ROMANCE: IS IT FOR EVERYONE?
Yesterday my husband and I went to the bank to deposit money for Georgia Romance Writers and then on to Wal-Mart to buy some food and some plants.
The teller at Bank of America noticed the name on the deposit slip and wondered if I was Georgia Romance Writers. After explaining about the organization and telling her that I was a romance author, she became excitedly interested. You see, she reads romance “all the time.” Then she went on to explain that her husband gives her a hard time about reading “that stuff” so she told him that she wouldn’t have to read about it if she got it at home. (ohmygosh!) I gave her my card and one for PetitFoursandHotTamales and she said she would check us out.
Then I went on to Wal-Mart where hubby pushed one cart (with the potted flowers we want to buy) and I pushed another cart with some grocery items. When we got to the counter, my husband came up to my cart to help me with the cases of Coke on the bottom carry rack of the cart.
“Here, let me help you,” he said. “Why, thank you, sir,” I responded. When he finished, he went back to his cart, but my quiet husband and I like to play games sometimes, so I turned to the cashier and said,
“Since he was so kind and helpful, just ring his things up on my tab and I’ll pay for them.” The young girl looked like she wasn’t sure what she should do.
“Well, okay, I guess…if you’re sure.”
Dick started laughing and told me that I had to tell her the truth. (Guess he cared more about the young girl’s concerns than he did about us getting a laugh out of our joke) So I laughingly told her that we have been married 4 decades. She laughed also and looked relieved.
Then came the questions. “You guys have been married twice as long as I’ve been alive. How do you make it work?”
She isn’t married, so I started out with what I hope was sage advice.
* Be picky. Don’t marry the first guy who comes along.
* Try to spend enough time with the person to be sure he won’t be emotionally, physically or verbally abusive.
* Try to be honest about whether you really want to look at this person for the next 40, 50, or more years.
Then I explained my faith in God and how faith and religion play a huge part in our distribution of responsibility in our marriage. I believe the man is the head of the family, so if we can’t agree or we can’t find a compromise, I bow to his leadership. (Unless, of course, he wanted me to be involved in something illegal, but I’m not worried there)
The conversation on that subject ended with my husband adding that if couples could stop and think for 5 seconds before speaking out in anger…taking the time to quickly determine if whatever the discussion is about will actually be important next year, that might curtail a lot of disagreements. “Prioritize before engaging in a fight,” he told her.
So, with the divorce rate in America today at over 50%, what’s your suggestions to long-term marital bliss? What do you think is needed to turn a good marriage into a GREAT marriage? What do you think are required traits in a mate? Does romance figure in your happily-ever-after?