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Do you know what it takes to have a great marriage?

I think it’s safe to say that most of us who are married, or who have been married, find it challenging – or to have been a challenge. There is always something new to learn about yourself, your partner, communicating and just getting along. Wilferd A. Peterson, the author of the poem “The Art of Marriage,” was married to his wife for 58 years. Do you think maybe he learned some things from being married that long? I thought what he had to say was worth sharing. Read on.

“The Art Of Marriage”

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things…

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humor.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

– by Wilferd Arlan Peterson


Who was Wilferd Arlan Peterson? Here’s a little bit of info I found on the internet:

Wilferd Arlan Peterson (August 21, 1900 – June 2, 1995) was an American author who wrote for This Week magazine (a national Sunday supplement in newspapers) for many years. For twenty-five years, he wrote a monthly column for Science of Mind magazine.

He was born in Whitehall, Michigan and lived most of his life in Grand Rapids, where he was the Vice President and Creative Director of an advertising firm, the Jaqua Company. A prolific writer for various industry publications, his inspirational essays began to appear on the “Words To Live By” page of This Week magazine in 1960 (which was distributed in 42 metropolitan Sunday newspapers with over 13 million readers). Letters of praise from admiring readers led to the publication of The Art of Living, the first of a series of books that would sell millions of copies.

Mr. Peterson was regarded as “one of the best loved American writers of the 20th century, renowned for his inspirational wisdom and aphoristic wit” by the Independent Publishers Group. He was a frequent contributor to This Week magazine, Science of Mind magazine and Readers Digest.

His published works include: The Art of Getting Along (1949), The Art of Living (1961), The New Book of the Art of Living (1962, 1963), More about the Art of Living (1966), Adventures in the Art of Living (1968), The Art of Living in the World Today (1969), The Art of Living Day by Day (1972), The Art of Living Treasure Chest (1977), The Art of Creative Thinking (1991) and The Art of Living: Thoughts on Meeting the Challenge of Life (1993).

Wilferd Peterson was married to Ruth Irene Rector Peterson in 1921 (she passed away in 1979, one month after celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary). He credits his wife Ruth as being the inspiration for his work (saying that while he “wrote about the art of living, she lived it”), and they collaborated often on producing these inspirational books.

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