So how did we actually get to this point?? I mean if anyone had told me in a blink of an eye, I’d be celebrating my 50th wedding anniversary I would have looked at them like they had 3 heads.

But here we are, celebrating an anniversary for old people but I’m not old so what’s up with that? Anyway, here is some sage advice which you may take or leave, or at the very least find interesting, on my philosophy as to how we got from January 10, 1970 to January 10, 2020.

So here’s my list

10: You’d better leave all selfishness behind I am the baby of two girls and that was a biggie for me. On the other hand Bill is the baby of 8, not such a big deal for him. No place for narcissism in marriage and yes, it’s not about YOU it’s about US and eventually THEM, God willing.

9: Communication So much is said about this but for me I’m told I communicate too much. Bill has often told me he’s on communication overload. When our kids were young and life was extremely hectic, we planned date nights where we could actually talk to each other and catch up as parents and a couple. It’s more than important to make eye contact and talk about whatever, feelings, plans for the future, kids. Ever go to a restaurant and see a couple staring off into space waiting for their meal. We aren’t that couple.

8: Work on your slovenliness Lucky for me, I am neater than Bill and always have been, even though he’s a better organizer. A made bed and picked up home up in the morning sets the tone for peacefulness throughout the day. Believe me, there were many days Bill walked in and it looked like all hell had broken out. Those were not the most pleasant of evenings since an organized picked up home leads to peace. My Grandma Vincenza would always say” Organazione is worth un a millione”.

7: Share the work at home If I cooked Bill washed. While he did yard work, I’d garden. When life got really crazy, a lot of this went to the wayside because we shared taxing 4 kids to their respective sports and activities, not a lot of time for tennis and golf. Refer to number 10.

6: All Fighting should be private Bill and I never fought in front of the kids. We may have been icy to each other at times but never verbally had it out in front of the kids. They never heard bad language from either one of us. There were times like in all marriages, we had rocky periods, but the kids were not involved on any level. I was raised in a very turbulent home. My parents were always at each other. Trust me, not good for the emotional security of the children.

5: Respect Even though you will have disagreements and fights don’t ever get to the point of disrespecting each other. We women know that we do have more of a verbal gift and that can be used to destroy a marriage. My Grandma Vincenza would always say “Aqua in bocca” as in keep water in your mouth so you can’t say something you’ll regret later, as in shut it!

4: Treat his family as your own I know his parents will never be your own mom and dad, but I came from a generation that took for granted you would refer to your in laws as mom and dad. Just truly respect his family and go out of your way for them. Trust me, that will touch your husband’s heart. Remember, one day you’re going to be a mother-in-law.

3: Laugh Don’t take yourself so seriously Bill and I actually poke fun at each other. We’ve been together long enough that even after hearing his dopey jokes for the 1,000th time, I still shake my head and laugh. We don’t cross the line into sacasm…warning NOT healthy, avoid at all costs.

2: Forgive from the heart No one is perfect and no marriage is perfect. We have all done things we regret having done. If you don’t want to end up on the heap of failed marriages it’s truly important to forgive and forget. If you’re rehashing things that’s not true forgiveness. When we married 50 years ago, even though we were a couple of kids, we took “for better or for worse” seriously.

1. Faith I’m totally baffled how people get through this life without it. I’d say the most important thing that has been the super glue of our marriage is our shared faith. We have not always practiced as fervently as we do now, but we were always serious about the faith that had been handed down to us. Life throws lots of curve balls and with God in your marriage, you have all you need to hang on and get to the other side of the rapids. It takes 3 to make a marriage. If you’re missing the most important piece, you’re paddling upstream. Why not enjoy the ride of your life!

January 8, 2020