Updated: Dec 6, 2021
I remember a time when my dad caught me getting ready to leave out the front door. He said, “You know, I figured out how you tell time. Stumped I asked, “What do you mean?” He answered “When you say “I’ll be back in a little bit” I know it will be about an hour or so. When you say, “I’ll be back in a while”, it will be late before you return. If you say, “I’ll see ya”, that means don’t wait up.” I had never really thought about it but he was right. I had reduced time to phrases that referred to clumps of time I figured I’d be burning up. After all, when we are young it seems like there is an endless supply of time to use, with old age far off and a lot of space in between. Something I have learned since is that time is an asset we can never replace or replenish. And none of us really knows how much of it we have to use. A high school friend came to mind the other day. He died of a brain aneurysm just out of high school. He was a big guy and a good athlete who competed on the state level. He had plans after school. Unfortunately, he just didn’t have much time and those plans died with him.
Some time later, my dad told me “Just wait until you get older. Years will seem like months; months will seem like days and days will seem like a minute in time.” I laughed. But he was right, once again. As I sit here having to plan out how to financially deal with retirement, I look back and think how all that space in between when I was young until now was a blink.
We start to cram so much into a day we wish that we had more time. Before we have a chance to realize it, time just somehow slips away. Every once in a while, we have a moment where we look back and say, “Where did time go?”
The march of time. No one can escape it. At first, it is just small things that we notice. Then, somewhere along the way, we wake up in shock to some sudden transformation that seemed to take place overnight. Wrinkles out of nowhere. Grey hairs, or hair growing where it never did before. Baggy eyes, weight gain, muscle loss. Things that start to sag and drag. For some, this becomes too hard to deal with. Drastic measures are required. Here are a few of those examples:
These examples are representative of humanity’s attempt to fight the aging process. To hold back time, avoid the inevitable, remain in denial or preserve our youth. Some see it as a means to stay relevant while others struggle to remain in a competitive market of some type where age is seen as a negative in getting ahead. There is the desire to remain attractive, to continue to look like you feel and other motivating reasons. In fact, there was a day when I was visiting my grandmother when out of nowhere she said that the person she saw in the mirror was not the person she was inside. What I have come to understand as I now approach that age is that she was merely stating what every person will eventually go through. The outward appearance does not match the person inside. They are out of sync. Inwardly we stop aging somewhere in our 30’s or 40’s and yet our body ages on.
Plastic surgery is not the only means we attempt to deny we are aging. There is an endless supply of commercials for products to help us keep or recapture our youth. Hair dyes, botox injections, male enhancement products, anti-aging cream, body sculpting, liposuction and more reflect our desire to hold back time. It is big business, especially now that the Baby Boomer generation is up in age.
What does this really have to do with marriage and relationships? Hmm. Glad you asked. Its impact is far greater than you know. And much deeper than we realize.
So, to answer the question, let’s begin with a video. An experiment with a young couple who, through the work of makeup artists, got an advanced look at what it might be like as they were to grow old together:
Kristie and Tavis got to have a small glimpse of that life. Some of their reactions were priceless. However, this glimpse of the future was only visual with no real-life experience behind it yet. And so, their responses, as good as they were, were those one might expect coming from the perspective of two people in their 20’s.
There was a time when parents were able to pass on down what they learned and experienced about life’s journey concerning marriage to their children. They were there to give counsel when asked and to impart gained wisdom so that their children would be better prepared for what to expect. And should they hit some rough patches, encourage them and help guide them through. Sadly, today with a greater increased level of broken homes, blended families, single parenting and more, this doesn’t happen as much as it once did. This leaves future generations with little guidance and tools to help them develop a lasting and healthy marriage.
Statistically, the average number of years a marriage lasts in the U.S. is seven years. And should a divorced person remarry, 60% will end in divorce, while those that try a third time, 73% will end in divorce. It is obvious that those that fall into these categories are not in a position to help others in establishing a good marriage. However, they may be able to share or show what not to do and what to avoid.
Having said that, your marriage does not have to be among them. There are some mile markers that lie ahead that are the same for every marriage. Knowing what they are and being prepared for them in advance will help you to be successful in getting through and onto the next mile marker as the two of you age together.
These mile markers appear in different seasons of our marriage. For the purposes of these posts, we will entitle them as “The Early Years”, the “Rock n Roll Years” and the “Golden Years”. We will address these in the upcoming posts.
Aging impacts not only the physical but other aspects of our lives as we evolve as a person. Worldviews may change or be altered over time. Our beliefs and emotional makeup. Our spiritual growth, if any, and more. Who we are at twenty is only a part of who we will become at fifty as we continue to grow and change while walking through these seasons. The young, dumb and clueless man I was at 20 years old, is not the same man I am now. Now, I’m not so young. The other stuff is still a “work in progress”.
In a marriage, change is happening to both parties as they walk through their seasons of life together. There are two things happening in a marriage relationship. Individually, each spouse is going through personal life changes separately while at the same time adjusting to each other’s change within that relationship. Some are successful with adjusting. Some are not. Those that are successful have a few things going for them that are important keys to a changing, maturing relationship.
Over the course of the next few blogs, we will journey together through the seasons that not only apply to an individual’s life but as it so happens, impacts the marriage as well.
Until then, we wish you LOVE, JOY & PEACE!
Brad & Yvonne Adams