About 9 months ago my dear friend Valerie asked me to be her Matron of Honor. I was honored to stand up with her because I believed in my heart that she was marrying her "One" and I knew that they would fight to make their marriage work. I also knew that they would overcome whatever life threw at them. I watched them do it time and again so I knew they would do whatever it took. I saw them work through hard things and face hard things without batting an eyelash. I also saw them interact and cultivate flexibility in their friendships so I knew they could do it with each other.
I read this poem today and it really does speak to the ideals necessary to keep a marriage strong. So I dedicate this poem to them and also to all the married people that work hard to keep their marriage alive and kicking. Killing a marriage dead is easy to do, it is keeping it alive that needs to be worked then celebrated. So I hope that I do not get in trouble posting this poem by Wilferd Arlan Peterson because I did not get permission to post it here but it was listed as a free poem that can be used when writing marriage vows. I would rather like to use it as a reminder of what I need to do to keep marriage alive. After 15 years of being married to the same person, I read this poem and I just want to strive to be the right partner to the man I married. And perhaps give my newly married friends a little guide to keeping it alive in the process.
The Art Of A Good Marriage
by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end
with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner