Marriage Advise from Real Life Inspiration

     My friend, John Walter Wilson (Jack), who was 93 years old, died a couple of weeks ago and his funeral was on Saturday. As I reflected on his life and heard from his daughter and grandchildren who spoke of him, I was reminded of him as an example of how to live life well and fully. He was an RCMP officer and in his adult life he really paid attention to the study of who people were and how to bring out the best in them. In the story of his life, there were lots of examples of him looking for the best in people and focussing on that (even for those as extreme as murderers). He took time with people, honouring them with the patience of going at their pace. He was collaborative and culturally sensitive in his work and life. He was well known for living his values with integrity, something that is often missing these days. You could count on his values (his daughter recalled that his real life stories reflected the values in Bible stories). He lived with a compass point that was true. In his work and life he was somehow able to balance both justice and mercy. His life showed values of kindness and he liked to encourage people. He was interested in everyone he met and therefore could strike up a conversation with almost anyone. That quality of him was important to me, as he never failed to encourage me and was interested in how I was doing throughout my graduate degree studies. He knew how to make people feel cared for. He was also a practical helper to those who needed him. I was a recipient of that helping at a time when I really needed it. Those who were intimate in his life experienced him as amazingly positive. The nurses at the hospital would love him as he was filled with gratitude and humour as they cared for him through near death experiences. He loved the good things in life including good food! He relished family and friend gatherings. He loved music and had 1000’s of songs on his iPad and computer (maybe that contributed to his positive mood!). Right up to his death, he had the latest Apple products and could use them all (something I am in awe of)! 
The way that he did marriage was rather wonderful. As with all marriages, his was not always a fantasy bed of roses, but he brought out the best in both himself and his wife. He treated his wife with honour and faithfulness. He was a teaser and you could see him make her laugh even after 60 years of marriage. Whenever the opportunity presented itself, they would be holding hands. He bragged about her and her characteristics any time you would let him. He called herS  ‘Sweetie’ and during his recent years of ill health he remained grateful to her for all she did for him. He talked about his marriage in glowing terms, showing us all in his every day actions towards his wife what real love What could we learn from Jack on how to live and love well together? I believe my friend’s advice from his real life experience would be:
1. Believe the best in people – especially each other (have a positive sentiment override) – bring out the best in each other
2. Put love and relationships as your highest priority in life – Take the time and effort to be interested in each other’s lives as well as other’s in your path
3. Practice gratitude in whatever circumstances you are in
4. Enjoy every moment of life that you can – live life to the fullest together
5. Reach out to others in a helping way – don’t be insulated and inward – share yourselves
6. Take responsibility for your mood in relationships – enjoy the gifts of music – Music lifts your mood
7. Have a sense of humour in your relationship – make each other laugh – have fun
8. Brag about what you love about your partner to others – look for ways to do this
9. Touch each other often, hold hands and have pet names for each other
10. Live with integrity – be a partner that can always be counted on to be there, it makes it easier to be well loved by your partner and as well as others

My friend was such an inspiration to me and I hope he will be to you, especially in your marriage! Be inspired today and go forth and be wonderful!