The Secret to a Lasting Marriage (Real Life)

When I was a little girl, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burnt toast in front of my Dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my Dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad,for burning the toast. And I’ll never forget what he said, “Baby I love burnt toast.” Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy goodnight and I asked him if he really liked his toast burnt. He wrapped me up in his arms and said, “Debbie, your momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides – a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!” In bed that night, I thought about the scene at dinner and the kindness my Daddy showed to my Mom.

To this day, it’s a cherished memory from my childhood that I’ll never forget. And it’s one that came to mind just recently when Jack and I sat down to eat dinner. I had arrived home late, as usual, and decided we would have breakfast food for dinner. Some things never change, I suppose! To my amazement, I found the ingredients I needed and quickly began to cook eggs,turkey, sausage and buttered toast. Thinking I had things under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was only a few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to take the toast out of the oven! Now, had it been any other day, I would have started all over. But it was one of those days and I had just used up the last two pieces of bread. So burnt toast it was!

As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment about the toast. But all I got was, “Thank You!” I watched as he ate bite by bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast. But instead, all Jack said was, “Babe , this is great. Thanks for cooking tonight. I know you had a hard day!” As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I thought about my Mom and Dad — how burnt toast hadn’t been a deal-breaker for them. And was quietly thankful for having a marriage where burnt toast wasn’t a deal-breaker either!

You know life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best housekeeper or cook. And you might be surprised to find out that Jack isn’t the perfect husband! But, somehow in the past 37 years Jack and I have learned to accept the imperfections in each other. You might say that we’ve learned to love each other for who we really are! We share the same goals. We love the same things. And we still are best friends. We’ve travelled through many valleys and enjoyed many mountain tops. And yet at the same time , Jack and I must work every minute of every day to make this thing called “marriage” work!

What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults- and choosing to celeberate each other’s differences- is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing and lasting marriage relationship. We could extend this to any relationship in fact as understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife relationship or parent -child or friendship.

By:  Deb Billy Graham

2 comments on “The Secret to a Lasting Marriage (Real Life)

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