Lasting marriage. Yes, you can.



A lasting marriage, especially a long one is as possible today as it was fifty years ago. I believe it because Irma and I will be married fifty years on April 7th. 2008.

Hello again. We are Joe and Irma Mac Millan, the builders of this website. We introduced ourselves and our family on the page About us. There we related how we met and fell in love, married and were blessed with four wonderful daughters.

Since we wrote that outline, we have had very positive comments from our visitors. Discussing these, we realized that we have something almost unique, a very long lasting marriage. We decided to write this page as a follow up. Not as a guide or a lecture, but what we did to enjoy our love for each other for so long.

First we want to make it known to you that you probably will have a tougher battle to keep your marriage together than we ever faced. We didn’t have the lack of respect children appear to have today. Respect for parents, the law and any kind of authority. Why this is so we will not go there. We only know it is a huge problem today and one that can drive parents to distraction making a lasting marriage tougher to attain.

We want this to be an insight into our fifty years together. What worked for us, and what didn’t. This is how I have seen what has made our marriage work. Irma has her own views and wishes to keep them private as that is the way she is. All I know is that what I preach here must have worked for us.

What we have.

Recently we were in a nearby park enjoying our daily walk. It was a beautiful fall morning. A heavy frost overnight had caused the ice to form on the lake and a large flock of Canada Geese had arrived. It was comical as they skidded into each other for they couldn’t stop as they usually do in water. We laughed heartily at the crack-up reminded us of the first snows of winter and the accidents that happen on the super highway nearby.

Holding Hands

We have always held hands as we walked. We’ve done it for years. A couple of young ladies, probably in their early forties approached. We noticed them say something between themselves. When they got within a few feet from us, one spoke and said “we want what you two have” as they passed by.

We have often noticed that couples rarely hold hands in public. Why do we do it? I for one noticed that holding hands makes you feel united. I don’t even like holding hands while wearing gloves in the winter. It’s not the same. We have held hands for so long we can’t remember when we started.

Canadians are quite conservative in most things they do. Holding hands may appear to be old fashioned. Doesn’t matter to us.

Marriage isn’t a fifty-fifty deal. It’s really a 100-100 deal. Each partner must put 100% into making it work. What I have discovered is that of the 200% total this represents, the woman will put in 150% and the man 50%. What I’m talking about is the work that is done at home.

Gentlemen, let’s face it. We go to work at the office or plant. Your wife remains home raising the children and keeping the home clean and tidy. Her day is filled with chores as yours is filled with your line of work details. You arrive home for dinner. Who does the dishes and clean up? Who Gets the children to do their homework? Who folds the laundry? Who sees the children off to bed? Who finally gets to sit down and rest three hours after you arrived home? This reflection has nothing to do with anything, but if you want a lasting marriage, the earlier you realize it the better.

That was the way we had it. Four children to raise so Irma did just that. (No wonder they grew up to be so wonderful). Today of course most of the wives hold down jobs just as do the men. They still come home after work and do all the housework and meals. When did you last offer to do the dishes?

It's the Little Things That count

When was the last time you told her seriously that she is the most perfect woman you have ever known? (Without prompting). How many times a day do you tell her you love her? When was the last time you bought her flowers without reason or a special occasion?

Women love to be loved. They thrive on it. They love the little things such as opening the door for them, helping them to put their coat on or take it off. Women want their men to be chivalrous. They love respect and a long lasting marriage.

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Do you know what can really shorten a marriage? Winning the arguments that occasionally crop up. When someone wins, someone also loses. I have my doubts if a couple have never, ever, argued during their marriage. That would be almost impossible. Arguments will happen. It’s only human nature. But long after the argument has passed, the winner will be resented.

Compare it to playing a game of golf. What difference does it make if you shot an 97 or an 98. You’re not playing in the PGA. What do you do with the score card? I’ll bet you threw it away. The difference didn’t matter. It will be forgotten very shortly. The same goes with the argument at home. Give it up. Who cares who is right or wrong. Life is too short. To create a lasting marriage, one of the most important things you never do is go to sleep mad at each other. That is an absolute no no. Give in even if you believe you are dead right. APOLOGIZE. It doesn’t matter.

It's one thing to "Get Married", but it's quite another challenge to staying married

When was the last time you both went out to breakfast?

The first meal of the day is normally quite hectic. Lunches for the children. Get them off to school. One or both parents off to work. Daycare run perhaps. Weekend shopping, church, kids sports, cut the grass. Chores and more. Time out. What did you do for yourselves? Get in the habit of a break by having someone else prepare breakfast for a change. It will do a lot for both or all of you and go a long way to a lasting marriage.

A lasting Marriage . Is it Like or Love?

I thought I fell in love with Irma the moment we met. She looked so beautiful, fresh and clean. Back in 1957 girls dressed in nice dresses. They wore gloves. They would drop dead rather than be seen sloppily dressed. I remember when I would be a little early for our date, I wasn’t invited into the one room flat she and her sister rented until the two of them were perfectly groomed and clothed. A date with Irma was like a date with a queen. It was a pleasure. A thrill to be with her and to be seen with her. What fascinated me was, she never acted like one. She only wanted to look her best.

However, I realized some years later that I had been in “like” with her. Love came along a long time later when the hectic period of raising the children was passing by. She is such a fantastic mother. They are a true reflection of her caring and understanding and loving ways. She never failed to praise me in front of others. She was kind to people who may not have been the same to her. That turns like into love, no question about it.

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Integrity

A husband must practice integrity or the marriage will not work. Be honest in everything you do. Mean what you say and do it. We learned in the navy to be five minutes early for an appointment. Go home after work, not to a bar. Treat every female as if your mother was standing next to you. That will result in a lasting marriage for sure.

Ever notice that golf courses hire the prettiest girls to operate the drink cart! Yes, guys will be guys, but do you really need to flirt while your lady love is not there? Leave that for the bachelors. Your love for your wife must be so strong as every woman ever conceived takes second place.

How did the vows go? For better or worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer. Yes we all took those vows and stated before everyone present that we would carry them out. Combine these solemn vows with the few insights I’ve stated here and you too may have a fantastic lasting marriage.

Our wish for you is that you enjoy the kind of life we have had and keep doing the little things as they are going to keep your marriage going, till death do you part.

Is your marriage a little rocky? Marriage in not always easy. Things happen to cause problems. Here is a few comments we have made to help a rocky marriage over the road of life.

What Women Want From Men
Relationship advice for men from women's perspective. Includes info on romance, marriage, communication, what drives women crazy, and more.

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