Learn her recipe for marriage success.
Its around 1944.
He’s from Taylorsville. She’s from Bay Springs. Miles away with no access to Facetime or iPhones. So how did it all began?
Eighteen year old Allen and sixteen year old Vera met at a church revival.
Then he got drafted. A million more miles away.
For three years he was somewhere on a boat and they wrote handwritten notes to each other.
Yes, many couples who faced the draft were getting married, but a very hesitant Future Mrs. Darby was not crazy about the idea.
She was afraid that life as a military wife would kill her. Not emotionally…literally.
In fact, husbands were returning home and killing their wives. Many believed it had a lot to do with husbands who snapped because they had been sending money home to wives who were taking the money for themselves. Husbands who were off fighting for a country that was not fighting for them.
Mrs. Vera thought it best to just wait. She would marry for more than a paycheck. Meanwhile, Mr. Darby kept writing and so did she.
After three years, Mr. Darby was finally discharged from the Navy. Can you imagine the boatload of letters that had accumulated?? He still had his eyes set on Mrs. Vera. And hers were on him. But still, something was missing.
Mr. Darby came back home to Taylorsville, MS and did ask the future Mrs. to marry him. She said no.
Why? I asked.
She sat back to imitate a similar disgust—though more sarcastic “He wanted me to move in with his momma.”
At the time, Mrs. Vera was living with her own momma on their family farm. So that was a nope for her.
Things changed when Mr. Darby moved to Laurel to work at Masonite.
Both were growing tired that their courtship had lasted so long.
One day he asked her to take a bus from her home in Bay Springs to Laurel.
They met at a restaurant and he asked her to marry him. He’d found a house. She said “Yes.”
It was Mr. Darby who had it all figured out—he told her they were getting married the day before his birthday—on Christmas Eve of 1947. She was 19 and he was 21.
She recalls being afraid to go home with her husband, lingering at her mom’s house…then his mom’s house, until someone said “Chile, go home with your husband”. She was scared because she had been saving herself for her husband.
Seven kids later and this year, they’ll be married for 72 years.
I’d asked, “How did you two do it? How did it last?”
She’d learned a lot from her mother and grandmother. Here’s some advice they shared with her:
That is your husband. Be loyal to him.
She never thought about leaving and never threatened to leave. Making threats creates a breeding ground for mistrust and an atmosphere of conditional love–I’ll be with you until you make this mistake.
Her own wisdom passed down to her daughters is this: “Don’t ever entertain what anyone says about your husband. I didn’t want to hear it.”
Let’s be real, children are totally innocent so there’s no need to raise them in an a situation that they could have never controlled. Mindfulness reminds us that children are God’s gifts. Focusing on rebuilding the relationship instead of tearing down innocent children is key in keeping a marriage together.
Okaaaaayy, if you leave, then your house is now open to INTRUDERS. Take a 20 minute break or go to another room, but always go back.
A home should be a sanctuary. Amen?
Marriage is about love but its also about partnership, nurture, admiration, respect, and oneness.
Loyalty is a mutual given that must be established at the door. How do you know he’s loyal? Remember the letter writing, 2 failed marriage proposals?? Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Okay and neither should you.
They never fought or fussed. She’s always felt free to say what was on her mind and they had frequent discussions.
What’s one insight or key takeaway you got from Mrs. Vera? What’s something you’d like to try differently to make your relationship last forever? Leave a comment below and let me know.
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