What I have Learned from My Parents 48 Years of Marriage

Guest Posts | Marriage | Personal Growth
This is a guest post by Tabitha Musya. More about Tabitha at the end of the post.

1966, was a very good year.

She’s 23. A teacher by profession.

Slender then, she stands at a proud 5″6 inches.

She fusses a little with her fitting wedding gown, simple cotton with an occasional touch of lace.

3 Things I have learned from my parents 48 years of marriage

Nervousness and anxiety gets her counter-checking the hemming.

She tugs carefully at a stitch that took in a little more fabric than it was entitled.

She kicks up to see her feet. She bends to remove an imaginary speck of dust, stands and braces herself.

She gives her un-polished finger nails another buff using her handkerchief, puts it in her purse and puts on her white elbow length gloves.

Wipes off some talcum caught on her earlobe and satisfied with her reflection on the mirror at the back of her comb, she turns towards the door.

It’s time.

He’s 25.

A supplies technician at the only railway company of three year old country, Kenya.

At 5″ 8, his fitting two-button khaki suit complement his height with his pants falling half an inch short at the sole of his shoe.

As he bends to give his shoe an extra unnecessary shine, he can almost see his reflection off it.

For the umpteenth time he counter-checks his socks making a mental note, they’ll definitely tear if he tugs at them again.

He tucks in his shirt some more and with it, some of the tension and anxiety he harbored.

He stands at the end of the aisle at the front of the little church hall, mentally feeling the wedding bands in his shirt pocket.

And she stands quietly at the other end of the aisle, gazes at the flower petals littered on the walk way, and she takes her first step towards him.

The pastor belts a random hymn..What can wash away my stain?

April 6th, 2014, seven daughters, four sons and twenty grandchildren later later, the couple above celebrated their 48 years in marriage.

I am fortunate to know them as my parents.

Through God’s grace, they are alive today, standing tall though a little weathered by the seasons life.

At 5 foot 4, I inherited the shape of his head, her strictness and her complexion.

Marriage Works

My parents have not separated or divorced in their 48 years of marriage.

Being the last born, I have spent more time with them, maybe a little more than my older siblings.

And my parents, though imperfect have shown me that marriage works.

1. God.

The family is the smallest unit that makes up a nation. I believe that family is in the heart of God.

Marriage and family are meant to be in tandem.

God endorsed Marriage. God approves marriage. He runs this show, if we let Him, because it’s a partnership.

My parents taught us to pray at quite the tender age. They instilled in us the value of involving God in all facets of life.

I grew up, I rebelled, I wandered..but when I found me back to God, the very fundamentals they taught us stood.

2. Takes two to Tango

It takes two to have agreement. It takes two to have marriage vows stay in place. It takes two to resolve conflict.

Bottom line? Both of you need to want to work it out.

48 years is a long time not to let harsh words escape your lips, not to fight in front of your children.

I have seen good relationships come to a drastic end because well, one party is not putting much effort to work a conflict out.

What I have Learned from my parents 48 years of marriage

3. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive.

My mother does not have a time-keeping bone in her.

Father on the other hand is a clock. That and he’s always a mile ahead.

He can do both his and her work and Mama dear will still not make it on time.

Just because some similarities brought you together it does not guarantee a smooth sailing.

You might have similar pursuits but DIFFERENT ways in achieving them.

And me thinks that this is what causes conflict in marriage/relationships.

Maybe she likes doing the dishes in the morning but nothing helps him sleep better at night than an empty sink. Less bugs you know.

Or maybe she is a perfectionist, but him, he finds order in chaos.

Fact is, you’ll be going home at the end of the day to a whole different individual.

Time speeds by..

Fact also, it takes one-day-at-a-time until you look back and it hits you, it’s 48 been years!

Seasons have a way of keeping you busy and occupied and before you know it, years have sped by.

When my time comes, I will want to someday look back and say without shadow of doubt “but it was just yesterday!”

Question: What positive lessons have you learned from your parents or mentors marriage? Please share in Comments

About Author: Part nerd, part creative writer. Daughter. Sister. Friend. I blog at Warhia Memoirs.
Linking with Messy Marriage, Titus 2sdays, We are That family

18 Comments

  1. My parents were (and are) careful to always speak well of each other and not be divided.
    They are a great example to me of never complaining about the other, but if there is a problem, to discuss it together and get it fixed (or just accept things and get past them.)

  2. A successful marriage happens when both couples are equally putting in 100 percent! Great tips here.

  3. Amazing story! Most of us know that it takes so much sacrifice to raise a family and keep a marriage going. Its so great to see that there will always be families like this one. What a large family with love and support. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Wow, I love this reflection on your parents marriage Tabatha! My parents were married in 1969 and they have 20 grandchildren too so I’m in a similar situation! I love the godly heritage, so much to live up to and to look to as an example!

    1. Hi Caleb? Is there anything like family-mate for families that are similar 😀 ? I always muse this of my folks as a tall order. I hope, at the very least, to have half of what their marriage is, if not all the shebang. Thanks a mile.

  5. Great post, Tabatha. Seven daughters – wow!
    It certainly does take two people willing to work it out. That’s what struck me about your post. Great stuff.

    1. Yep 7 daughters. How my folks dealt with that much estrogen still beats me eternally :D.

  6. This was so fun to read, Tabitha. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your parents’ life. My parents have been married about 58 years I think now and I’ve learned that it’s important to not even consider divorce as an option and that if you stick it out, it will be worth it. 🙂 All marriages have difficult seasons but if you give up during those times you never make it to the “worth it” spot.

    1. Thank you Barb. I discovered that I actually judge my relationships through my folks’ marriage: this with a “There must be another way out of this” attitude. Thing is, the only way such an attitude will work, is if both of you are on the same script. Marriage cannot be one-man struggle.

  7. Faithfulness to God, kindness to each other, servanthood to those God sends on our paths … just a few helpful keys to keep in mind …

  8. I think I learned from my parents to love God and to persevere no matter what you might “feel” at the moment. In time, God will bring peace, comfort and always that beautiful redemption. That doesn’t mean God will fix things the way you or your spouse wants, but it does mean He will do a good work in you! Great thoughts, Tabitha! And hey there, Ngina! Hugs to you, my friend!

  9. Great post 🙂

    I learned from my parents that love can conquer all. They had a far from perfect marriage, but it was sealed by God in HIS love. His love held them through the ups and downs. And His love is holding my marriage.

  10. Hi Ngina,

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I spent yesterday with my folks. Four years into Mom’s dementia now, Dad told us yet again, like he does whenever family is over to visit, that he is not tired of taking care of her. She may not remember any of us kids, but she remembers my dad.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Warhia [Ok, Tabitha it is 🙂 ]

    1. Wow, that’s impossible for me to comprehend. what a legacy and a bond. such a blessing and example. Thanks for sharing their story with us on this post. i appreciate you.

  11. My parents celebrated 45 years earlier this year. My in-laws are celebrating 50 years next June. My grandparents celebrated 60 years before my grandfather passed away, and my other grandparents celebrated 50 years before my grandmother passed away. My wife’s grandparents actually made it to 75 years. I am so blessed by the legacy left for us. This summer, my wife and I will celebrate 18 years. I hope we can leave our kids (and grandkids) the same legacy. Marriage matters!

    1. John,

      That is such a legacy. I hope that my family remotely emulates yours 🙂

      Warhia.

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