My brother is nothing if not a sentimental fool (and I mean that in a good way). He would deny it, but I have information in good faith that he actually teared up when I asked if he would perform the ceremony when DH and I got married. Happy anniversary to my husband, and many thanks to my brother, who is the best internet-ordained minister this side of the Mississippi.
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 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 establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner. A marriage ceremony has but only so much power; it may legalize the status as husband and wife, but the decision must still be made, each and every day, that you want to be married. Make such a decision and keep on making it, for the most important thing in life is to love and be loved.