A topic that really fascinates me is marriage.
Overall, it's the art and science of relationships that keep my mind busy.
My twelfth anniversary is next week, so I've been thinking about this more these days.
Why does one couple who is crazy, coo-coo-for-coco-puffs in love when married, and seven to ten years later, they divorce?
Or, two people who have never met one another are arranged to be married together, and then learn to love one another making it work for 30+ years together?
I've read books about this topic, listened to podcasts, spoken to many people, as well as heard about what old married people say.
My parents have this spectacular love story.
They met in Tokyo.
My traditional and Catholic French mother decided to go off the beaten path and moved to Tokyo to teach French in a primary school.
My Japanese and academic geeky dad was working in that same school as the head of the French department.
For him, it was love at first sight.
(It wasn't often that there were caucasian busty young women in Tokyo back then.)
For her, it wasn't exactly that, but maybe because her strict French father ordered her NOT to bring home a Japanese man.
(She didn't do as she was told.)
A few years later, they got married, moved to the South of France, and had my brother and then me.
When I was nearly two, we all moved to New York, and my parents had two more children.
They raised us with an abundance of love, always being there with us, teaching us many things directly and indirectly coming from different cultures and backgrounds.
In fact, nearly every day, we had a mix of French and Japanese cuisine.
French was spoken in the household, and we were a family with a fusion of three different cultures mixed together.
Overall, I had a wonderful and loving childhood.
(My older brother beat me up all the time, but I got through it, and now I'm a tough gal.)
Fast forward to 1998, my parents suddenly decided to separate, and eventually got divorced.
It was like the classic case of 'last child leaves the household, and one day they woke up, looked at each other and had no idea who the other person was'.
For the next 7 years, they stayed mostly amicably together, especially during Christmas when we all got together.
All six of us.
In fact, it was like nothing changed.
Then after eight years of living separate lives, they got back together, and remarried.
They're such a cute old couple now.
The eight years apart was a blessing to their relationship.
Every time I think about their story, thinking back to my childhood, how they were as parents, wondering how they made it through all the tough times, it leads me to think what they've done to CHOOSE to be with one another.
This is what I've come up with:
- Respect one another.
- Don't sweat the small stuff.
- Accept that it's not about who's right and who's wrong.
- Learn that your happiness isn't their responsibility. It's yours.
- Be the first one to say sorry.
- Consider that you will always learn something new about them every day, every week, every month, or every year.
- Your expectation of how you want to be loved is probably not the same way they want to be loved. (The Five Languages of Love)
- If you feel resentment or contempt, do something about that and clear it up.
- Learn to laugh and joke with each other, especially when you've recently had an arguement.
- Constantly tell them "I love you" because conversations 'disappear'.
There's more, but that's the bulk of it.
Nearly every day, I strive to be as great as them in every area of my life as a wife and a mother.
And now, I'm paying it back.
To my siblings.
To my husband.
To my kids.
To my friends.
To my community.
To my practice members.
And to the rest of the world to make a difference.
Chiropractic is also a huge component of that.
I want to do big big things in my life, and coming around to my 12th year of marriage, I've learned so much.
I'm at a secure and expansive point in my life, and I owe so much of it to my parents, and my philosophy with chiropractic.
My gratefulness is enormous.
In love and expansion,
— Dr MaryAnne