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Love and Marriage
As a young adult I use to look to the marriages of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and especially my paternal grandparents Charles Kimbrough and Artina Settles Kimbrough.
My idealism has somewhat changed as I have become older, especially when I found myself as a divorced single parent twice. For me three times is a charm!
The following are tributes that I created over the years of marriages that last:
Thank you again to the Davis family, and Ms. Gladys Knight and the Pips. Mrs. Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis was an extraordinary love story.
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This article was written based on my own experiences and observation. I have exchanged vows three times in my life but I have only been married once experiencing a marriage of leverage. My true experience of a marriage committed to trust, open communication, and a strategic commitment of a long-term marriage did not occur until my third marriage.
The first time I exchanged vows was at eighteen years old and I wanted to leave the house and enter the military. I thought I was in love and I thought I was mature. Unfortunately, he showed me physical, mental, psychological abuse and he was unfaithful. The second time I was married after leaving a physically abusive first marriage. These decisions caused me to run right into another abusive relationship. Obviously, due to the abuse in both marriages, I never spent a complete consecutive year with marriage one or two. After the final divorce I spent ten years by myself before the third and final marriage. I was ready for marriage for once in my life and I experience self-assurance, self-love, and self-growth during those ten years.
My husband and I both want the same things in life, a committed relationship built on trust and partnership, a comfortable home and simple life, and most importantly a Christian faith based marriage. He is three years younger than me but he has old fashioned values and we fit comfortably. We enjoy watching the same movies, television shows, music (at times), foods, and child rearing. Marriage is not perfect but we keep God as our primary foundation to reach the closest possibility of perfection!
Blessings and love,
Joan Ellen Gandy
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Today, celebrity couples and marriage lasts between days and several months. In the United States, there are various percentages of how long a marriage will last and how it will end in divorce. However, maybe we are going about marriage all wrong and we have to look at a marriage as a lifelong partnership and association. Remove the word and thought of divorce prior, during and after a marriage! Marriage has to be an active role in a strategic advantage or a strategy of commitment for a lifetime and beyond!
What consists of a strategy of commitment for a lifetime beyond?
Actively engaging in open communication and actively building upon trust is where the foundation of a marriage should be formed.
Refraining from actively engaging in an argument will help to provide an atmosphere of open communication and consideration; as a result, actively engaging in an argument will lead to a negative atmosphere of a shut down on communication and consideration! Arguments create tension that fractures a relationship when unresolved.
We all have moments within our marriage when we become angry and or hurt. Some of us become so angry that we react in hate and our emotionally based actions and reactions can produce greater tensions within our marriage. For example, it takes a lot for me to raise my voice and on the other hand my husband raises his voice within seconds. What is my reaction to him raising his voice? I am only human and I will raise my voice to talk over him as if I was talking to Soldiers in my military voice. In the Army often as women we have to prove that we are as rigid in all levels of leadership just as men. I will admit that my reaction is incorrect because it only intensifies the situation and it is detrimental to our daughter, our relationship and our neighbors. The few times that we have raised our voices to each other, we begin to realize that our response to each other has to be respectful and thoughtful! It takes maturity to communicate and respond to anyone in a civilized way.
Marriage should never be a roller coaster based on an emotionally fractured relationship. If a marriage has an emotional roller coaster based on the relationship, it will not be able to survive crisis that may arise and or life tragedies from outside occurrences. Just as the visualization of a roller coaster that is built on a firm foundation, the relationship should be able to take the ride of life together.
Prior to marriage:
All couples should go through pre-marital counseling because often love and attraction may cloud one’s judgment and selecting the right lifetime mate. If we marry for the wrong reasons, the marriage will eventually show problems.
A marriage based on convenience will become an inconvenience.
A marriage based on attraction will become a marriage of unattractiveness.
A marriage based on the need for security will become a marriage with insecurities.
Early stages of a marriage:
There are often signs that people fail to accept or examine during the early stages of a relationship. Remove and document all the layers of facts based on occurrences versus facts based on emotional response and thought processes. Remove facts based on emotional response and thought processes from previous bad relationship because they are not based on factual evidence and reality. Why ruin your marriage based on rumors and unsubstantiated facts? Instill your mental, intellectual and rational thought process of each layer of facts based on occurrences, factual evidence and reality. Don’t give up on your marriage! Talk to your spouse about attending marriage counseling and spiritual counseling from your religious leader and or licensed marriage counselor. If the marriage has physical, mental, psychological abuse it is time to leave and seek help from your religious leader, domestic violence group and or law enforcement. Abuse should never be accepted, tolerated or allowed in any relationship! Every life is valuable and domestic abuse can cost a valuable life! Those who abuse their spouse or partner needs to seek counseling and help immediately! Abusive behavior passes from one generation to the next!
As the years go by within a marriage, time changes the dynamics of a relationship. Our children grow up and leave the house and begin their life as adults. The retirement years will arrive and the relationship will encounter or revisit any fractures that have not been repaired in the past. Why? You and your spouse will spend more time together either in a positive or negative matter. These moments will be a time to interact with each other without work and children to consume your time. Work on any deficiencies and fractures within a relationship when it first appears. The healing begins when you actively treat and care for those fractures. Yet again, a strong marriage cooperates and participates in an active role formed in a strategic advantage or a strategy of commitment for a lifetime and beyond!
Those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” Isaiah 40:31, NIV.