How have you remained married for 45 years?

Dear Gigi,
You’ve really been married for 45 years?  How did you do it? You seem so happy together. Sometimes I don’t think we’ll make it for 10 years.

There has been a whole lot of reminiscing at our house this week.  We celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary and that milestone unearthed memories galore.  Here’s a peek at some of those recollections:

How little we knew each other when we got married.  Flyboy came from a broken home and he had no role model in marriage growing up. And I was a very young bride, so that first year was challenging, to say the least. I cried a lot, and felt like I could do nothing right.  Flyboy had no idea what he’d gotten himself into. Typically, when people look back, they say things like, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” But looking back to our earliest days, hindsight being 20/20, we’d have waited longer to get married, giving a little more time to know each other better and grow up a bit.  Things could have tanked, to be sure, but there are several important reasons why they didn’t.

  1. We were both committed to Christ, and were determined to follow his plan for our marriage.
  2. We were both committed to marriage as a vocation, and from the beginning, divorce was never in our vocabulary.  Murder, yes, but not divorce (credit to Ruth Graham).
  3. We were determined to listen to each other.  This one took some time to figure out but pretty early on I realized that trying to talk things through with Flyboy (who could win every last argument) was not productive.  He said he wanted to listen to me, but he was really too busy trying to fix the problem to understand what I was saying.  I started writing down my thoughts before we talked so he could get the whole picture first.  In time I learned how to hold my own in conversation, but we kept it together in the beginning by being committed to hearing what the other had to say (or write).

How many of our memories involve trips. We were blessed to see a lot of the country with our kids, and we became the champions of low-budget travel.  We had to! From the southwest to DC to Kitty Hawk to Orlando and many places in-between, we’ve covered a lot of ground.  We saved a long time to spend our 25th anniversary in Hawaii, and visited our kids in England when they were serving there as missionaries.  We never dreamed we’d travel to the UK, but what a memory that is.

How many places we’ve lived.  We both moved a lot growing up, but just counting the places we’ve lived in the past 45 years, it’s a formidable list.  We started in Texas, went to seminary in Colorado, served churches in Wisconsin (2), Illinois, Iowa, and retired in Tennessee.  Moving can be hard, but we have learned things (sometimes the hard way) in every place we’ve lived that helped bring us where we are today.

We have endured hardship for the better.  When you are committed to walking through trials TOGETHER, growing closer and stronger is inevitable.  Like everyone, we’ve had some doozies – from health crises to family pain at the deepest level to ministry challenges unimagined – but our love has overcome it all and we are so, so grateful for one another and the years we’ve had together. 

And yes, we are ever so happy together.


Love does not give up. Love is kind. Love is not jealous. Love does not put itself up as being important. Love has no pride. – I Corinthians 13:4 (NLV)

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