My parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last month.
To think about my parents being married 50 years is quite an enormous feat.
50 years with the same person.
Day in and day out.
Year after year.
How do they do this?
What do these couples do that keeps them going after many years?
Watching my parents, other parents and families, and my marriage the word that comes to mind is Resilience.
Resilience is flexible, elastic. You bounce back from hurts, struggles and heartaches rather than crumbling. Resilience is “love, belonging, joy courage, empathy, and creativity. It is also the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. (Brene Brown).”
That is vulnerability.
And, resilience is VULNERABILITY.
This is what vulnerability researcher Brene Brown reminds us of.
These relationships are strong, they are powerful because they are willing to love, to trust, to seek connection, to ask for help.
They are willing to show the shadow sides of themselves to each other instead of shrinking in fear, shame, or pride, which can be poison to a relationship.
They risk being authentic with one another.
And all of this is scary.
My husband and I have been married a little over 2 years now.
We have our hard days, but coming into this relationship we very mindfully agreed to have hard talks, listen, communicate respectfully, and validate each other.
We brought the wisdom and lessons we learned from our previous relationships and made a promise to work together and not against each other.
We made a promise to be vulnerable.
Looking at my parents and the 50 years they have spent with each other moves me. I see the vulnerability and the resilience their marriage has. I know their story and I know what they have been through. Their resilience gives me hope and faith for the next 48 years that I spend with my husband.