How to Have Long, Happy Marriage

Wonderful article in February 20, 2018 edition of Marin Independent Journal (posted February 19th) about how to have a long and happy Marriage. Click here to read it.

Or read it here:

The secret to a long, happy marriage

 By Michael Mackintosh, Special to the IJ

A marriage is a promise, not a contract. A contract of who does and gets what is a failure, aka divorce. A successful marriage is between two loving people who only see each other. Two people holding hands with blind faith, willing to jump off the cliff of unknown, together knowing that your partner is there and will always be there. There is nothing insurmountable with the right partner.

What is the best partner in marriage? Not rich, money comes and goes. Not best looking, looks time out. The best partner is the person who make you feel the best about yourself.

A real man marries for love. He falls in love with an image he hopes never changes, never getting older and never getting grayer. Over time he will grow and instead see the changes as patina, comfort, character and confidence knowing he made the right choice. He will marvel how she fills all those voids that in turn make him a better man. Twice the man he could be without her.

A real woman marries for potential. Not to get more of something, but the potential that this is the person who will be there when she needs him. The person who will support her endeavors. Most of all, the man who sees her as the most beautiful woman in the whole world. The man who sees her patina as character, experience and complimentary of his lucky good judgment. She, too, will realize the journey would have been empty and meaningless without him.

We all need three spouses whom we try to mold into one. Our first spouse is that whirlwind romance where you realize you have to get out of the sheets or you are going to starve. Just one more time. The second spouse is a partnership where you agree to gather and build and to meet back at 6 p.m. The third spouse is your friendship when time slows down and you hold each other by the hand in support.

Sex is required to consummate the promise. Sex is the common ground where you set your boundaries and bare all your vulnerabilities. It is an intimate place you share and a safe place to return. All sex is good sex, never boring with the right person. The only bad sex is hall sex.

A successful long marriage also requires some luck. Not just in choosing, not just in changing, but luck that you never fall out of love at the same time. Again agreeing to return to that special place only the marriage knows.

In time we realize our vision fades. We use our memories to see. If those memories are of the most beautiful partner who agreed and said I do. Success. Our hearing also fades, so if we chose to hear something complimentary and not critical, success.

The leap into the unknown is the adventure. Heaven and hell are what we make of our lives here on Earth. And as we all know the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.

When I can no longer see and I can no longer hear, my memory will be of that beautiful woman who took a chance on me and said, “I do.” She bore me three wonderful children and still always set a table with an open seat for our friends. That is my successful marriage of 38 years.

A successful marriage is a blessing that you will enjoy the passage of time in. It is up to you.

Michael Mackintosh is a Fairfax resident. IJ readers are invited to share their stories of love, dating, parenting, marriage, friendship and other experiences for our How It Is column, which runs Tuesdays in the Plus section.

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