Marriage Advice from an Old Hen
I wrote marriage advice from an old hen on Rooster and my forty-five years wedding anniversary. We’ve managed to live together for a long time like one another. In my book, that makes us experts on marriage, so I decided to write this blog. #marraige #advice #respect #love
Today is Rooster and my forty-fifth wedding anniversary. They said it wouldn’t last. According to research statistics, we shouldn’t have made it past the first year. We both came from broken homes. Both of our parental units divorced when we were young children. Mine never got a legal divorce. My dad left us. My mother said she’d be damned if she’d pay for a lawyer. It was her belief if he wanted to leave, he could shell out the money.
We didn’t hear from my dear old dad for the next thirty years. When he died, a letter from the Social Security Administration arrived in the mail. Mom was entitled to his benefits because she was still his legal wife. This was a tragedy for the woman he was married to in Missouri. Dad never got around to filing for divorce. He thought my mom would come after him for child support if he did. We didn’t have good role models to demonstrate for us what a long-lasting healthy marriage looked like.
Our wedding ceremony
Our wedding ceremony was the first clue we were headed for trouble. It was 1974. We were living in the shadows of the hippie days of the 1960s. I was eighteen. Rooster was twenty. He asked me to marry him at an Aerosmith concert while they were playing Dream On. You can say it’s our song. I told him I would think about it, but I eventually said yes.
We got hitched on August third in a little Baptist church in the neighborhood where I lived. I carried stolen flowers from the yard next to the church. The preacher asked if anyone could play the piano. A guy we knew only as Bones stood up. He said he could play Let it Be with one hand and the theme to The Banana Splits Comedy Hour with two. That was the tune playing when I walked down the church aisle to become Rooster’s wife. My mother refused to come to the wedding.
Marriage Advice from an Old Hen number one: it is always a bad sign when the preacher cries
The preacher cried during the ceremony. The man thought he was committing an enormous sin by marrying us on his twentieth wedding anniversary. I don’t believe he wouldn’t have agreed to perform the ceremony if he’d met us prior to us showing up at the church. The ceremony he performed was as a favor for a member of his congregation.
We’d have pictures to prove this was how our wedding took place if the guy who volunteered to snap them had remembered to put the film in the camera. The wedding party scrounged up enough money to pay for concert tickets to see, Blue Oyster Cult, KISS, and the James Gang for our unofficial wedding reception. We left the church and made our way to Indianapolis. If you said Rooster and I didn’t take the institution of marriage seriously, you wouldn’t have been wrong.
Marriage Advice from an Old Hen number two: expect your spouse will change over the years
Rooster and I have changed over the years. We never made the transition into yuppie upper-middle-class people like many members of our generation. Indeed, we managed to stick to one another like glue through the good times and the bad times. A choice we made early in our relationship served as the bedrock of our marriage. We vowed to go on this journey through life until one of us made their way to Heaven. I’m not saying there weren’t rough times.
Marriage Advice from an Old Hen number three: every partner in a marriage has a bad day
Every couple has days when they look at their partner and wished they’d disappear. What we learned was how to ride out those rough patches until we could manage to fall in love again. We’ve come to the point in our relationship where we enjoy one another’s company more than we did in the early years.
Our feelings are more intense than even when we were experiencing the first passions of falling in love. I guess it is because we’ve done it so many times. Fortunately, the person of our affection was each other. We have successfully navigated the emotional waters of married life and came out on the shores of a harmonious relationship.
People don’t often listen to advice. They think it might be too difficult to implement. It won’t work for them because they are different. There are too many obstacles in their way to carry out the instructions. They’re young and things are different these days. I understand the logic, but I’m going to give you some advice anyway.
I’m an old lady. That’s what we do. Forty-five years of marriage and still being in love with my husband should qualify me on this subject. So here goes.
A practical list of Marriage Advice from an Old Hen
Don’t be selfish.
- It’s human nature to want to have your own way, but in real life, you don’t always get what you want. If your partner is always receiving the short end of the stick, resentment is going to build. You should share everything. This includes your time, money, and emotional support
Argue the issue and not the person.
- Don’t resort to name-calling or play the blame game. “You always” stuff should be replaced with “I feel like” words. The job of a good marriage is to build one another up, not tear each other down. Show a little grace when you argue. Remember you’re not always right.
Show some respect.
- Treat the other person like you want to be treated. Give your partner a place of honor in your life.
Learn how to compromise.
- Political parties do it all the time, and they don’t like each other. Why shouldn’t two people who love one another learn how to give and take.
Acknowledge the spiritual significance of your relationship.
- Four years into our marriage rooster and I became Christians. We realized marriage was a sacrament not to be taken lightly. This realization helped us to stay committed when there were times it would have been simpler to walk away.
Don’t let the word “I want a divorce” come out of your mouth.
- I know it can be hard not to make the threat in the heat of the moment, but if your marriage matters to you don’t let the thought cross your mind.
Pay attention to the physical life of your relationship.
- I know couples can stop having sex. It can become dull after a while. Sex with your spouse is important. Don’t allow this part of your relationship to die.
Always remain faithful to your spouse.
- I know everybody gets tempted, but nothing spoils a relationship faster than cheating.
Never do physical violence to one another.
- I know things can get intense at times, but nothing gives you the right to attack another person with physical violence.
Always remember to have adventures.
- It’s easy to fall into a routine. Life can get busy with making a living and raising the kids, but as a couple, you need to have a little fun. Your spouse will be there long after the kids are gone. It’s important not to become strangers living in the same house. Having adventures is the spice of life. Try to take one together whenever you have a chance.
I know there are deal breakers in marriage. Infidelity, physical and emotional violence, and addiction top the list. These problems aren’t easy to overcome. Sometimes you have no other choice put to leave because you are in an unsafe environment. You shouldn’t consider yourself a failure if you make your exit under these circumstances. Both parties in the relationship must work together as a team.
Fortunately, Rooster and I learned how to do this early in our marriage. We grabbed ahold of the important stuff and came out winners. We’ve had the honor of strolling hand in hand through the minefields of life with millions of memories to hold onto when times get tough. We are determined to face the challenges of aging with the mindset of adventures. We know whatever lies ahead we will face it together’
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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