The third ingredient

By the time we reach 50 years old, most of us are pretty set in our ways. We know what we like and don’t like, we know just how things should be done and we certainly don’t need someone else mucking things up in our lives.

So getting married after 50 can have some challenges, especially for those of us who like to do things our own way.

Enter John and Loretta.

I have been called stubborn more than once in my life, and I’ll admit I can be a force to be reckoned with. But I look at that as an excellent quality to have. It has gotten me through some tough situations, and I like that about myself.

As I have aged, I’ve learned to tamper my inflexibility when it comes to the little things in life. My daughter-in-law has a great saying she learned from her mother, “There is no sense fighting over something you aren’t going to get a divorce over.”

So in my eyes, John and I hardly ever fought during our first few months of marriage. I didn’t know he had a completely different filter he saw things through.

In John’s first marriage, he and his wife never fought. I mean, never. So to him, any discussion that was even slightly uncomfortable was a fight. And we talked about a lot of unpleasant things.

A lifetime of baggage is hard to let go of; and as much as we wanted to jump in and trust the other person, fear kept us from doing just that.

It’s interesting, we said, “I do” but then we both started questioning the veracity of that simple statement. Years of training told us it just wasn’t true. John was sure I was going to bail, and I was sure he was.

As much as we wanted to be vulnerable and trust, neither of us knew how to actually do it.

I asked a question on social media last week, “Which is more important: Love or Commitment?” and got an interesting mix of responses. Love is what brings us together and gives us that warm, fuzzy feeling that ushers us to say; “I do.”

But without commitment, I am not sure how to get through the hard times.

It took me a while but I found out that the third and perhaps most crucial ingredient in a happy life together would be vulnerability and that was going to take a few years to accomplish.

Turns out the hardest part would be to stay together long enough to find the trifecta of marriage: love, commitment and vulnerability.

Could we do it?

Finding vulnerability

Reader Comments

  1. Amy Kennedy

    Goodness another great post! I have been in that situation many times when I am totally thinking one way and my spouse is totally thinking something completely different! I don’t know if you ever saw the newer version of “Miracle on 34th Street” but at one point, the little girl is having a conversation with her mom. And she says, “I’m very sorry, Mother. You have it perfectly wrong.” That is how I have felt so many times!

  2. Marijke Doldersum

    Vulnerability indeed. I feel that even after 32 together that can still be ‘tricky’ one. I have listened to Brene Brown’ s vulnerability talk several times but it ain’t easy.
    Good that you found this awareness so fast!

  3. Wendy Allott

    It is hard to get those three, and I think it gets harder as we get older and more set in our ways. Sometimes I think commitment is just as important as love, because it’s what keep a couple together when the love is hard to find. But vulnerability is what lets us go through the hard times with trust the other person will stick it out. Great post.

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