By: Shannon Ralph
Reason #10: Shared values.
Like most married couples—or at least most successfully married couples—Ruanita and I have shared values. We have shared beliefs and goals. We have a similar way of looking at the world. A shared world view that we hope to impart to our children. We are moving in the same direction.
There are many people who want you to believe that my family does not have the same values as yours. That “traditional family values” exclude gay and lesbian families. I do not surround myself with these people. I do not let these people into my life and into the lives of my children. They’ve never sat down at my kitchen table and chatted with me. They do not know me. Or Ruanita. Or our children. So how, really, can they speak to our values?
Below is a spattering of the things that Ruanita and I value. The traits we try to incorporate into our marriage and into the lives of our family. The values we want our children to embrace. Some are great overarching ideals and some just simple things we love and cherish: (You may just find some of these eerily similar to your own value system.)
Respect for ourselves and one another. Honesty. Family. Belonging to something larger than ourselves. Sunny days. Exploration. Flexibility. Pony tails. Generosity. Empathy. A good belly laugh. Curiosity. Mexican food. The peace and quiet of a city covered in new snow. Patience. Communication. Backyard swings. Responsibility. Education. Afternoon naps. Humor. The smell of coffee in the morning. Contribution. Tradition. Creativity. Forgiveness. Barbecues. Gratitude. A job well done. Focus. Time spent together. Date nights. Bacon. Individuality. Integrity. Book stores. Perseverance. The completely unconditional nature of a dog’s love. Compassion. Silliness. Singing loudly in the car. Tolerance. The diversity that everyone brings to the table. Rainy days. Attentiveness. Kisses on the forehead. Spunk. Resilience. Cuddles. The power of words. Awe. College basketball. Commitment. Living in the moment. Connection. Christmas morning together. Wonder. Directness. Enthusiasm. Intelligence. Sunday morning newspapers. Wit. Openness. Silence. Partnership. Fresh garden vegetables. Reason. Positivity. Cornbread. Friendship. Thick, warm socks. Second chances. Selflessness. Colored pencils. Thankfulness. Sincerity. Quilts. Trustworthiness. Warmth.
Having shared values is one more way that my marriage is just like your marriage.