LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XIX: THE INGREDIENTS OF ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS
In this book we have listened to the stories told by men and women who have lived together with other men and women for many years. We will turn shortly to a summary of the important lessons to be learned from these stories. Before turning to these stories, I thought might be informative to listen to the advice and life experiences offered by very long-term couples—for there are many couples in modern history with a much longer history than the couples we interviewed. What do these Methuselahs of Coupledom have to teach us about how to stay together as a couple? We turn first to the stories of these very long enduring relationships.
Voices from the Past: Lessons to Be Learned About Enduring Relationships
Certainly, in olden days there have been many couples who have supposedly lived together for very long periods of time. The Bible provides us with, the story of Abraham and Sarah. Given that Sarah lived to the grand old age of 128 (Genesis 23:1) — surviving war, intrigue and a very late child birth — we can assume that she was married to Abraham for at least seventy or eighty years, although we can’t be sure about their longevity.
We can be relatively certain., however, that their long-lasting relationship was due at least in part to their shared sense of value and purpose — and, in particular, their shared, devotion to Jehovah. They built a nation together, as well as raising a family together. Abraham and Sarah certainly exemplify the power of our fifth plate (Creating Something of Lasting and Shared Value). They also came from (and helped to establish) the same culture and shared many values. Finally, the adversity in their life may itself have brought them closer together as many of the couples we interviewed taught us. It is almost trite to say that adversity either destroys a couple or brings it to a new level of trust and. support.