Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy anniversary!

On this day in 1996, country superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill got married.

Both of them were established musical performers before they teamed up for their “Spontaneous Combustion” tour in early 1996. At the start of the tour, Faith was engaged to another man, but she had a new fiancé (McGraw) when the tour ended., and they got married at a small family ceremony in his native Louisiana on October 6. They owe part of their marital longevity to the fact that they haven’t spent more than 3 consecutive days apart since that time.

Another well known performer ALSO got married on October 6, but five years earlier.

Elizabeth Taylor married her SEVENTH husband on October 6. 1991, a construction worker named Larry Fortensky. Due to the fact that the pair met at the Betty Ford Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center, and he was two decades younger than she was, the pundits predicted that the union wouldn’t last, and they were right.

Elizabeth and Larry divorced in 1996.

Coincidentally, I married my first wife on October 6, 1972. Thirty nine years later, she is STILL my first wife, even though we are both older and grayer.

An organization called The Americans for Divorce Reform has estimated that close to 50% of all marriages in America will end in divorce. Interestingly, the divorce rate goes up for every subsequent marriage, which means that if you didn’t get it right the first time, you’re less likely to do so the next time around.

With the odds of a successful marriage being roughly equivalent to flipping a coin, what can ANY of us do to nurture our relationships through “for better or worse”?

One of my favorite books about relationships is “Why Men Don’t Listen, and Women Can’t Read Maps”. You can read the entire book on line by clicking on the appropriate link of my post of June 23

In view of the fact that men and women really DO think differently, it’s fairly amazing that we can live together at all. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for counseling services (including marriage counselors) will exceed supply for the foreseeable future. As a result, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to spend your money on professional help if your fairy tale wedding starts to tarnish a bit.

However, if you’d rather spend your money on a nice vacation (or a new fishing boat) there are THREE things that you can do to nurture your relationship in a much more cost efficient manner:

1) forgive and forget - holding grudges isn’t healthy for ANYONE

2) keep a stiff upper lip

3) laugh often, and laugh heartily

For further details on the last item, I’ll refer you to a comic strip that has become increasingly familiar to Sharon and me as we’ve gotten older (see below), and there’s a reason that I selected the strip from 9/11/11:

Pickles comic strip

A few years ago, Sharon joined the squirrel lovers club. Until she found out that it was illegal, she would feed the squirrels from the front porch of our place in Evanston every morning. Although she no longer “feeds the critters”, we still have squirrel statues scattered throughout our home. Since we both can be a little nuts at times, I guess that somehow seems appropriate.

Through the years, we’ve been through a lot of “thicks and thins”, and we’ve even been mad at each other on occasion (usually not for long). In the final analysis, though, we’d both have to admit that we’re still probably each other’s best friend, and this is what Tim McGraw would have to say about THAT:

my best friend

Happy anniversary, Sharon!

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