Keeping the spark alive

2015-07-07 06:01

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One of South Africa’s iconic couples, Archibishop Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah, last week celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows.

In a society plagued by high divorce rates, making it to 60 years of wedded bliss is no mean feat, which is exactly why it is so important to have such positive role models when it comes to marriage.

In fact, according to statistics released by StatsSA in December, nearly half of marriages that end in divorce last less than 10 years.

In our consumer-driven culture, fuelled by instant gratification, “fixing things” is not an idea that comes naturally to many people. Coupled with a high dose of over-the-top romance in the media, many young couples expect marriage to be like something out of a Nicholas Sparks novel.

Most couples who have been married for a long time will tell you that their secret is compromise and patience. The reality is that good relationships don’t just happen, they develop over time. There’s a fair amount of work that goes into keeping romance alive.

Another “marriage secret” you’ll often hear is: A couple that laughs together stays together. It’s the laughter that helps keep a couple connected and “in tune” despite the stresses of daily life.

We owe it to future generations to work on our relationships. Instead of giving up show them that true romance is about companionship and not just whirlwind romance and to teach them the value of happiness that comes from family stability.

When previously asked her secret to staying in love for so many years, Leah Tutu reportedly said: “There is no magic to making marriage work. A marriage is never made in heaven‚ you make it what it is. If you love a person‚ it’s simply not enough. You must meet halfway‚ give and take‚ for the rest of your lives”

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