When I recently stumbled across a letter Paul Newman wrote to his bride on their wedding day, I was inspired. With a marriage spanning 50-years, there is no doubt that Mr Newman knew the ingredients to a long, happy and successful marriage. Not only does this letter contain wisdom for a romantic relationship but I found the values also applicable to the interactions we have our friends and family.
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 expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel.
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 rooms for 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 obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.