Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thoughts on Marriage

When I first started writing this blog, I had no intentions of posting it on Facebook. I'd seen many blogs where people wrote about their lives and relationships. I've done a little of that but no one needs to know my whole life story, besides it's rather boring. But tonight I decided to write about something a little more personal.

My husband and I got married in August. Oddly enough, it doesn't make me an expert on marriage. Being married is one of those things that you can peer into all you want, but once your there, it's just different. You start to understand that it's not just something you are after a wedding, it's something you do. A lot of somethings.

I remembered this morning on the Skytrain that I had posted the Art Of Marriage by Wilfred Peterson. I'm not sure what to call it, a poem? A list of rules? Whatever it was, it struck a chord with me at the time I posted it, which was July 2009. At this time, I had several weddings coming up but no one was married yet. This morning I re-read it and felt the same familiar chord. Here it is.

Art Of Marriage by Wilfred Peterson

A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things...
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say, "I love you" at least once each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is in giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

My favourite line of this poem is "it's standing together to face the world." It's not "us against the world" because I don't believe the world is ever against us. It reminds me of something our wonderful Officiant said to us, right before he pronounced us husband and wife. He said a lot of things actually, but the one thing he said that I'll never forget was "You two are stronger together than you are apart."

 One thing I know now, is that marriage is an art. It's one you have to practice every day, until you develop a talent for it, and can create something without making a mess. There is so much to it. It's different for every couple, what makes their marriage click. We cannot begin to try to peer into someone else's life and understand their love and what works and what doesn't. We can only focus on our own marriage and the other person in it. What they need, what makes them happy, what their hopes and dreams are. 

Marriage will not work without effort, just like you can't get in shape without moving your body, you can't succeed at work without trying your best, and you can't create a painting without picking up a paintbrush. 

Some days I'm thinking about soup or books or shoes, but today I was thinking about this old poem I first read when I knew nothing about marriage.

To all the newlyweds (or long married, for that matter) what do you think about this poem?



  1. Love it! I came across that one prior to marriage and it never meant a thing but now that you've posted it and I am married, it does. Love & strength in a marriage requires participation from both parties involved to make it work for the longterm. These words of wisdom are great to live by!

  2. I love this poem, every line is so true :)

    I also love what you said about peering into other marriages. What works for one couple, might not work for another. You can't judge from the outside...