Many people have asked me to share the letter we wrote for our son Aaron and Rebecca’s wedding this past weekend. Here it is:
Dear Aaron and Rebecca,
We were honored and humbled when you asked us to contribute to your wedding ceremony. As we reflected on our 33 years of marriage, we reminisced about our wedding day in 1983, and found this quote:
“in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things…all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”
So we’d like to share with you a few things that we’ve noticed and witnessed in our married life together that you both might find helpful:
- I will be the first to say that I assumed Mark knew me well enough to know what I wanted, and when I wanted it. It wasn’t until I realized that Mark could not read my mind or think exactly like me, nor would he ever learn to, that our relationship finally rose to a different level. Ask for what you want. It’s so much easier.
- If you, for some reason, find yourself in the unlikely situation of wanting your spouse to change, —-you must change yourself first. Give more of what you are looking for. If you want more understanding, give more understanding; if you want more patience, give more patience. It works every time.
- Although we didn’t adhere to the rule ‘never go to bed angry’, we never failed to follow our own rule of listening and talking through our conflicts with love and respect when we were both in a better frame of mind. Always talk it through. Your relationship will grow deeper each and every time.
- In another unlikely event that you have conflict in your relationship and communication is not working at its’ optimum—remember: What was said may not always be what was heard. What you think is a harmless suggestion, may be perceived as a suggestion of incompetence instead. Always assume the best of intentions.
- This scriptural quote is engraved inside our wedding bands.
“A cord of three strands is not easily torn apart.”
Whether you practice a faith or a belief system, what’s important is that you recognize the two of you, and something even more powerful, which draws and bonds you together. Nurture and honor each other, and that power will give you strength through the challenges, and more joy than you can imagine.
- Be aware that you will have many marriages throughout your married life together. The marriage of your twenties will be quite different from the marriage of your fifties. Change is the only real certainty we all have in life. Let love and support be your target instead of the change itself.
- Our last piece of advice, shouldn’t be too hard since Aaron never seems to have a shortage of this critical attribute and Becca is quick to find humor in his antics. Laugh—at yourselves and at Life. Things are never as serious as you think they are, and we all tend to take ourselves way too seriously anyway.
In closing, we want to tell you both that we love you very, very much and we couldn’t be happier that you found each other.
Katharine Hepburn said it best:
“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expecting to give—-which is everything.”
With hearts bursting,
Mom and Dad