Happy, Healthy Marriage

Our greatest battles are that with our own minds.
– Jameson Frank
There are a majority of people out there that get married for the wrong reasons. First, there are my parents. Although they both insist that they were in love when they got married, one glimpse at their wedding album tells of a different story. My mother, being quite pregnant with me at the time, has not one smile in any photograph. My father also has the same sullen and “trapped” look. My family keeps insisting that they would have gotten married even if she did not get pregnant because they were already engaged when I was conceived but I insist that my mother would have never walked down the aisle that day and would have left my father standing at the altar. Am I wrong? Ironically, my mother has verified my thought on this and my father, living in his own little world, still insists otherwise.

You could tell in these pictures that they would not last. It was about 3 years later that my mother left my father and me and it was since that point in my life that I never understood why people got married. That was, of course, until I married my husband. Okay, I have to admit that during the first year we spoke about divorce on and off because we just could not live together. Unfortunately, it took something like his health to decline rapidly that I realized what a truly happy and healthy marriage is.

Why am I bringing this up? (laugh) Over the last couple of days, I have been watching a daytime show that had newlyweds do tasks together in order to evaluate and save their marriages. The things these people did to each other – the way they spoke to each other – just made me sick. A couple of them we just negative in anything and everything they did. Then it dawned on me – the way to a healthy and happy relationship is not only finding the right person, falling in love, and getting married. It is also having the right mindset. In essence, if you have a negative outlook on the relationship, the relationship will turn negative. I will grant you that there are cases where there is abuse and in those cases, the person being abused has to love themselves enough to get out of it. But for those relationships that are not, by law, abusive – those are the relationships that could work if your mind is in the right place as well as your heart.

For Greg and me – we respect each other’s individuality and although we do butt heads from time to time, we will accept our own faults and work with the other to resolve the problem immediately. We do not wait 2 weeks and we do not blame each other. We use the love and a positive mind set to continue our happy and healthy marriage. If only my parents would have kept an open mind to each other’s feelings and respected each other – maybe then I would have had a happy and healthy childhood as well.

After her husband received a double-lung (bilateral) transplant in 2004, Shannon founded the Angel Cove Organ Donation Awareness Shop, which provides awareness t-shirts and gifts products for transplant recipients, living organ donors and donor families - giving 100% of the profits to help heart and lung transplant recipients with medical costs. Shannon lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her wonderful husband and two chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

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