Every morning, my parents sit in the kitchen and sip their first cup of coffee. They cherish their time before they go to work. Together, they look outside the kitchen window and just talk. Forty-eight years of marriage have made them appreciate the small stuff.
In a time when 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce, it’s a pretty big deal to see my parents committed to each other. Although their marriage is not perfect, they accept each other’s imperfections and have matured into a strong relationship.
I can’t imagine my life without them together. They give me strength and their happiness is my happiness.
By: Stephanie Sandoval
My parents are my example in so many ways; they are resilient, generous, and fun. There is no sign of them pulling away from each other.
Their love for one another is almost tangible. Whenever my dad travels, he calls my mom to talk about their day, every single day.
Physical attraction has to do a lot with falling in love, but it is not what sustains a marriage.
True love looks past the superficial and grows with time.
When my mom met my dad, she was captured by his good looks and my dad was enamored by her full lips. Although time has added a few wrinkles, their love only sees beauty. My mom is still in awe whenever my dad dresses up for a party. Yes, my parents still party!
My parents have overcome obstacles and have had to leap hurdles to make it this far. Here are a few keys to protecting your marriage that I’ve learned from years of observing my mom and dad.
1. Honor Your Time Together
My parents complement each other. Often, I find my dad reading the newspaper out loud, while my mom listens. They share their opinions and discuss the things that matter to them. Watching them dance salsa together is also so inspiring.
I have never seen two people so enthusiastic about living life and loving each other.
They even watch novelas (Latin American soap-operas) together! My mom and dad are not only husband and wife; they are friends with similar interests.
When I asked my mom about the key to her long-lasting marriage, she said trust. “I trust that he will be here for me no matter what, and he knows that he can rely on me for guidance and understanding.”
Depending on another human being is a tremendous act of faith. It’s about feeling safe and comforted at home. Knowing that you will not be judged, but celebrated for your beautiful self must be incredible!
We should all aspire to be around people who help us feel protected and appreciated!
You can read about another couple who has noted trust as one of the keys to keeping their marriage solid here.
3. Have Fun
A sense of humor is essential to getting over a stressful day. Even when life hits them unexpectedly and hard, my parents have a way of keeping things light. They both love life and can’t help but enjoy it.
My dad always says, “We only have one life; be happy.” Although my parents are easygoing, I’m frantically trying to keep my life on schedule. I admire my parents. They have never lost their sense of youth and fun. How could they? It’s in their nature.
Experts say that those who live their lives with great passion and delight tend to carry these emotions to their love lives.
This must be why my parents are successful!
As an avid movie watcher, I can’t help thinking about the couples from When Harry Met Sally who talk about how they met and fell in love. It’s fun to watch, and it gives you hope that there is the kind of love that is meant to be.
When life gets tough, partners in love support each other and don’t give up on one another. There were people in my parents’ lives who did not want them together, but they persevered. My mom had in-laws who made her life difficult, but being the confident woman that she is, she never let them affect her spirit.
During these times, my dad did not hesitate to defend his love for my mom.
As two people with dreams to make it in America, they packed their things and moved without looking back. I remember my mom telling me about the time she tried to cook my dad pancakes, but they came out raw! My dad didn’t complain. On the contrary, he thanked her for cooking breakfast. He recognized her effort.
They leaned on each other and overcame the struggle of not having a place of their own to live at first. Although they met with many other challenges, they never forgot to have fun. There are countless pictures of their years in New York that demonstrate their happiness to be together and reach their goals together.
I feel that in a marriage, you should feel free to be yourself. I have never seen my parents forced to be someone that betrays their nature. Neither one of them feels inhibited because of the other. They are their true selves, and they love and appreciate each other for that.
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