Best marriages are built on respect, care, friendship

Day by Day
Best marriages are built on respect, care, friendship

By Liz Thompson

Apr 21, 2019
This Week News

He walked into a classroom at Ohio State University and saw the woman who – just two weeks later – would become his wife.

I don’t know his name. We met at an optometrist’s office, and he started talking tenderly about his wife of 61 years, who had died last April.

“What do you think makes a good marriage?” I asked.

Without much hesitation, he said, “Companionship. Caring for each other.”

“The for-better-or-for-worse part of the wedding vows, you mean?” I asked.

He scowled and said, “I don’t remember much ‘worse’ part.”

I rephrased: “You were there for each other, no matter what was happening?”

“Yes,” he said with a smile.

We agreed friendship is important for a long-lasting marital relationship.

This month, my husband and I celebrate 41 years of marriage. I’m thankful Bob and I are good friends and have been from the start.

We didn’t marry two weeks after meeting, but one year later.

My soon-to-be father-in-law told us before we married, “Remember you are getting married because you love each other.” Plain and simple.

He likely was thinking of 1 Corinthians 13, also known as the Bible’s “love chapter”:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

These words often are spoken at weddings. I sang them at a cousin’s wedding many years ago.

My parents, Jim and Mary Day of Westerville, were married from 1945 until my father died in 2011. My mother says marriage has a lot to do with forgiveness.

“You have to really listen to each other,” she said. “You have to talk it out and get over it – really care for the other person.”

Carol McClellan of Grove City, married 57 years, agrees with my mother and the unnamed gentleman in the first paragraph.

“Caring for each other and thinking more about the other person’s well-being” is crucial, she said.

Bob and Ann Gray of Westerville recently downsized after being in the same house for more than 40 years. What to do with all the things they acquired was a true dilemma.

Bob and I moved 15 times in about the same timeframe. When you have to pack, move, unpack and find a place for all the things at the new residence, the boxes become fewer.

We let go of a lot of things that truly didn’t matter and kept the things that did – a good analogy for marriage.

Bob and Ann met in Texas in 1966 at an A&W Root Beer drive-in. He was stationed at Webb Air Force base, and after they dated for a year and a half, he was shipped to Vietnam on April 1, 1968.

After corresponding for nine or 10 months, Bob decided that Ann was the one he wanted to marry. He wrote:

“January 1969 I sent a letter of proposal and awaited her reply. The answer soon came, it was positive and things were set in motion for a wedding as soon as I got back. I arrived in San Francisco on April 1st, 1969 and I flew directly to Midland (Texas) for the April 3 event.”

Throughout their now-50 years of marriage, their relationship matured, and so did their faith. They learned their marriage is a triangle “with the Lord at the apex.”

“We take our wedding vows seriously, Bob said.

He said that involves respect, resolving differences, making wise decisions for the family as a whole and relying on God – especially when there are bumps in the road.

Marriage shouldn’t be a race to see how long you can stay together. To me, it’s how you live day by day, learning and growing together and leaning on one another.

I thank God every day that Bob and I have each other as we travel through each new day.

 

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Celebration of freedom, people always valuable

Celebration of freedom, people always valuable

By LIZ THOMPSON

July 26, 2016

ThisWeekNews

This month, we celebrated the independence of our country, the day we became a sovereign nation. After 240 years, you’d think we’d be tired of celebrating. Yet every year, fireworks, picnics, family gatherings and all kinds of events throughout our country mark the date.

When I was a city reporter, some 15 years ago, I gravitated to the positive stories of people who overcame obstacles or were helping others do the same. I loved stories about people who spent hours planning Fourth of July celebrations and those who lined streets to see the fruits of their labors.

I met inventors, entrepreneurs, teachers, physicians, firefighters, police officers, students, artists, musicians, mentors, parents, those remembering loved ones, council members, city workers and business people whose stories filled page after page of the local paper.

I loved every minute and always learned something new. I even had a lesson in shuffleboard and an offer to learn chess from a man who volunteered in the schools teaching children this game of strategy.

Of course, news is always a mix, and I had to do a little bit of everything.

Even after 9/11, when this country was turned upside down, positive stories were plentiful.

Children were placing flags up and down their streets, and churches were full of those praying for the families who lost people in the terror attacks.

We had new respect and understanding of the risks the safety forces endure, especially since we weren’t sure what would happen next, or if anything would happen. To that end, many were praying for our safety and for our country in a time of crisis.

Those who lived through the Depression and World War II and were still alive to tell about it likened the reactions in our country to those times when people pulled together to survive and support one another.

We didn’t have to plant victory gardens or use ration books to meet our needs after 9/11, but we were in as much shock as people were after the attack on Pearl Harbor. We didn’t know how far things would go or what our margin of safety was.

In spite of those things, we are a resilient people.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get into a celebratory mood when we see what’s going on in our country.

Today, we have news at our fingertips on TV, computers and smartphones, newspapers and, yes, even the radio — which was what our nation had during WWII for immediate news.

Sometimes I want to shut it all off. It’s almost too much saturation, and I struggle to find the good news that’s sent to the shadows.

So much news is sensationalized that I find myself sorting through those stories looking for the people who are making a positive difference — the youth who are learning and want to make a difference in this country. I know they’re out there, but we don’t hear enough about them.

I like to read and hear about everyday people doing everyday jobs to keep our lives humming.

What would we do without the people who physically built America and those who maintain and protect it today?

Of course, it’s not the celebrations that make us free, and even if we don’t watch parades or eat from picnic baskets, what’s important is that what makes our country great lies within each of us.

We have the freedom to vote and we can do it with a clear conscience. Freedom means we uphold the laws of our land and respect the people who protect us from harm.

Freedom does not mean we can do whatever we please, no matter the consequences.

I hope we never stop celebrating. I hope these traditions won’t die and that each new generation will realize the sacrifices their ancestors made, and still are making, to keep us free. I hope our youth will join in the effort to keep America free.

Irveline Evans of Upper Arlington is one person I met as a reporter. She and her mother survived a Japanese war camp. She said, “I am always moved to tears when I hear the American national anthem, and I am only recently a Yank!”

Our nation is not perfect, but I hope each of us will continue to strive to keep it united.