Next month my wife and I will have completed 20 years of marriage.
Do I have any advice on how to make a marriage successful? No.
You will have to make your own mistakes and learn from them. Just leave lots of room for forgiveness from both parties.
They say that communication is an important part of a successful marriage.
To that, I say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You got any other nuggets of wisdom? Like check your tire pressure before leaving on a long trip? How about always make sure the refrigerator door is shut all the way?”
To make any endeavor requiring more than one person successful requires communication – marriage and everything else.
My parents were married more than 50 years and when I think about their communication, they did not have it nailed down exactly, but they did have a system.
One of my favorite memories of them is when we had chickens up until the mid-1960s. At the end of each day, after supper, they would sit at the kitchen table and wash the day’s collection of eggs, one egg at a time.
We had about 500 chickens so there would be usually more than 400 eggs to wash each day.
My job was to pick the eggs after school, and then with a damp cloth in one hand and a pail of eggs on a chair for each of them they would go over each egg removing anything that did not belong on that egg.
During that time they would talk to each other, each evening, seven days a week.
This job usually took around 90 minutes and when they had finished, they usually would finish what was left of that day’s coffee.
Think about it. They did what marriage counselors tell couples to do and then got to keep the egg money. There is your win-win.
Once the chickens were gone, they no longer had their daily lengthy evening conversation, but it must have created a good habit for the rest of their marriage.
My wife and I do not have any eggs to wash each day at the kitchen table like my parents did.
We do try to make our best attempts at communication which like anything in a marriage has mixed results. That is where the “lots of room for forgiveness” comes in.
Our best communicating is done when there is a minimum of distractions.
My main complaint is the television, an annoying third party in a room that won’t shut up and frequently is not all that interesting.
I believe my wife would say that I should quit always having my nose in something (the computer comes to mind) and look up and pay attention.
Now you know what I meant when I said, “mixed results.”
We had a discovery in getting rid of distractions when last Sunday afternoon we lost our electricity for a couple hours.
There was no noise anywhere, not from electronic devices, the furnace, even the clocks stopped.
All we could do was talk to each other. It wasn’t too bad.
I’m ready for another 20 years.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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