Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the art of marriage

When I was choosing a photo for last Friday's post I knew I wanted a shot of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, the Hollywood superstars whose 50 year marriage was very un-Hollywood.   It wasn't a fairytale beginning, he was married when they met and the decades later he spoke candidly about the guilt he felt over that painful breakup.  After a rocky start they wed in 1958 and were married until his death in 2008.  I love that in all their photos from gorgeous youth to golden years they always seem to be getting a terrific kick out of one another.  I've also always loved the reading from their wedding which is beautifully romantic but seems wonderfully pragmatic as well.  And it seemed to work for them...

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. 
A good marriage must be created. 
In the Art of 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 all 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 in 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 expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. 
It is not looking for perfection in each other. 
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. 
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. 
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. 
It is finding room for the things of the spirit. 
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.

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