Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Living our Vows: Alida & Tom

I came across Alida's blog when i was planning my wedding and i couldn't be any happier because during this period in my life...i wanted to meet and be around individuals that were living their vows the way i wanted to.   I have never met Alida however as soon as you begin reading her blog Blackpurl's Knitpickings...an expat's journal, you get to know the woman, the wife, the mother and the expat.  
I hope you learn from her as i continue to learn. 


Thirty years ago
December 13, 1981.
At the wise old age of 18 we thought we knew it all...
how much we've learned since then.
We've seen that God's plans for us are far better than our dreams for us.
We've undergone growth and change individually that deepended our bong of unity.
We've experienced hurts deeper than expected.
We've been bleesed wtih joys greater than anticipated.
We've realized the immense riches of a life lived together.
Thirty years ago, we thought we loved each other.
Now, we know we do.
(side note: i LOVE this Alida! I will have to borrow this in thirty years)

The number one lesson I want to share about being in a long term relationship 
is that love is not a feeling... it is a decision.
 In my humble opinion 72 days of married life is not long enough to determine that a marriage is not going to work. Getting to “happily ever after” takes more than 3 and a half months. 
Seriously, I have spent longer than that searching for a well fitting pair of jeans. 
I think I have taken my jeans pursuit more seriously than Kim Kardashian did her marriage. 
Did she really do everything she could 
or did she simply make her decision based on her feelings?
Living in love is not about how you feel from day to day.

It is about deciding to honor your commitment, 
it is about facing the reality that marriage takes work.
 It is about both people being willing to do whatever it takes to stay together.
 I am not talking about compromising values or allowing yourself to be abused in any form. 
But about truly making an effort to have a successful thriving relationship.
Tom and I have reminisced about the for better or for worse vow we took. 
We have enjoyed times of 'better' and we are grateful for those occasions. 

We have also experienced the 'worse'. 
The short version of stressful events reads: 
two stillbirths and a miscarriage, deaths of family members, 
university, graduate school for Tom, raising kids, car accidents, 
moving across country, experiencing poverty, debt, remodeling a home, 
moving overseas with two teens and so on.
And we have lived to tell the tale.
Our parents did it too.
And our grandparents.
It can be done.

Two weeks into our marriage we had a huge fight. I don't remember what the fight was about. 
But, I do remember storming out and going 'home to mother'. 
My mother taught me about boundaries way before pop psychology or Dr. Phil came along. 
She had taken away my house key when I moved out so I had to ring the doorbell to get in. 
She came to the door and asked me what I wanted. 
Looking at her through the screen door, which she wouldn't even unlock, 
I started crying and said that we'd had a fight. She stared at me with an expressionless face. 
And then she uttered the most priceless words she has ever spoken to me. 
“You don't live here anymore...Go home and work it out.” “But, Mama!” I cried. 
She used the broken record technique on me...”You don't live here anymore. 
Go home and work it out!” I went home. We worked it out. 

And each time we came up against a hard place in our marriage 
we chose to work on the issue, sometimes with the help of a neutral third party, 
before it could devastate our relationship beyond repair. 
We believe that divorce is not an option...period.
It is so easy to get caught up in the wedding and forget that a marriage is going to follow.                                                         And a marriage is so much more important than a wedding.                                                                                                 

A wedding lasts just a few hours 

but marriage is meant to last a lifetime.



It is an honor to know you Alida & Tom and your 30 years of marriage is definitely an inspiration to us all.
Thank you for sharing how you and Tom have lived and continue to live your vows on a daily basis.  
We all need to hear again and again  that love is not a feeling 
but a decision especially during the "worse" days.

Question of the Day:
Alida and Tom have been married for thirty years and that's 
such a wonderful testimony to living their vows! 
Whose the longest married couple you know? 
And how many years have they been married?


Marina said...

Wow, thank you for sharing her blog with us.. I've been married only for a year and a half :)

Bije @ PinkLilliesandBG said...

This was an awesome read, and very inspirational. A few weeks ago in our life group (couples bible study) we were watching a video about this concept that Alida said, and in this post she was dead on, when she said "Marriage is decision, not a feeling". I think this is so true, and I believe this is one of the many reasons the divorce rate is so high. People get married thinking it means "happily ever after, and no bad days." and we have been trained to believe that if something doesnt make you happy you just dismiss it and leave it where its at. I love how she emphasized the work it took, and that there were bad times, but you all made it through. Thanks so much for sharing. Awesome!

Mrs. H said...

I love where she says its about deciding to honor your commitment. So true! The couple I have known married the longest would be my parents who celebrate 43yrs of marriage this September!!!

Jamie said...

So sweet.

Heather said...

This is an incredible post and such fabulous advice! My grandparents have been married 68 years and are a wonderful example of a strong and enduring couple.

This Cookn' Mom said...

Wow! This was awesome and well put...True words. Thank you for sharing!

Nylse said...

Alida - you're mom was very smart!
I heard it said this weekend that if divorce is not an option, when you're going through a tough time you know that both of you will be there to work it out - no matter how long it takes.

i think it would be my parents - i think its 43 years.

Mrs. Pedersen said...

Love this!!! :)

likeitsgolden said...

My father has been married to my stepmother for 17 years. We're not that close so I couldnt speak on the nature of their relationship. I'm not close with any couples that have been married for a long time which is unfortunate. I like having people in my life that set good examples


What a lovely inspirational story. I love hearing about people who have stuck together through thick and thin. :)

Bravoe Runway said...

OH my...if my mom would ever not let me go back home....I'd be devastated.

Lioness Rebirth said...


I wanted to stop by and personally invite you to stop by Lioness Rebirth and join in our blog hop and give-away.

I look forward to seeing you.


Amy said...

Alida's post was very inspirational! So many good lessons to be learned and quotes to remember. The biggest take home message, that marriage isn't a feeling but a decision is one that every newlywed couple needs to understand! God bless Alida and Tom's marriage for many many more years to come!

Rocker Chic said...

This was really sweet and inspirational if I ever get married this will def be a reference for me I loved that you are doing this series.

toi said...

i love alida's post so much. such inspiration. 'honour your commitment' :), kudo, kudo