When a friend’s grandparents celebrated 50 years of their marriage, there was no big party or a fancy exchanging of vows. It was a simple affair. All the family members (the ones that really cared) came together and they had a lovely get together to commemorate the coming of two much loved souls. Two souls who were never perfect for each other, but stuck it out…during happy days and sad ones, angry days and sulky ones.
Grandfather was moody and prone to bursts of terrible rage, my friend being at the receiving end many times and grandmother was much ahead of her times in her thinking and even broke many protocols by working as a teacher, then as a principal of a school and even getting a PhD. Sadly she was never really ‘appreciated and understood’ for who she really was, because grandfather wanted someone to only cook and look after him and the children, like most men of his generation.
When my friend asked her grandmother, “Ajji 50 years, but how did you stick on? You being you?” She replied, “The secret lies in laughing. Nowadays I see so many young couples going to marriage counselors only few years into their marriage or even divorcing without giving the marriage some time. You should give each other time. And I think people take this marriage thing too seriously. Take it lightly. Even when your grandfather used to make fun of my ambitions, I accepted it lightly and told myself that it’s the way he is. It doesn’t mean that the marriage worked because I tried and changed my outlook, even your grandfather did his bit. He worked on his anger and chipped in to look after the kids, because his wife worked too -- something very few men of his generation did.”
And when my friend asked her grandfather about the long marriage, he gave a short laugh and replied in a few words, “I took a wow before god that I would look after her. And that’s what I’m doing.” Simple.
I’m closing in on six years of my marriage and time has slipped by like a dream. It’s a milestone worth celebrating. We’ve both changed in many ways to adjust to each other even as we continue to love and respect each other.
So, what do you think is the secret of long marriages?