’re likely to be even happier to see one another when you come back together.
  4. Sometimes love means agreeing to do it their way
    During any relationship there will be times you disagree with your partner’s way of doing things. Sometimes these are big things (raising children) and sometimes they are little things (how to cook chicken). If you know your partner really cares about how to cook chicken and you only kind of care, bow down and tell them you think their way is a good idea. From what I’ve seen, it makes everyone’s lives easier.
  5. It’s all about offering to make a cup of coffee
    Big romantic gestures are nice, but my parents prove that it’s the small gestures that really count. Every morning my mum offers to make my dad a cup of coffee and every night he offers to make her a cup of tea. These ridiculously simple gestures show you are thinking about the other person and offering to do something that will make their lives that little bit sweeter.

Finally, I’d just like to give a big shout out to my parents, for they are the reason I continue to believe in love.

‘Til Death Do Us Part?

Marriage; the idea that we are meant to stay with one person for the rest of our lives. Have you ever stopped to think why we live like this? Why it is that we commit to spending our life with just one person? Why not multiple partners? All we know in the western world is monogamy. But what about polygamy? Much like Casey is the lesser known of the Affleck brothers, polygamy is the lesser known of marriages. It’s the marriage to multiple partners at the same time.

Of course, polygamy is often not recognised in today’s society, or is very rare in countries where it still is. So who decided we should only be with one person? The most common answer to this is religion. God. And we all follow along even though people claiming to have ‘no religion’ ranked second highest in the latest census.

People seem to have caught on that the idea of spending your entire life with just one person might not be all it’s cracked up to be. We’ve started marrying later in life, to make the most out of ‘being young and single’. The notion of breaking up a relationship because you’re too young to stay together forever is becoming more evident.

The way I see it, it’s easy to say you will stay best friends with someone your entire life, that’s a commitment most of us are happy to make. There are no legal documents involved, no messy divorce process if it doesn’t work out. And, most importantly, you’re allowed to have more than one bestfriend at a time. How easy it is to commit to something for life if you know it doesn’t mean also limiting yourself to it.

We have many different friends, each who fulfil different parts of ourselves and contribute different things to them, too. No one expects you to find everything you need in just one friend. There are many types of friends; party friends, trustworthy friends, serious friends, silly friends. And while some friends can seem to cover all bases, we still prefer to have more than one, just to keep things interesting. Of course, friends also have it a little easier than partners – they don’t have to share a mortgage with you, raise children with you, or make sure you’re physically satisfied.

This isn’t to say I’m against marriage, or I believe we can’t be with just one person for our entire lives. On the contrary, I’m quite a strong believer in monogamy and the thought that we can find love that will last a lifetime. I just can’t help but wonder if this is the way it was meant to be. Is it realistic to expect all our needs are met by just one person? Or are we setting ourselves up for (potentially) life-long disappointment?