We love our “Words of Wisdom” feature where long-married couples get to share their take on what makes a successful marriage. Sometimes poignant, often funny, but always right on the mark.
In our current Summer/Fall 2015 issue of Real Weddings Magazine, we feature Cathy & William Brooks, who are celebrating 25 wonderful years of marriage.
We asked this Sacramento couple, “What do you think makes a marriage last 25 years, and what do you think it takes to make a marriage happy?”
Here, their “Words of Wisdom:”
Cathy’s response: When I saw my husband across the room for the first time I had that instant draw, as we all do according to the laws of animal attraction! On our first date, he came prepared with a list of interesting things to do, and brought a tie just in case it was needed according to my choice of activity…he had me at “interesting and creative.” I also noticed early on that he was as passionate about family as I was.
All of the reasons we choose to couple up, along with the attraction we have for each other, are the elements we needed to remember as we moved forward (and continue to move forward!) through the years. The concept of changing a person or even hoping to is an idea to banish right away! It’s the differences between the two of you that brings the interest to the relationship.
Respect for each other is one of the words of wisdom to hold close to your heart as you move forward. We have raised two beautiful children as a team, and I am grateful for his assistance and presence with every breath I take. Treat your partner with love day in and day out, and if you hit a negative patch, think deeply about how to let the positive aspects of that moment shine through and concentrate on that.
Get excited about each other’s passions and have fun laughing together. Marriage is like paddling down a river: There are times when you sit back and enjoy the view; times to work with strategy through those big rapids; and times to negotiate the boulders. It’s all so much fun. Always seek the joyful and remember: Your moment is now.
William’s response: Thankfully everyone is different, so I can only speak for myself.
Both of you will grow and evolve with time. Accept each other’s differences and independence.
Try not to get stuck in the same old routines; change is good. However crazy your partner’s idea might seem, try and be supportive. Give your point of view, but accept that it’s yours, and support her in hers.
You never know…when she says something like, “Why don’t we cut down on meat and packaged food?” The next minute you will find yourself craving raw, organic, vegetable smoothies, swimming faster lengths, and feeling so much healthier.
Always listen when she says , “You’re not going out dressed like that, are you?”
A household appliance does not count as a Christmas gift—make it more personal.
Communicate. Flirt, hug, laugh and kiss often.
Never take your partner for granted.
Run an errand for her, bring her tea, act like a team, and all this will come back to you.
If you can, take a break from the grind. Have a weekend away, or just do something romantic. Surprise her: It can be small like a favorite restaurant, or a movie you will both enjoy. Stay in and watch a chick flick together (but don’t expect her to watch your action thriller another night).
When on vacation, plan an extra excursion, just for her. Buy her some flowers occasionally, just to show you love her.
Life can be tough, and obviously easier when you can pay the bills.
On occasion, you will drive each other crazy.
People make mistakes, but don’t take it out on each other.
Never leave an argument overnight. Make up, and life will be much happier.
From what I can see, no marriage is smooth sailing—everyone hits a rocky patch or two. If you can work through it together, you will find yourself much closer afterward.
Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Social Media Maven, Aimee Carroll.
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