Sunday, February 8, 2015

Success by Diane Burton

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. ~ Henry Ford

Several years ago, I worked with a young woman who was going through (and ending) a difficult marriage. When my anniversary came around, she asked how we stayed together so long—now 42 years. I wished I could have told her Henry Ford’s quote. How very true it is about a marriage. Also true for any partnership.

I did tell her that marriage is not a 50-50 deal. Sometimes one gives more than 50% and sometimes the other person does. But it should never be the same person always giving.

Hubs and I came together on a blind date. And we clicked. You know how a romance starts. Stars in the eyes. We see no wrongs. Our loved one is perfect. After the wedding, reality sets in. He leaves his underwear on the floor and the toilet seat up. She nags. Kids come along and she’s overwhelmed with diapers and mountains of laundry. He comes home from the factory or office, worn out by heat, traffic, and bosses who require the impossible. All he wants is peace and quiet. She wants adult conversation. Even though that’s a scenario probably not relevant to today’s couple, there have to be some similarities.

I followed my husband’s job to five different cities. Just when I got settled in one spot, we moved again. Five times in a long marriage is nothing compared to what the families of our service men and women endure. Each move required me staying behind to deal with the details of putting a house up for sale, arranging for movers, transferring the kids’ school records, etc. That’s when I felt like I was giving a whole lot more than 50%. Often I didn’t think how lonely it had to be for Hubs living in a motel room while his family was hundreds of miles away. Driving (or flying) home every weekend with its incumbent stress while trying to provide financially for his family must have felt like he was giving the most.

It’s a good thing we don’t keep score. LOL

What we have figured out is that we each have our strengths. By building on those strengths, our marriage goes on. Has it always been wonderful? Of course not. But even during times of stress, we’ve talked out our problems and worked together. That’s success.

This week I'm participating in the Love at First Sight Valentine's Day Hop. Great prizes. Check it out.


Margo Hoornstra said...

So true, Diane. Kudos to you both for the success. We're edging toward toward 47 years. It's been quite a journey, with the ups and downs. Sometimes sideways. ;-)

Jannine Gallant said...

Sounds like you have your own personal recipe for success nailed. Good for you! We'll celebrate the Big 20 this summer. Compared to you and Margo, I'm a newbie at this marriage thing!

Christine DePetrillo said...

I'm even newer, Jannine! We'll be celebrating our 17th anniversary in April. Great post, Diane.

Diane Burton said...

Margo, you are so right about the ups & downs & sideways. LOL Congrats on 7 years. You must have been a child. :)

Jannine & Chris, no matter how long we've been married, we're all newbies--always learning.

Alison Henderson said...

Oh, the teeter-totter of marriage! We're coming up on 32 years, and I can't think of a single one of them that's been "easy". I guess the true test is that I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. (I can't speak for OG - learned long ago not to try to put words in his mouth.)

Diane Burton said...

LOL, Alison about speaking for OG. I try not to do that either. :)

Leah St. James said...

Excellent examples of the give-and-take in a successful relationship, Diane. My hubby and I will be celebrating our 36th anniversary in April, and when I look back at all that's happened, good and bad, the one thing that sticks out is that we were together. Nice post

Rolynn Anderson said...

Truer words... We're both optimists, Diane, so that helps. We're going on 44 years married, so I know what you're talking about. Plus I'm an Army brat...well tuned to moving. I read an article the other day that said money (having it) is the single most indicator of a successful marriage. Seemed unromantic. Respect and friendship are linch pins in my mind...but security matters.