Earlier this year in January my grandparents celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary, no small feat these days!
I happened to be in the North Island a few weeks previous shooting a wedding so I stopped in to see them on the way through.
I thought I’d surprise them by just opening the door without knocking and waltzing on in to their kitchen.
Nanny, bless her, was putting a pot of tea on (as all good Irishwomen do, it’s always tea time you see) and with failing sight still recognised me.
Grandad was busy organising pages in his stamp collectors book at the kitchen table and looked up with a grin and a “hello, lad!”
Over lunch I asked them if they could think of some things about their relationship that was special, maybe some first impressions or some helpful hints on a long and happy marriage? I gave them the weekend to think about it and said I’d be back to photograph them and do a mini interview as I travelled back home.
I was pretty blown away that they’d thought this up together. Even more amazed that Nanny had written it with her vision impairment. “There you go, Bruce, you read it to him.”
“I wrote it out for you, Luke but I can’t see it now.”
So here they are: Bruce & Gwenda Smith’s “Hints on a Happy Marriage” (In no particular order and exactly as they’ve worded it).
3. Trust each other. It is important to have implicit trust in one another
6. Even when busy, make time to do things together. Even if there is no spare money, do simple things.
7. Husbands tell your wife you love her. Don’t assume she knows. She needs to be told, especially when life gets a little ‘humm drumm’ and you are going out meeting people and she is at home minding the children.
8. When there is a problem, and there will be, you are two different people, you won’t always agree. Talk it through. Don’t bear a grudge, grudges grow to resentment. (Eph 4:26….. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry).
9. Encourage one another, don’t put each other down. It can be hurtful.