Tag Archives: marriage

Bucket List for Marriage

We are invited to a wedding at the beginning of October and it took me a long time to send back the reply. That’s because the bride and groom have included a card on which they want us to write something we think should go on their bucket list for their life together and return it with our RSVP.  I didn’t know what to write because I had too many ideas!  We recently celebrated 42 years of marriage and I’ve learned lots, some of it the hard way, about what should go on a marriage bucket list. 

kiss on the great wallSee as much of the world as you can together. family

Have children if you can and you both think its a good idea. family pictureMaintain close connections with your families. You will need their support and help. 

small grp 07Have friends you share as a couple.T-4s

But also maintain friendships of your own. 

kayaking in laos tad se waterfallFind things you enjoy doing together. at the folk festivalLook at the big picture when your marriage is going through its inevitable challenges and frustrations and weigh your choices carefully. Remember you have to be happy yourself before you can be happy together. 

So which of these is most important?  I couldn’t decide so I wrote them all on the RSVP card. I’d sure be curious to know what the other wedding guests wrote. I hope we’ll find out at the wedding in October. I could still use some tips.  As I heard in a wedding sermon just yesterday, marriage always requires hard work. 

Other posts……..

Chinese Thoughts on Marriage

Marriage Statistics and Bible Verses

Marrying an Heiress- Gilded Prostitution

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Filed under Family, Reflections

The Missing Wife

My husband Dave is playing on a slow pitch ball team during our months here in Arizona. Once a week he heads off for four or five hours to play a game and then unwind at a social gathering at one of the player’s homes.   There are fourteen fellows on Dave’s team and he tells me thirteen wives  show up for each game to cheer on their husbands and then join them for after-the-game refreshments. I’m the only missing wife. 

My husband during his ball playing days for the Steinbach Stealers many years ago- photo courtesy of the Carillon

My husband during his ball playing days for the Steinbach Stealers many years ago- photo courtesy of the Carillon

Truth be told I’ve always enjoyed watching my husband play ball but he is such a social butterfly that my days here in Arizona fill up quickly with all kinds of activities he organizes for us.  His ball-playing Tuesdays are my opportunity to have some uninterrupted time to tackle a myriad of writing projects I had hoped to pursue during our  winter hiatus in the south. 

I will get to one of Dave’s games yet before we leave Arizona but for now I will continue to be the missing wife. 

Other posts about wives…..

The Aviator’s Wife

A Man Affectionately Deplored by his Wife

Alfred Hitchcock’s Wife- The Making of Psycho


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Filed under Arizona, Sports

Marriage Statistics and Bible Verses

Statistics have become the modern-day equivalent of Bible verses. Both statistics and Bible verses are handy for proving almost any point. There are people who have a barrage of Scripture passages on the tip of their tongues ready to provide substantiation of any viewpoint. Quotations from the Bible have been used to defend all kinds of opinions including……..the earth is flat, not round, human beings never walked on the moon, women should be silent and education is bad.

Statistics are often used like Bible verses. Pick a cause or an idea and you will probably be able to find a statistic to back up your opinion of it. It can be confusing for people of faith to realize selected Biblical quotations can be used to defend radically different ideas. Statistics can be equally confusing.  

Take marriage for example. A Canadian statistical study on marriage looked at what factors lead to divorce and which indicators give couples a better chance to have a lasting relationship. Looking at them I can’t figure out whether my marriage has a good chance or not. 

My husband and I did not live together before we were married. This is in our favour since 35% of Canadian couples who cohabitate before marriage get divorced compared to only 19% of those who don’t live together. 

Dave and me when we had just started dating 

I got married at the tender age of 19.  My husband was 20. According to statistics, this makes it three times more likely we will end up in a divorce court compared to if we had waited until we were over 30 to marry. 

We attend church regularly and this is a statistic in our favour since it improves a couple’s chances of staying married. 

I had a thirty-five-year career as a teacher. 

Another statistic would suggest shaky ground for my marriage. Women who work outside the home, as I have always done, have a higher rate of divorce. 

So which statistics should I take seriously, the ones that say my marriage has a good chance of surviving or others that say it doesn’t?  Who knows?

I won’t be using Scripture either to predict the success of my marriage. 

“Those who marry will face many troubles,” says Saint Paul in the seventh chapter of 1 Corinthians. “It is not good for a man (woman) to live alone”, says the narrator in the second chapter of Genesis. 

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Filed under Family, Religion

Thirty-Eight Years

You may not recognize the couple in this photo—but it’s our engagement picture taken in 1973 just a few months before Dave and I were married. Today, August 17th is our 38th anniversary. We  look awfully young in this photo—and we were young, just nineteen and twenty, way too young and immature to get married, but somehow we managed to grow up together and have made a meaningful life together, even though we started our marriage before we had money, or university degrees, or jobs or a home of our own. 

Not every couple makes it to their 38th anniversary—40% of Canadian marriages end in divorce— and I’ve been thinking this past week about why we have stayed together. It is certainly not because we were ‘made for each other.’ In fact people who get to know either Dave or me first, and then meet our spouse, often remark on how very different we are and even say they are surprised to find out we are married. But perhaps that is one of the reasons we have stayed together, because we are so different. Maybe because of that we compliment each other and balance one another with our different temperaments and interests. 









I know without a doubt that one of the reasons our marriage has lasted is because of our supportive families. Our parents have been such good role models when it comes to demonstrating the kind of love, sacrifice and loyalty that is required to keep a marriage and a family together. Our parents have supported us in so many different ways during our married life with babysitting help, financial gifts, wise advice, a listening ear, their prayers, their interest and their affirmation.  We have also been blessed to have good relationships with our brothers and sisters and they have supported us in many ways as well. Going through some old memorabilia from our wedding I found this note my brother Mark wrote to me after our engagement was announced.  He was nine years old.  

Dear Lou,

I am so happy that you are going to get married to that handsome boy David. I hope that you are glad that I am candle-lighter, because I am glad. Hope your weddings a smash. 

Love, Mark


I think another reason our marriage has lasted is because of our two terrific sons. Our children inspired us to work hard at our marriage, because we wanted them to have a secure and happy home. Our sons drew us together as a family and they have each in their own way enriched our lives immeasurably as has our daughter-in-law. 

I can honestly say our marriage has gotten better every year. Living far away from our families in Hong Kong for the last six years we have had to depend on one another much more than we ever did before, and this has been very good for our relationship.  What’s next?  We will see how retirement effects our life together. I know for some couples it is a very traumatic time as they adjust to a life that is not as focused around their careers. Since Dave has already been semi-retired for the last two years perhaps our transistion will be a little easier.   The longer I’m married the more I realize what a ‘roll of the dice’ it is when we choose our life partner. You really don’t ‘know’ your spouse when you marry. Throughout your life together you continually learn new things about one another, some good and some hard. You certainly have no idea when you get married what kind of difficulties and challenges life may call upon you to face as a couple. I know how fortunate I have been to have landed up with a partner who has a sense of humor, is intelligent, wins friends easily, is active and interested in so many different things, relishes new experiences and has made my life anything but boring.

Other anniversary posts…….

Forty One Years

A Controversial Wedding Photo


Filed under Family, Retirement