I’ve heard the story before, and it makes me smile every time.  “I proposed on our second date,” he says.  He pauses for a reaction, then adds, “If I had known then how it would all turn out, I wouldn’t have messed around for that long.”

Then he goes on to say, “People think they are going to get married and live happily ever after.  Well…that actually happened to me.”

These words are particularly meaningful because I know that he doesn’t mean that their life together has always been easy. In fact, it seems to me they have gone through the hardest thing a marriage can – the loss of one of their children.

I think what he means is simply this – he chose well. They chose well. Even with all the heartache they have been through, the good times have far outweighed the bad, and they have loved each other through it all.

Ed once said to me, “The key to a happy marriage is to not bullshit each other about having common interests.” (Did I mention he has a way with words?). He said it a bit tongue in cheek, but really, when you extrapolate that a bit, I think there is quite a bit of wisdom there…

Here’s what I’ve noticed from watching them over the years –

They have friends that they enjoy spending time with as a couple, but they each also enjoy nurturing friendships independent from one another. They don’t rely on each other to fill every social and emotional need.

They very much enjoy each other’s company, but they aren’t afraid to spend time away from each other. In fact, they feel it is important.

One would never hold back the other from pursuing an interest, or taking a trip just because it does not interest the the them personally…and if it they don’t want to do it, they say so (and then add – but you go ahead!).

They play to each others strengths, and they don’t dwell on each others shortcomings.

They don’t try to change each other.

So, what’s their formula?  Perhaps…

Lots of love,

Devotion,

Breathing room,

Laughter,

…and a lack of bullshit.

Happy Golden Anniversary, you two. Fifty years of marriage is, to me, an awe-inspiring accomplishment.

I love you both very much.

 

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