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Enduring Marriages

Updated on April 30, 2017
Church, or town hall, private ceremony or gala reception, marriages have a beginning.  They need not have an end.
Church, or town hall, private ceremony or gala reception, marriages have a beginning. They need not have an end. | Source

Keys to Success:

My ancestors for generations have had successful marriages. My wife's ancestors have had them too.

Why did those marriages last so well, even in the face of severe trials, hardships, and daily challenges?

Maturity is one good answer. The couples knew at the outset that fairy tales are not reality, and that mutual sacrifice would be called for. Their marriages were based on sound principles.

A common, shared purpose is one good answer. They knew each other's goals and shared them. They knew that success in achieving those goals would take both of them working cooperatively.

Dedication to the family was one of those shared goals. If any decision was not in the best interests of the family as a whole, they searched together for a better one.

As mortal, fallible men and women, they knew that they would each make mistakes and need to regroup. Forgiveness would be needed, if trust was damaged. One, and both, were resolved to work through such times and respect each other's dignity for the long haul.

This is not a discussion of why some marriages fail and fall short of success.

Shared values that are important to the man and the woman, are a key component of marital success. Those shared values make it possible for the couple to be greater than the sum of the parts.

A sense of humor is one good answer. It takes a sense of humor to raise children, and see the humor in knowing that in their youth they had made many of the same mistakes their children would make and overcome.

Love that is based on substance is an essential answer, for sacrifice is essential. When such sacrifice is made on the basis of love, it makes each sacrifice a treasured memory to look back on with satisfaction, thankfulness, and pride.

The ability of each partner to willingly sacrifice for the other is the glue that cements successful relationships.

A young man was once asked about his view of marriage. He had asked for permission to marry a man's daughter. He replied, "Well, I think marriage should be 50/50."

His future father-in-law replied that, if the marriage was to survive all life's challenges, their marriage would have to be 100/100 so that the total was always 200.

He went on to explain that there would be days, weeks, and months...even which the young man and his intended bride might find it difficult or impossible to each give their 100% as in normal times. When those times happen, the stronger partner would need to make up the difference, knowing that their partner would do the same, if the circumstances were reversed.

The young man nodded with understanding knowing full well that he was joining a family where that definition of marriage was understood and practiced.

He and his bride were fortunate to have received such wise counsel and examples to live by.

Half of marriages do not fail. Half of couples fail in their responsibility to the other half.

Every marriage will have weaknesses. It is the combined strengths of the partners which will keep it strong and enduring for their mutual benefit and joy.

Fair days, or stormy days, couples that stay together handle such times together.



© 2017 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.


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    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 8 months ago from North Texas

      An enduring marriage is not necessarily a successful or good marriage, depending on how you define successful.

      Lots of women in the bad old days had no other option than to 'endure' their husband's abuse and so their marriages lasted a lifetime. Even though women have many more opportunities today, lots of women still stay with their abusers because they are beaten into believing they are worthless and unable to do anything to take care of themselves or any children they may have. While such marriages endure, I wouldn't call them successful or desirable.

      Unless one is part of a particular marriage they cannot know for a certainty that it is a good marriage, rather than a marriage where one partner endures the abuse of the other for many years or a lifetime. Yes, women can be abusive too, and a surprising number of men 'endure' it, often for the same reasons women do.

      I have heard people describe marriages that lasted 10 years before divorce as successful. That is because so many marriages do not make even 5 years. Marriage is far less popular than it used to be by about 50% compared to the 1950s, and it continues to decline in popularity. There is no end to the different ways people are designing their marriages in an effort to help them endure.

      Traditional marriages are becoming fewer and fewer. I'm not saying that's a good thing. Only that it is a fact of life today.

      I think the things you write here are good things and it would be nice if all marriages included them, but sadly many marriages do not.

      You have some excellent advice here, but I fear today most people are too self-absorbed to give the necessary 150% everyday, much less carry the weight alone when their partner is unable to do so for some reason.

      I really think most people are becoming less mature and more into instant gratification from whatever grabs their attention at the moment. I really think few marriages these days ever know the satisfaction, the closeness, or the happiness of staying with the same partner through thick and thin for a lifetime.

      You definitely give people some important things to think about here when they are contemplating marriage.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 9 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      As with all human relationships there are joyous and inspiring marriages, tragic and disgusting marriages. The enduring marriages bring new joy. The others bring new sadness and sometimes even bruises and worse.

      Here's a toast to the good ones that partners build and grow, and to the children blessed to be a part of one.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 10 months ago

      It sounds like you understand marriage and have a good one, Demas. Good photo of you and your lovely bride. Growing up, I heard tales of marriage that were just as bad as any today except that the couples stayed together. My grandfather's oldest brother had a wife addicted to laudanum and my great grandparents raised their only child. My aunt went back to her cheating abusive husband because he took their son from her. A friend my age told me that her parents lived in opposite sides of their house because her mother was so mean and vindictive. Grandpa's brother either really loved his wife or felt it his responsibility to support her and her habit. My aunt was capable of supporting herself, and she did for seven years. The other couple couldn't afford the scandal of a divorce because he was a local school principal. Nuff said.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 10 months ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations on your enduring marriage and thanks for sharing your wise perspectives.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 10 months ago

      "Why did those marriages last so well, even in the face of severe trials, hardships, and daily challenges?"

      There are a number of reasons why marriages lasted longer in past eras in the U.S.

      To start with there were defined gender roles. Secondly "expectations" were different especially of husbands.

      During the 1960s we had the "free love" movement where couples began to frequently cohabitate, birth control methods improved, and many social stigmas fell by the wayside.

      However the biggest change has been better career and income opportunities for (women). You take the bitter with the sweet.

      In past eras many women were completely dependent upon their husbands financially. This may have caused many of them to endure unhappy marriages for fear of lower living standards.

      Today women are running corporations like General Motors, Xerox, Oracle Software, Hewlett Packard, and so forth.

      It's been reported that in the U.S. (women) initiate 66% or 2/3rds of all divorce filings. The irony is men are thought to want to avoid marriage early on; but they're not the ones filing for divorce.

      The more options one has the less crap they will put up with!