This year (June 30) marked sixty years of marriage for Ruthie and me. It has been both lots of fun and lots of work. Together, we have produced three sons. They have produced for us seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Now we are working on the next chapter.
We have traveled across the world together and had our good times and our rough times. My mother picked Ruthie for me to marry. She was a wise woman, having been married to my father, until his death, for over fifty-one years. They began in Oklahoma and then moved to California with me and my oldest sister, Edith, at the time. I say my mother was wise because she was right. Ruthie was good-looking (still is), smart, churchgoing, and a good listener and adviser. She turned out to be a good wife, mother, and grandmother. She is non-demanding, forgiving, and a good mate with little baggage and no friends without which she could not live. She is romantic, likes me to read poetry to her, likes the music I like, loves flowers, holding hands, kisses, dancing, loyalty, commitment, and a belief that two people in a marriage are enough. If your vocabulary has transformed from “me” to “we,” then you are mature enough to be married.
According to Victor Harris, assistant professor and extension specialist of the Family, Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611, there are Three Stages of Marriage: 1) romantic love, 2) disillusionment and distraction, and 3) dissolution, adjustment with resignation, or adjustment with contentment. God designed marriage, and “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:6.) This assumes that Marriage should last forever. If you work at it, it can last. I had good role models to follow. My parents showed me how it has done. I am trying to follow them. I note that my parents married while they were young, as did we. Ruthie and I married after three months of courting. We married young and moved away, leaving the past behind. We successfully worked through the first and second stages. Now we are mastering the third stage of contentment, happiness, peace, and joy.