60 Years

These photos are from a few weeks back, when we were in Arizona to celebrate Willy’s grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. I had intentions of writing a post about what 60 years of love must be like before I realized that me writing on the subject would be like a caterpillar telling you what it must be like to be a butterfly.
What I can tell you, from the relatively short time Willy and I have been married, is that marriage is work in the same sense that children are work. Anyone who tells you they don’t have to work at their marriage and says raising their children was a breeze is lying. Or maybe they refuse to use the word “work” to describe what in actuality is an ongoing metamorphosis powered by love.
No matter how you chose to talk about it, marriage does not come without sacrifice and does not survive without communication. I shared some things I had learned in this post, but here are some other tidbits on marriage. These aren’t, by the way, meant to be my advice to you… Rather, these are things that little voice in my head whispers to myself. I know nothing about your relationship, only what works for us…
-Don’t forget about one another. When you have children, it’s easy to focus all your attention on them. I think most woman would agree that even buying things for yourself takes a backseat to buying things for your children instead. It’s easy to forget about your own needs, let alone the needs of your spouse. Children are great; They certainly are your most beautiful art project. But in the midst of loving them, you must remember to nurture the love for which their existence is founded upon. I remember observing relationships of my friends parents when I was growing up. There were those that seemed to get along but didn’t seem to be “in love”, so-to-say. Then were those that fought all the time, regardless of your presence. And then there were those that still touched each other, still gazed lovingly at one another across the room, and still chose to spend time with one another. It’s important, for me, for my children to see our love and feel like they are a part of it.
–Stay strong but not stubborn.
-Vent. It’s easy to keep things inside but it’s not so easy to keep them inside when they begin to compile ontop of one another. Sometimes something Willy is doing doesn’t bother me the first time, but by the fifth time I’m about ready to tear my hair out (oh lord, another hair reference? Really Ashley? Let it go, your hair will grow back…). I’m fortunate in the sense that Willy welcomes my vent sessions and, by the end of the ranting and raving, I think we both feel better. Venting is necessary to move forward. Almost always after we put it out on the table, it’s considered dealt with. I love that about our relationship.
-Life is like a Chinese finger trap; When it gets too tight, you have to relax.  Keep it light. Life is hard. Work is hard. Caring for children is hard. So when you can, find humor in the everyday. I promise, it’s there.
Who knows, maybe in 57 more years I’ll be recapping the highs and the lows of marriage over a 60 year time span. Sixty years. I’ll let that sink in.
Have you let that marinate? So here’s to love and life and togetherness. Feel free to share what fuels your love and/or marriage.
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26 Responses

  • I really adore this post and really liked what you wrote: “Children are great; They certainly are your most beautiful art project. But in the midst of loving them, you must remember to nurture the love for which their existence is founded upon.” So perfect and so true.

    By the way I just voted for you 😉

  • I couldn’t agree more with you about the venting! We do that too. Especially, when we first moved together. Our friends always thought/think, that we were/are fighting really much. But that isn’t true. We just tell each other, what drives us nuts. And I think, that this is really healthy. Although we may be a bit pissed at that moment, we always learn from it and get over it. I think it’s something like a key to live happily together and to avoid frustration.

    I love the photos!!

  • I probably only been married a couple years longer than you, but we’re going on 13 years together. We thought we were pros until kids came along! I couldn’t agree more on communication and humor being priorities in a marriage. Its definitely hard work, but after a night of trying not to go to bed mad… its nice to wake up and see you aren’t alone in it all. I’m lucky to have a husband to help me with bathtime!!! its not that either of us NEED the help, its just the easiest time to spend together and talk about our day!! without yelling at the kids, or trying to get things done. Plus we always acknowledge eachother, when extra effort is put in. Always remind eachother of how lucky you feel that you found eachother, and how awesome they are with the kids. 60 years is an awesome accomplishment, if only we could be so lucky! i guess only time will tell. 🙂

  • Amazing photos! Agreed on all parts. Marriage is hard, but like with anything in life, nothing worth having is ever easy. It takes a lot of work, but if you work at something you love, the rewards of your labor are never ending.

  • omg what beautiful pictures/words/everything!
    The forgetting about each other bit really hit home for me, I read a great article on the subject the other day and I have been thinking about it a lot. I’ve always had a healthy view on relationships as I saw how wonderful my parents was and how much they loved each other and I think that it so important to show your kids. Its hard to find a balance sometimes though isn’t it. Well Tom and I have only been together 4 years and I just worked out I will be 83 if we manage to make it that long, I hope so x

  • What a beautiful testimony to a wonderful couple! A life fully lived with love and devotion. Marriage is work! You are wise beyond your years. It is so worth it! Hi to Willie and those beautiful boys!

  • I can’t express how ‘Wowed’ I am by these photos . They really capture something special. They are so lucky , and you have such a talent!

  • “Life is like a Chinese finger trap; When it gets too tight, you have to relax. Keep it light. Life is hard.”

    too true!! i’m not a momma or a wife yet, but that’s a good way to view life no matter what. very inspiring!


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