Now And Forever, 35 Years of Love

Rick Kraft

Did any of us really know the person that we married at the time we walked the aisle? At the time that we pledged our lives to another?

We were younger back then, eighteen, twenty-one, maybe twenty-five. And less wise. Yet we were in love. And love often blinds us from problems that will become reality later.

Yet I don’t think any of us really knew our spouse the day we got married, even if we had dated for a year. God made each one of us so multidimensional that it takes years and years of being married to really get to know our spouse.

Each of us takes a risk when we tie the knot. We go through a ceremony and pledge our lives to one another and then after the honeymoon the marriage kicks in. Over time we learn the true person we committed our lives to. And they learn us. Although there is something that attracted us to our spouse, that often wears off in time.

The most important day of your marriage is not your first day, but your last day. How will your marriage end? I always get excited when I meet couples who have had long lasting marriages.

What a blessing it is today to be married to my best friend. This week my wife Tanya and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. I thank God each day that He placed Tanya and I in each other’s path back in 1983. Our love for each other has grown with each year that we have been married. I am more in love with her today than ever before.

I married up. My wife completes me. We each have our own gift sets and they complement one another. We are good separate, but we are better together.

Congratulations to each couple who have had the opportunity to enjoy long and healthy marriages. You are an inspiration to the rest of us.

As husband and wife Tanya and I ride the up and down the roller coaster ride that every close relationship has, experiencing both good times and not so good times.

We have experienced the joy of the first few years of marriage with just the two of us. We then experienced two childbirths and 20 years of raising children in our home. We experienced the empty nest, college graduation, success in the workplace, the death of a parent, and the list goes on and on. Life has dealt us many hands for us to deal with in the years we have had together.

What makes a happy marriage? This is a simple question with many complex answers. At the heart of the answers will be commitment and communication. Tanya and I don’t agree on many things, but we communicate through each issue and at the end of the discussion if we don’t agree, we accept the fact that the other has a different view and our commitment remains.

What I have been able to do for others is a direct result of my relationship with Tanya and the stability we have in the privacy of our home. There is a saying that what happens in the home evidences itself in the marketplace. Peace at home has allowed me to focus on doing good things for others. Because I don’t have to worry about turmoil in my relationship my energy can be spent outside the home to make a difference in others’ lives.

On our honeymoon Tanya and I traveled across the western United States including a stop in Las Vegas. We attended an Air Supply concert and one song stuck out for us that evening. The words were relevant 35 years ago in the first week of our marriage and the words remain relevant today. The song is called “Now and Forever.” It frames our marriage:

“When love is new and the world is out reaching for you, we try hard to hold it all in our hands, but it slips through like soft drifting sands. But drying the tears can build it all like new.”

The chorus is “Now and forever, remember the words from my heart will always be true. Now and forever, together and all that I feel here’s my love for you.

“Learning each day that the right time was so far away to tell you the things I knew. Now it’s clear that the moment we searched for is here. And counting the years is all I want to do. (Chorus).

“Hold me as close as love will allow until all your fears are gone. What has all passed is over now. I’m here with you, I’m here with you. I’m holding on. I’m holding on. Is my love for you. (Chorus).”

As Tanya and I celebrate 35 years of love, my challenge to you is to commit and communicate into a forever relationship. We were made to live life in couples. There is something about having the person you love next to you as you experience the one life you have been given.

Work hard on fostering a healthy relationship with the spouse you are committed to.

My wife adds value to me and I add value to her. Our lives are better together because of our commitment to each other and our communicating through the storms. Each year our love continues to grow, now and forever …

Just a celebratory thought …

Rick Kraft, a South Pasadena High School graduate, is a syndicated columnist, a motivational speaker, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to