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Together Forever- What does it take?

Back in the 1990s forecasters at UK’s Henley Centre for Forecasting predicted that by 2020, no one will be able to count on having a husband, wife or partner for life. “Serial monogamy”, it said, “would have taken over from marriage and lifelong relationships… and 10-year marriage contracts would have become a reality.”

Here we are, two years past 2020, and the BBC announce that a UK couple Ron and Joyce Bond, in Milton Keynes, celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary.

So what do we make of the Henley Centre’s forecast? It is akin to that of forecasters who, we are told, back in the days of horse drawn carriage, concluded that in 50-years-time, London roads would be impassable because horse dung from a growing number of horses drawing carriages. Those who were conscious, then, of the power of human desire, the human ability and power to think and find creative solutions to complex problems would have dismissed the forecasters as “impossibility theorists”, just as one can’t but see Henley forecasters, in this case.

Asked what the key to their long marriage was, they Ron and Joyce said “give and take”; they are not alone in that belief. A discussion of the literature of the research into why marriages last describe this as “a balance of dependency”. This is about couples seeing themselves and mutually dependent and, therefore, recognising that you can’t always have it your way, sometimes you’ll be given more than you take, but things will even out in the end.

It is possible to have life long, happy, fulfilling relationships. We are not destined to serial monogamy. We are not destined to 10-year relationships and the heartache and trauma of separation and or divorce every 10 years. To quote the legendary singer, Jimmy Cliff, “You can get it if you really want; but you must try.” Being together forever is possible.