3 Things I Learned About Love & Vibrant Living From 40 Years of Marriage

3 Things I Learned About Love & Vibrant Living From 40 Years of Marriage

Valentine’s day is love day with lots of vibrant living across the world.

During this day, there is no particular age for love expressions.

One little boy will probably give his crush –like a favorite teacher — a red rose or carnation.

Or, in addition to his mom, he’ll present a little girl in his class with a small box of chocolates and a red or pink flower.

My point is that love is radiant today from the first grader up to the seasoned married couple.

Did you know that “total spending for the love holiday is expected to top $18.2 billion? That’s an average of $136.57 per person.”

I know of love worth much more than any amount of money. It comes from a love story between my late husband and me.

Love At First Sight

When I met my late husband Otha, it was love at first sight. I really didn’t call him by his name.

I remember mumbling it for the first day or two because I couldn’t pronounce it, nor figure out really what it was.  

My mother was a part of this national organization and asked me to speak at this big conference in Detroit.  

I reluctantly agreed to– not because I didn’t want to speak and I wouldn’t do absolutely anything in the world for her.

But I made plans to visit my boyfriend at the time in another city.

So, I agreed, but quickly made arrangements to hop on a flight and go visit him. And I never made it to visit him.

My soon-to-be husband attended the conference to speak as well. This is the place where we met.

We hit it off immediately. Two to three days later we were shopping for furniture because we knew marriage was next.  

This was it! I knew it. He knew it.  

We were gonna be together for the rest of our lives. A year later we got married.

Getting married this quickly may come as a surprise to some of you.

But, sometimes unexpected marriages are the ones that can endure, stand the test of time and last almost forever.

Here’s what I learned from our 40-year love story that led us to vibrant living.

Watch other love stories from couples

My parents were role models who stayed married for over 60 years. You can watch a love story from couples with this type of longevity.

When tough times strike, many younger couples do not have coping and enduring examples.

Take for instance my mom’s illness. Dad spent many years as a caretaker, which eventually led to the grieving process.  

I found myself wearing the same moccasins with my mom, dad, and husband. Watching their marriage and love for many years prepared me for similar encounters.

Not only does having the right role models assist you with how to be in marriage and vibrant living, they also prepare you to be the right partner.

Create precious love memories

People always say that when you remember beautiful things you keep them in your heart. It’s true.

I realized that I needed to have things to look at as well as remember and talk about.

Be an amateur photographer. I loved taking photos, and am glad I did because I have tons of photos of great memories and great times. I’ve digitized a lot of photos.  

One of my big projects is to create digital books and albums to have them all the time and categorize them probably by memory.

This is something wonderful so that at any moment I can go and grab the albums. It’s also an opportunity to display them on large screens during family gatherings, weddings, parties, etc.

Photos will create conversations and new memories with others. And, together, you can create more precious love memories.  

Marriage is not always about love and bliss.

I’ve learned that you can’t live that long with someone and not have conflict, or not have differences of opinion, or not have something to get on your last nerve.

You will get on each other’s nerves. It’s normal to fuss and have light fights. You will have differences of opinion.

We had a 40-year-old strong marriage with all of the above. But we learned the art of acceptance and loved each other through the tough times.  

You have to work really hard at marriage. What helped hubby and I mostly was sharing the same vision.

We kept our eyes on the vision to give our children the best, get them prepared for the road to success and entrepreneurship.


Overall, being in love means you make it work with your partner to ensure it lasts.

Enjoying each other and accepting any flaws will create love in new ways.

Vibrant living is sure to come when you allow love to flow through you.

About Dr. Geneva

Dr. Geneva J. Williams is a Master Leadership Strategist & Vibrant Life Architect.  She is also the reigning Ms. Black Fit and Fine.

For information on her new course, “The Vibrant Life Blueprint,” go here.


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Speaker, Author, Thought-Leader… and I really like this one, vibrant living culture creator; Golden Soror of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Michigan Women’s Commission Appointee. With more than forty years of expertise in business management and personal development, I also have the distinction of receiving the NAWBO Top Businesswoman Award and the Booker T. Washington Legacy Award.

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