This weekend Robert and I visited Charleston, South Carolina. And I kept bumping into married people. (Yes, I know – lots of people are married, but it’s not always evident!)

As we checked into our hotel on Saturday night, a giggling couple came through the door behind me. How did I know they were married?

Their clothing kinda gave it away – and their smiles. So cute.

I mentioned that I wrote about marriage, and asked if I could take their picture.  They agreed.

And then another lady, also in the lobby, laughed and said she was married 30 years and was sad her husband was up in the room because she wanted me to take a picture of them also. Two sides of a coin – one couple just beginning, and another well on their married way.

On Sunday at lunch I was privileged to sit with four mature ladies  – I believe if I added up the total years these ladies had been married it would be over 200 years. Imagine – 200 years worth of marriage experience… You better believe I wanted to dig into that gold mine!

Each of these ladies were German war brides – brought to the USA by a handsome young American soldier more than 50 years ago. Two were widows, and the others had their husbands with them at the opposite end of the table with Robert. (We were the newly married’s in comparison – you know, it’s all about perspective…)

I asked them how they met their husbands.

Oh, the laughter.

You’d think I was with that newly married couple I met the night before!

  • one wife said it was love at first sight – for both of them
  • one wife talked about how she almost rejected her future husband when she found out he was a plasterer like her father and uncles – she knew all the dust and dirt in the house from that profession!
  • all four left their home country with no clue what would await them in the USA
  • two of them married despite the fact their fathers disapproved of the match
  • all four needed to learn English and how to navigate marriage and a new country, with no family to fall back on
  • all four talked about how they spoiled their husbands over the years – and from the conversation, I could tell they were indulged right back.

Yes, they all had marriage challenges and not all years were good. Yet, as they spoke of their beginning with their spouses, I could see the happy young girls shining through the faces of mature women.

One story illustrated the value of patience.  

This wife talked about wanting her husband to join her in attending church their whole married life. From a young wife, she had the desire to share her love of Christ with her husband. They had children and she took the kids to church. Her husband wasn’t interested in pursuing a faith life. She prayed. She talked. She pleaded, and begged. Nothing moved him – 45 years of marriage and she practiced her faith alone.  Until three years ago.

Three years ago, completely unexpectedly, her husband decided to come to church with her. And then he attended again and again, until he expressed a desire to be baptized.

She had been faithful for 45 years, and finally her prayer was answered.  These last three years they’ve been living a life of faith together.  Beautiful, huh?

And more.

After lunch Robert and I did a little sight-seeing. We hopped onto the local bus and took a ride around Charleston. (The downtown buses are free – did you know?)

Other married couples kept coming on and off the bus – some older, some young.  One wife had left her jacket at the restaurant, and the couple just joked a bit about how she leaves things behind. It was fun to brush past all these couples – a few moments of life shared and we all went our separate ways.

What message did all these couples convey?

They were all happy and proud to be married.

It was evident in their smiles, their “looks to each other”, their words and their actions.

How about you?

When you’re out in public with your spouse, can strangers see you’re happy to be married?

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Marriage Monday @ The Happy Wives Club

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