verb (used with object)
to hold or treat as dear; feel love for: to cherish one's native land.
to care for tenderly; nurture: to cherish a child.
to cling fondly or inveterately to: to cherish a memory.
Perhaps because I'm deaf, I spend a lot of time observing people. And one of my favorite people I like to observe is older, happily married couples. You can tell by their faces that they are happy. Being married a long time doesn't automatically qualify you for being happily married, on the contrary a lot of older couples seem quite miserable. They almost seem like they are competing to see who can insult each other the most. It's certainly uncomfortable to witness these demeaning displays. It's also unpleasant to watch women treat their husbands like they are children, and usually naughty ones at that. Or the butt of family jokes. How many times have you seen the mom and children making a joke at the dad's expense, while poor dad stands there looking totally out of the loop, like he's an outsider in his own family? You see this on TV a lot; dad , the big dumb doofus, that wouldn't be able to tie his own shoes if it weren't for his smart (i.e. controlling) wife telling him how to do it. Unfortunately these are the younger generations role models. We went from pre-feminism days when men really could be bruts, to now the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction, husbands almost seem irrelevant.
So what makes a happy marriage? First a marriage is a covenant between two people. Two. I love to watch those bride shows because I like to see the pretty dresses and flowers, but it seems that most of these young women echo the idea that the wedding is "all about me". Better to concentrate less on the wedding and more on the marriage. It's a partnership. Decisions aren't divided 80-20, or even 50-50. Nope, it's 100-100. Marriage is all about the two of you and it should be taken seriously. Such silly vows people make. Whatever happened to the traditional ones? There was a reason for their longevity. They are a good guideline for marriages. One of the vows you rarely hear now days is the one to cherish each other.
Cherishing someone and loving them are two different things. Cherishing someone means to be honored to be part of that union. It means wanting to do the best for them. Honoring them with respect. Treasuring your time together. Being grateful that of all the people on Earth he chose you. And vice-versa! These are the couple that smile on their 50th wedding anniversary photograph. These are the couples that remain together through the thick and the thin. These are the couples that are happy!