Monday, April 26, 2010

Feeling Nostalgic?

This is a repeat posting of an older article I wrote here in September 2008. It is so easy when you are going through a tough financial time to feel like you are all alone. With today’s economy hurting so many families I thought it would be good to remind ourselves that even when money is tight we can still keep our marriage intact. Please feel free to share ideas for what you and your spouse do when there is no money to spend OR… share what your parents did or any other couple you know.


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Bear with me-- I am feeling nostalgic today. My mom's been gone for over 6 years now. I remember her sharing so many stories of the old days, late 1940's-early 1950's, when Mom and Dad were fairly new parents and poor as church mice. Going on dates at that time was financially challenging for them but in spite of the challenge, they still figured out how to romance each other. Thought I would share a couple of her stories in an effort to entice some of you to do likewise and share some of your own, older memories of your parents or of a long ago time in your own life.

Back in the late 40's my mom quit high school to get married. She and Dad were both young and began having kids a couple of years into the marriage. Before long, they found themselves with several kids but still.... no money. I remember Mom telling me that when they needed a break, my grandmother or one of my aunts would babysit while my parents would go out on a cheap date. On one such date they would go out and buy 2 cokes and just walk through town sipping on coke. This was at a time when you could buy a coke for 5 or 10 cents so it was a 10 or 20 cent date.

My childhood church had a mens group which sponsored a weekly dance that was free for the group members and their spouses. My parents always loved to dance and since my dad was a member, once a week they were able to go dancing for free. They became very good at finding creative, inexpensive ways to go on dates during those years when money was tight.

A side note---

Although I have never discussed details with them, I assume that my parents must have enjoyed a healthy, active sex life. They always took time for dates and they ended up having a very large family so they were regularly enjoying sex. As the oldest kids were getting married Mom was still having babies. Up until the time she passed on, Mom and Dad could often be seen kissing or hugging. They'd even watch tv with arms wrapped around each other. Our background is a mix of French and Italian which I'm sure contributed to the affections they shared but I have to believe that some of it was plain old "being in love".

Do you have any old romantic or sexual stories to share? Has your upbringing, in any way, positively affected the sex and/or romance in your marriage? Do tell!

5 comments:

Edward Depp said...

i don’t have any of those yet…but i found your story really good and honest...and would like to read more from your collections...

Hiswildcherry47 said...

Gemma,
The lack of response to this quizzing on our parental influence is fascinating. We are truly forging over untrodden paths.

Many of us fight on sans the benefit of a healthy marriage example from our parents. Extremely sad and a noticeable void in Western culture, overall. I've lived in 3 continents, all Westernized thus with similar cultural norms. Marriage is not a positive experience for the majority.

I appreciate your site and the presentation/discussion which it affords. Thank you.

Gemma said...

It seems rather odd to me that most folks have nothing good to say about the relationship of their parents or any older couple in their life. Hmmmm...

so blessed said...

Gemma, I am afraid it may be that many who have these wonderful marriages today, have them because they have learned from their parents what kind of relationship they DON'T want, and have determined to do better than what they have witnessed.

Gemma said...

so blessed,

You may very well be correct but that is a sad realization to think that so many Christian couples grew up with parents who didn't regularly show love and affection for each other and who didn't have a passionate marriage bed. And while many of you will say, "But my parents didn't attend the same type of church which we now attend," as though that is the reason.... it's not; it can't be. My parents were/still are of the Roman Catholic Faith. GR and I are Christian Orthodox. While I was growing up, our Catholic church emphasized the nurturing of marriage. In our Orthodox church it would be scandalous to learn that one of our married couples was not living with a passionate marriage bed or that they were living with little love and respect. The real culprit is simply 2 people who don't agree on prioritizing their relationship.

Perhaps cultural upbringing plays a factor. I'm from an Italian/French background, regular displays of passion. Because we're in an Antiochian Orthodox church, many of our church friends were either born in Lebanon or their parents were born there. Arabics are also a people full of passion. Does cultural upbringing, ethnicity, contribute to the passion in marriage or lack thereof?

Dunno but if you think about it there are entire ethnic groups which are known to be either appropriately passionate, inappropriately passionate, hot natured, cold natured, quiet, reserved, stoic.... Why wouldn't that affect our marriage bed? But does God not equip us to break free from a bad mold so we can enhance rather than hinder our marriage? We should never have to say, "Oh well, this is how my parents related to each other so no wonder I'm like this!"