“Never go to bed angry with your spouse.”
I’ve heard this tip shared with newlyweds so often that it almost seemed trite. That is, until it was mentioned by two of the three couples I recently interviewed for a story on Catholic couples whose marriages have stood the test of time.
George and Grace Supple, who have been married 68 years, and Irene and Walter Mace, who have been married nearly 75 years, all mentioned the importance of never going to bed angry, and the Maces said they would never go to bed without sharing a kiss every night. I pressed them on this issue and asked them how a goodnight kiss is helpful, and I was impressed by Walter’s answer.
There are times, he said, when a husband or wife doesn’t know quite how to say he or she is sorry, or perhaps is too proud to do so. A kiss, he continued, breaks down the ice within the spouses and softens their hearts to one another. When he put it that way, it made perfect sense.
Another couple, Deacon Ray and Patricia Defendorf, talked about how they’d followed shared dreams while also giving each other the freedom to follow their individual dreams. They also learned over their 54 years of marriage that although both are strong Catholics, each expresses his or her relationship with God in a different way. I liked these insights, too. My husband and I have only been married for 12 years — almost 13! — but sometimes we get so caught up in all the responsibilities and the dreams we share that it’s easy to forget that we are separate people with our own dreams, too.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to listen to these couples share their stories and to learn from their experiences.