As mentioned previously, my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. If you know my parents this should come as no surprise to you. You can't picture them not being married to each other, can you.
I can give a million examples of why their marriage has been so successful. But instead I'll just share three:
1.) I once told a friend that I had never heard my parents fight. I've never heard them argue or raise their voice at the other or even say an unkind thing about the other. Not once. And my friend responded by saying that they had done me an enormous disservice because couples should fight. They should yell and get angry because that's how you get to the heart of the matter, and now because of this quiet home life I would be greatly handicapped in any relationship because I wouldn't know how to fight for what I needed. She was wrong of course. Because if anything what my parents taught me by this example was that it is entirely possible to have a relationship that is loving, generous, kind, loyal, funny, and respectful - without any yelling. I am under no delusions that they had a perfect easy marriage, or that they didn't want to yell at each other from time to time. But they refrained and always chose to work it out in a loving way rather than yell to get their point across.
2.) It used to drive me crazy when my dad would come into the house and say, "G, can you make me a sandwich?" Like he couldn't make his own. Like she didn't already iron all of his shirts and make every meal for him and look after the kids and keep the house clean. So I brought this up with my mom and all she said was, "I like doing things for him. And he does so much for me. Get over it." So I've gotten over it. And I have since learned to see how sweet it is when she does it. Or when she asks him to do something and he responds. When you love someone it's nice to make them a sandwich when they ask, even if it goes against all of your feminist ideals.
3.) Nearly every single night we would eat dinner together as a family and at the end my dad would get up, take his plate to the sink, and then walk back over to my mom and put his arms around her and say, "Kids, have I ever told you how much I love your mother?" As if we needed to be told. They showed it every single day in sweet simple actions. There were never any giant gestures of love because there was nothing to prove. We saw it in everything they did.
Happy anniversary, you two crazy kids. Have I ever told you how much I love you?