Commitment Made Easy (Well, Easier…)

Taking two lives and forging them into one future has never been an easy act.
Josie and I had the pleasure and the privilege of watching our nephew Seth and his new bride Heather take the first step on that joyous, and on occasion difficult journey this past weekend.

When Josie and I attend a wedding we bring a somewhat unique perspective to the occasion. First in our own life experience, having married for two decades now, and secondly as two people who have written about relationships for the past ten years, we know first hand how great a challenge this lifelong partnership business can be.

All of us are always hoping that there is a simple answer. For a committed relationship to survive you have to __________________. Or, you must avoid ________________. Go ahead try to fill in the blank.

Of course, it’s not easy.

So as I watched these two people committing their lives to the advancement of one another I think I witnessed one true predictor of future success. From the beginning of the ceremony to the end they intuitively responded to the waves of emotions that you could see going through them. They held hands tightly at times and their hands flexed as if to say, this is the moment, we’re taking a really big step; we’re actually committing our lives to one another.

Then came moments when the tension eased and they shared a laugh about something that only the two of them really understood. A few moments after that tears came to the eyes of one and then flickered in the eyes of the other. They were putting away their lives as children and beginning down that path that would lead to the rest of their years and the power of those thoughts bubbled to the top and then submerged beneath the surface once more.

Just as quickly they were laughing again in ways that only best friends can. When it was over, the rings were exchanged, the pronouncement made that they had been joined together in the sight of God, these two lovers embraced and their relationship, which started many years earlier, had been created anew.

I can’t tell you that I know how to fill in the answer to those blanks. Whatever degree of hubris I may have gained from years of writing and reporting on relationships it is not so great that I would presume that I possess that level of knowledge. But I will tell you with a high degree of confidence that a couple that can with can laugh and cry together have hearts that have been knitted to one another and therefore share an excellent chance of success.

Life’s storms will come and challenge them as individuals and as a couple. But when you see two people who move instinctively as one, you’re seeing a couple that may just fulfill that elusive promise of a shared love that lasts a lifetime. Of course, only a life well lived will tell, and I’m not so foolish as to think that I’ll be around to know the end of their story. But since I’m a betting man, I’ll place my wager on these two. Their success was written not in the stars, but in the love they have built for one another.

Martin Brown

Money Editor,

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