The Art of Marriage, by Wilferd A. Peterson
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.
Rumi, The Illuminated Rumi
The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.
Apache Marriage Blessing
Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
But there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.
May happiness be your companion to the place where the river meets the sun.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
The TLC’s of Marriage, Unknown
Trust, Love, Communication and Sharing are the links that unite to form the bond that binds your relationship.
Each of these, Trust, Love, Communication and Sharing must be fully present for your relationship, stability and growth. Collectively these four, Trust, Love, Communication and Sharing create a living organism with each playing a vital function in your relationship.
Trust is like the spine that protects the vulnerable nervous system. It gives your relationship backbone affording it both with mobility and flexibility. However, just as feelings, and sensations are impaired when the spine is injured, emotions are impaired when trust is injured. Protect the trust in your relationship. So that you may remain flexible with one another.
Love is like the heart, which continues to be in fair weather or foul. It is powerful. It is dynamic. It is circulating throughout the entire system supplying all parts of your relationship with much needed vitality. Love must be fully activated, but never deliberately stressed. A heart can only withstand so much pressure. Keep the love flowing throughout all parts of your relationship.
Communication is likened to the brain. Sorting, processing, giving and receiving information, able to exchange ideas and concepts. Through communication, the invisible and the abstract take shape and form. Without communication, confusion sets in causing a sense of separation. Allow your communication to both stimulate you and keep you current with one another.
Sharing is much like the lungs that breathe in the surrounding air. There's a natural flow. No attempt is made to equally divide the air. Nor is it hoarded. Individual needs of one are met without infringing upon the needs of the other. When there is continued sharing your relationship breathes on its own. Share with each other unselfishly so that your relationship may breathe.
Remember these four, trust, love, communication, and sharing, for your bond is only as strong as its weakest link. One does not compensate for the other. In fact, when one is absent, the others cannot flourish. When there's no sharing, communication and trust cannot be formed, which are necessary ingredients for love. When there's no trust, the love withdraws, communication ceases and sharing is just a two syllable word. Without communication, sharing diminishes, causing trust to flounder. And without love, there’s simply not even the impetus to share, to communicate, or to trust.
Nurture these four, trust, love, communication and sharing. They will sustain and inspire you as you continue your lives together.
A Marriage, By Michael Blumenthal
You are holding up a ceiling with both arms. It is very heavy, but you must hold it up, or else it will fall down on you. Your arms are tired, terribly tired, and, as the day goes on, it feels as if either your arms or the ceiling will soon collapse.
But then, unexpectedly, something wonderful happens: Someone, a man or a woman, walks into the room and holds their arms up to the ceiling beside you. So you finally get to take down your arms. You feel the relief of respite, the blood flowing back to your fingers and arms.
And when your partner's arms tire, you hold up your own to relieve him again. And it can go on like this for many years without the house falling.
Celtic Wedding Blessing
You are the star of each night,
You are the brightness of every morning,
You are the story of each guest,
You are the report of every land.
No evil shall befall you, on hill nor bank,
In field or valley, on mountain or in glen.
Neither above, nor below, neither in sea,
Nor on shore, in skies above,
Nor in the depths.
You are the kernel of my heart,
You are the face of my sun,
You are the harp of my music,
You are the crown of my company.
Extract from Gift of the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
When you love someone; you do not love them all the time,
in exactly the same way, from moment to moment.
It is impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to.
And yet this is exactly what most of us demand.
We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships.
We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb.
We are afraid it will never return.
We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity;
when the only continuity possible, in life as in love,
is in growth, in fluidity — in freedom,
in the sense that the dancers are free,
barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing,
not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even.
Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia,
nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation
but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.
Relationships must be like islands,
one must accept them for what they are here and now,
within their limits — islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea,
and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
The Journals of Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath
I feel good with my husband: I like his warmth and his bigness and his being-there and his making and his jokes and stories and what he reads and how he likes fishing and walks and pigs and foxes and little animals and is honest and not vain or fame-crazy and how he shows his gladness for what I cook him and joy for when I make him something, a poem or a cake, and how he is troubled when I am unhappy and wants to do anything so I can fight out my soul-battles and grow up with courage and a philosophical ease. I love his good smell and his body that fits with mine as if they were made in the same body-shop to do just that. What is only pieces, doled out here and there to this boy and that boy, that made me like pieces of them, is all jammed together in my husband. So I don’t want to look around anymore: I don’t need to look around for anything.
Marriage, by David Whyte
Marriage is where we learn self-knowledge; where we realize that parts of our own makeup are stranger even than the stranger we have married and very difficult for another person to live with. Marriage is where we realize how much effort we put into preserving our own sense of space and our own sense of self. Marriage is where we realize how much we want to be right and seen to be right. Marriage is where all of these difficult revelations can consign us to imprisonment or help us become larger, more generous, more amusing, more animated participants in the human drama.
A Love Poem by Robert Burns
O my luve is like a red, red rose, that's newly sprung in June:
O my luve is like the melodie, That's sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass, So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still my dear, While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve! And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve, Tho' it were ten thousand mile.
Love Is Friendship Set On Fire, by Laura Hendricks
Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.
Celtic Wedding Blessing
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.
On Marriage, by David Kahlil Gibran
You were born together, and together you
shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white
wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the
silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance
Love one another, but make not a bond
Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from
Give one another of your bread but eat
not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each
For only the hand of Life can contain
And stand together yet not too near
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow
not in each other’s shadow.
Not Anyone Who Says, by Mary Oliver
Not anyone who says, “I’m going to be
careful and smart in matters of love,”
who says, “I’m going to choose slowly,”
but only those lovers who didn’t choose at all
but were, as it were, chosen
by something invisible and powerful and uncontrollable
and beautiful and possibly even
only those know what I’m talking about
in this talking about love.
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
If I loved you less, maybe I could talk about it more.