The Three Magic Words you Should Say this Valentine’s Day
A Reflection on 40 Years of Marriage
CPW members Joy and Mike Wanless were invited to share what they had learnt during their 40 years of marriage at the Salford Diocesan Blessing for Engaged couples last weekend. With many couples present, they reminded the couples of the importance of spending time together and talked about the blessings of Catholic Peoples’ Weeks. Joy and Mike recently celebrated 40 years of Marriage.
This is Joy’s reflection on marriage, the importance of mutual support, and CPW:
Mike and I met aged 17 and 16. Our relationship survived us going to different universities. I vividly remember praying passionately that we would stay strong together. God answers prayer. In Mike’s words, ’40 blissfully wonderful years’(!).
The fruits of our relationship are 5 delightful daughters and currently 4 gorgeous grandchildren. God granted us patience, love and hope. Mike is a dentist and has provided for our family enabling me to train as a Psychotherapist and work with Marriage Care as a volunteer for 38 years. The abundant blessings gained from working with Marriage Care are a constant source of inspiration, strength and support. Mike might add challenge too!
I wondered how it would work in our relationship, Michael not being Catholic when my faith meant so much to me. Michael made what might now be called a prenup promise go to church every week. Catholic Peoples’ weeks are described by our children as ‘Our Church’. We have enjoyed great fellowship, stimulation and continuing friendship over the years. You might know I co-chaired one last year with Chris Sweetman. The topic seemed relevant for many of our family members: Burnout. We looked at therapies, massage etc but especially how the Holy Spirit refreshes and renews us. Michael helped me prepare, even making worship flags following instructions on YouTube - he supports me so much.
Mike’s gift to me for our Silver wedding was to attend the Alpha Marriage Course. We are still offering the Marriage Course having now celebrated our own Ruby wedding. My gift to Mike? Lots more support and… challenge. If you think that Mike is patient and long-suffering, he agrees with you!
His advice to anyone to survive marriage is 3 magic words. Perhaps you are expecting I love you? Not so, he says, ‘You are right’ are the three magic words. Works both ways!