A Common Search for the Good and the Beautiful

I have limited personal proof that what is below is in practice what makes for a good marriage. But the words feel perfectly true and seem to speak clearly of how it could be, should be.

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
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 a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
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 doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is 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 establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
“The Art of Marriage” by Wilferd A. Peterson originally published in 1962

The majority of my married years were spent wishing I wasn’t someone’s husband. It’s ironic that now being single for five years I sometimes wish that was not my status. Was I a good husband? Sort of, kinda, sometimes and ‘not’ with regularity. It’s a lesson that loneliness and lost love have taught well. Gratitude is strong within for that hard learned knowing.

The trouble is not that I am single
and likely to stay single,
but that I am lonely
and likely to stay lonely.
Charlotte Bronte