Put a Ring On It – Ben Partain

How can 32 years seem like a month? Today is my 32nd wedding Anniversary. One day we were married, and then a baby popped in followed by another. My girls were learning to drive followed by me giving them away in marriage and a few days’ later grandchildren, boy does the time fly. I wish I had a definitive formula to ensure long happy marriages but the fact of the matter is this: There is none, it is hard work just like anything worthwhile in life, but maybe I have a pointer or two.

Never hold a grudge. I come from a long line of prodigious grudge holders having got this trait honest from my late mother. We can all figure out reasons and instances about being and remaining angry with our spouses or significant others, have a short memory about the unimportant things and remember the good qualities, the reason you committed to that special person in the first place. The thing that attracted me to Rhonda initially was her indefatigable spirit. She has her bouts with sadness just like any other mortal human but her overall ability to see the silver lining in the darkest situations beats all that I’ve ever known and is powerful and encouraging to both me and everyone who knows her.

Forgive over and over. Two wrongs never made a right so, in the end, it doesn’t matter who did what first put the important things up front when it comes to staying together. Our marriage was in trouble so what did we do? We moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I think this was a bit unconventional but knowing no one and setting out to live as tourists seemed to do us tons of good, it focused me on work and happiness, Rhonda on her degree studies and learning a new frontier with her guide dog Ms. Bowers. We returned to Georgia refreshed, rejuvenated and renewed from our year-long experience, we were forced by necessity to enjoy each other’s company like we had in years past.

Finally just don’t allow yourself to give up. Quitting is easy but staying can be challenging but rewarding because there are other people affected and your ultimate decisions. Your actions can be for the greater good, make you a better mate, parent, human…enhance you in every way. I’m blessed to be alive and to also have had such a tremendous high character wife, we’ve walked by faith and not by sight for a long time and it’s worked so far just open your mind and stick things out, you’ll be glad and you’ll have a legacy you can be proud to leave.



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