The Art of a Good Marriage

Each time my mother comes to stay, she brings with her selected possessions I failed to pack when moving from her house. Each time I go through my belongings (which I sometimes have not thought twice about for some years), it is like walking down memory lane.

With her birthday and Mother’s Day one day apart (how convenient!) she came to stay for the weekend. I wondered what she would bring with her this time, what I would be reminiscing about come Sunday afternoon. This time she bought with her only one item.

My wedding dress.

As I looked at the dress, its bodice, the sparkles, the “princessness” of it all, I thought back to my wedding day and all the hope and excitement that I carried with me. My husband and I celebrated our third anniversary only last week and although as with all marriages we have had our ups and downs,  we have a good marriage.

In the words of Wilfred Peterson, marriage is an art. It is not something that comes naturally, easily. In 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 expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of  humour.
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.


Yesterday evening, as I watched my husband head buried under the kitchen sink, fixing a leaking tap I felt everything that Wilfred Peterson described. As a little girl  growing up, I always thought that marriage was something to aspire to, something of a fairy tale. Although in reality the fairy tale does not happen straight away, not even from the moment he places the ring on your finger, if you work at it – you can achieve the fairy tale.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ruby slippers
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 14:21:37

    What a lovely blog! X x


  2. grandmac
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 15:10:11

    How’s the leaky pipe?
    Yes you do have to keep working on the fairy tale bit. And sometimes it just doesn’t happen, but sometimes it does. So its worth while to keep trying.

    Aren’t those Wilfred Petersen words on your wedding ceremony booklet?


  3. alphabetgames
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 12:42:10

    Thank you for your comments.

    Yes, the Wilfred Petersen words are from my own wedding ceremony booklet, words that now have more sentimental meaning.

    The pipe is holding strong!!


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