We’d Do It All Over Again!
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
Yesterday in Providence, Rhode Island, 300 married couples said, “I do,” all over again. Isn’t that wonderful! The participating couples were married from 25 to 70 years and loved each other so much that they chose to reaffirm their commitment to each other by renewing their marriage vows, and in a very public way. They promised once more, "To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part."
This “good news” story caught our attention when we saw a video clip on one of the nightly news shows about it. It struck a chord with us because for over 25 years we have interviewed successfully married couples that were married between 30 and 60 years.
One of the questions in our interview protocol asks the couple we are interviewing if they would marry each other all over again. The answer tells you a lot about the quality of their relationship and the success of their marriage, and it provides a true testament to their love for each other.
With the happily married couples, the answer is nearly always a resounding, “yes!” On the other hand, for those that equivocate, you get a sense that all is not well with their relationship. The successfully married couples we have interviewed over the years gave their lives, their love, and their sacred honor to each other and would not hesitate to make that same commitment again.
You see, true love is forever. We know that skeptics abound when it comes to this notion, but many of them miss the most important point of its meaning. Let us explain.
When people fall in love do they say, “I will fall in love with you until somebody else comes along I love more.” Do they say, “You are the love of my life today, but I will look for a new one tomorrow.” Worse yet, just imagine someone setting a time limit on their love – “I will love you for ten years and then will move on to another lover.” Sounds silly when you think about it, huh?
Why commit your love to someone if you don’t think it will last forever? True love, it seems to us, is all about commitment. You can’t truly love someone if you do not believe your relationship to be permanent. If you feel that it is not, what you are feeling is probably not real love but infatuation or some other emotion that disguises itself as love.
This past August we wrote an article for SelfGrowth.com entitled, “How Will I Know I Am In Love?” In case you didn’t get a chance to read it, check it out at www.selfgrowth.com/articles/How_Will_I_Know_I_Am_In_Love.html.
In that article we outlined Seven Categories of answers we have heard in our research over the years to this most important of all questions about love and relationships – how do you know you are in love. When you truly know you are in love, you are ready to make the commitment to another person. But that is only half the story – the other person has to feel that way as well. It does, as we often say, take two to Tango!
We have learned many lessons over the years about lasting love. Long-lasting and successful relationships begin and end with unqualified and undying love and commitment. To think otherwise is to set yourself up for failure in love, and life.
May the love of your life share their life with you until the end. And when all is said and done, you will say, “I would do it all over again.”
Here’s to lasting love.
Now you can order the Doctors' new book entitled , Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage at Amazon.com. With 25 years of research experience on successful marriage and their own 41-year marriage, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz know what makes marriage work. From their hundreds of interviews with happily married couples, representing 15,000 years of marriage, they've discovered the seven pervasive characteristics present in all successful marriages. Their book exposes the secrets for success through these poignant, real life stories.
During their distinguished careers the Doctors have received some 60 local, state, and national awards; published nearly 200 articles and manuscripts; delivered over 1000 speeches, workshops and public presentations; traveled throughout the world; and appeared on radio and television and in the print media. Dr. Charles D. Schmitz is Dean and Professor of Family and Counseling Therapy at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz is President of Successful Marriage Reflections, LLC.
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