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A couple I know who have been married for 30-some years are a great example of how it pays to stick it out in marriage rather than frivorce.

He works for a large international shipping company and has for most of his career. He gets up at 4 a.m. to go to work and spends his day scheduling and overseeing the routes of some 300 trucks. It’s not a glamorous job but he makes a good living, has a solid pension building, and has provided well for his family.

She was a stay at home mom until her children were grown, focused on their care and education. She helped out in the schools, occasionally working as an aide. After her children were off to college she started substitute teaching, found she had a special affinity for working with visually impaired children, and now she’s got a great job working in this niche. She reversed the more typical career then kids path, and it’s worked out well.

Despite having average income, they have slowly and steadily built a solid base and are financially set with a beautiful home and no worries. They have avoided debt and the stress it can bring. Now they have the ability to travel and enjoy life, thanks to their approach.

They have three grown children who love and adore their parents. All have completed college and are gainfully employed in their career fields. Two are now married, but no children yet. All the kids consider the parents home the central gathering place for special occasions, and they often have all family gatherings on weekends as well. As the clan grows I can see their gatherings becoming a close knit, multi-generational affair.

Two years ago the wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was in the early stages fortunately, but in order to reduce the risk that it might come back she decided to have a full double mastectomy. Her loving husband and children have been right there for her through the medical ordeal, and continue to be as she’s had a few setbacks with related complications from the surgery and reconstruction.

Theirs is a good marriage, dedicated, loving, and supportive. The couple puts their union first over themselves in a mature and healthy way and are devoted to their Catholic faith. They are young and vivacious for their age, an attractive pair. They look at each other with respect and love, so touching to see.

As she told me of her medical struggles it occurred to me how fortunate she was to have her husband and children’s support through that tough time. And how that’s a big perk of being 30 years in, of having built that solid platform for herself by building it for her family.

It’s rare to see these days but so comforting when one does. In a society where everything is disposable, something that lasts seems all the more precious.

Choosing and marrying well and sticking it out may not be the most common path today, but it’s the one I would recommend. I hope my daughters take this path and enjoy the lifetime of happiness it creates.

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