Sunday, May 25, 2008

60th Wedding Anniversary

60th Wedding Anniversary

I am making one of my periodic visits to my daughter, who lives on the West Coast of Florida.  Last evening, it was my good fortune to share in the 60th Wedding anniversary of a couple in their eighties, the parents of one of my daughter’s close friends.  Regular dormgrandpop readers know that long, apparently happy, marriages interest me. 

This couple, I will call them James and Serena, were delightful and still seemed very much in love.  In Judith Wallerstein’s four-part taxonomy of ‘good marriages,’ - romantic, rescue, companionate and traditional, theirs seemed to fit the ‘romantic' category best.  They had met in high school and married at nineteen.  A strong physical attraction was an important motivation to marry so young. “You just couldn’t live together, back then,” Serena reflected.  Their first child came along nine months later.  ‘We were having sex morning, noon, and night,' Serena told me unabashedly, 'it was hardly surprising that a child came along so quickly.'  That was one remarkable thing about this couple; they seemed totally comfortable discussing the physical aspects of their more than sixty-year love affair with a large table full of forty-somethings and younger.  Though we discussed other aspects of relationships, during a long, several-course dinner, this made the discussion more candid - and more fun.

Whenever I meet a long-married couple, I query them about the secret of their successful relationship.  When I asked James, his response was unhesitating.  “Good communication,” was his response.  You have to  be willing to talk to your partner; you have to be be willing to say what you think and feel.”  Serena chimed in, finishing his sentence as long and happily married couples often do.  “...and you have to be willing to listen; to listen with with attention  and respect for what your partner has to say.”


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