Several years ago, I had this idea to put together a photo-journalistic book that asks couples who’ve been successfully married for over 30 years, “What’s their secrets?” Since I used to travel a lot through eastern Washington, I had this romantic idea of stopping in small towns and go to the local diners where the farmers hang out and ask them.
Well, it never happened.
I think I got the idea originally from my mom’s old landlord. He was a hardworking elderly man who loved, I mean adored, his wife. He was always saying sweet things about her. One day, I asked him, “What makes your marriage work?” He simply said, “Communication.” He told me that he and his wife talked about everything. I have an idea there was a little more to it but I did not think to ask him more questions. Now, I’ve got more questions, more couples to ask and I plan to share the answers with you.
I’m taking some questions from Worthington’s (1999) marriage intervention, “Learning About Love” (p. 181). The exercise is for young (or troubled) couples to interview older couples, “whom they believe to have a good marriage.” Here are his questions:
· What difficulties have you and your spouse faced throughout your married life?
· When your spouse had problems, what did you do to support him or her?
· When you had problems, what did your spouse do that you particularly appreciated to help you deal with the struggles?
· How did you resolve your differences?
· What do you think is primarily responsible for your happy marriage?
I then decided to ask some young marrieds, "if you could ask a master married couple anything, “what would you ask?” Here are their questions (Sorry, Brenda I accidentally deleted your question and couldn’t remember what you asked!):
Amber asks, “With all the changes that happen throughout life, how do you keep in sync with each other, especially when there are so many pulls in different directions?”
Matt asks, “How do you keep things fresh?”
Katrina asks, “What is it that you do that keeps your marriage fresh and compassionate?” “How do you keep that fire?”
(The funny thing is Matt and Katrina are married and asked the same question without knowing what the other asked!)
Do you have any questions you want asked? Leave me a comment…
I’m going to post my first couple May 17th. Next Monday, I’ll post another Worthington (1999) exercise that I would like to do myself…I don’t want to tell you too much about it- I want to build up the suspense, HA!