Marriage Stories: What’s your favorite story?

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Marriage Stories

NOTE from Dr. Wayne Baker: As I’m traveling this summer, I am inviting guest writers to explore themes we haven’t covered much in the OurValues project. Several years have passed since I wrote a series about the values of marriage—although I did report earlier this year that a record number of Americans now say they’ve never been married. Clearly, there’s a lot to discuss this year about the challenges and rewards of marriage. Dr. Benjamin Pratt is a retired pastoral counselor and author of the new book Short Stuff from a Tall Guy. He writes often about the complex values surrounding marriage—and, this week, as he shares several of his own stories, he is inviting our readers to share as well. Please welcome Ben Pratt … 

Grant Wood American Gothic plus tourists posed as well

STORIES OF MARRIAGE OLD AND NEW: Did you know that visitors to the original “American Gothic” house in Eldon, Iowa, are invited to dress up like Grant Wood’s famous farming couple? These are just some of the snapshots visitors have posted online.

What’s your favorite marriage? Or, I should say, what’s your favorite story about marriage—your own or the marriage of someone you know?

If you’ve only been married once, consider this: You might have experienced more than one marriage. Let me explain …

My wife Judith and I are in our 12th marriage.

To be more precise, we can demarcate 12 different movements to our more than 50-year marital dance. Each dance has been different with some, like the tango, filled with passion, and others gentle and orderly, like the waltz. Oh yes, we’ve had turns of rock and roll, herky-jerky and the energetic swing—and even the crawl as our world slowed down.

Each “marriage” corresponds to major life transitions: being newlyweds, the birth of children, personal times of growth and struggle, new professions, deaths of parents, children moving away from the nest, aging, and, of course, illness and the tasks of caregiving. Each transition involved the basic marital functions of love, sex, children, careers, families, companionship and house-holding. And, each turn in the dance was dynamic, daunting and demanding.

We never claimed to be masters of the dance.

We are always learning.

We’d love to hear from you!

So what’s your favorite marriage story?

Come back each day, this week, as I share some marriage stories that might ring bells in your life!

Share your stories, please …

OurValues is designed to encourage civil dialogue on challenging subjects—and, this week, we hope readers will share stories about marriage with friends. You’re free to print out, repost or share these five columns on marriage to get folks talking. Leave a comment below. Email someone. Come on, start talking …

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