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from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach

A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.

(from Captain Corelli's Mandolin)

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

Why Marriage? by Dena Acolatse

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, with all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body.

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, who won’t hold them against me, who loves me when I’m unlikable, who sees the small child in me, and who looks for the divine potential of me.

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night with someone who thanks God for me, with someone I feel blessed to hold.

Because marriage means opportunity to grow in love, in friendship. Because marriage is a discipline to be added to a list of achievements.

Because marriages do not fail, people fail when they enter into marriage expecting another to make them whole.

Because, knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility for my spiritual, mental, and physical wholeness.

I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage. Together we create our marriage, because with this understanding the possibilities are limitless.

(from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo)

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.

Union by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry.

From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way.

All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with "When we’re married" and continued with "I will and you will and we will"- those late night talks that included "someday" and "somehow" and "maybe"- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, "You know all those things we've promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word." Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world: This is my husband; This is my wife.

Foundations of Marriage by Regina Hill

Love, trust, and forgiveness are the foundations of marriage. In marriage, many days will bring happiness, while other days may be sad. But together, two hearts can overcome everything...In marriage, all of the moments won't be exciting or romantic, and sometimes worries and anxiety will be overwhelming. But together, two hearts that accept will find comfort together. Recollections of past joys, pains, and shared feelings will be the glue that holds everything together during even the worst and most insecure moments. Reaching out to each other as a friend, and becoming the confidant and companion that the other one needs, is the true magic and beauty of any two people together. It's inspiring in each other a dream or a feeling, and having faith in each other and not giving up... even when all the odds say to quit. It's allowing each other to be vulnerable, to be himself or herself, even when the opinions or thoughts aren't in total agreement or exactly what you'd like them to be. It's getting involved and showing interest in each other, really listening and being available, the way any best friend should be. Exactly three things need to be remembered in a marriage if it is to be a mutual bond of sharing, caring, and loving throughout life: love, trust, and forgiveness.

On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

We're All a Little Weird by Dr. Seuss

We are all a little weird, and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.

To Keep Your Marriage Brimming by Ogden Nash

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong admit it;
Whenever you’re right shut up.

Untitled by Fred Rogers

It's you I like, it's not the things you wear.
It's not the way you do your hair, but it's you I like.
The way you are right now, the way down deep inside you, not the things that hide you, Not your diplomas... they're just beside you.
But it's you I like, every part of you, your skin, your eyes, your feelings, whether old or new.
I hope that you'll remember even when you're feeling blue, that it's you I like, it's you yourself, it's you.
It's you I like!

Maybe (Author unknown)

Maybe…We are supposed to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one so that, when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.

Maybe…it is true that we don’t know what we have got until we lose it, but it is also true that we don’t know what we have been missing until it arrives.

Maybe…the happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Maybe…the best kind of love is the kind you can sit on a sofa together and never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had.

Maybe…you shouldn’t go for looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.

Maybe…you should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy.

Maybe… Love is not about finding the perfect person, it’s about learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

Love Is (Susan Polis Schutz)

Love is:

being happy for the other person when they are happy

being sad for the other person when they are sad

being together in good times and being together in bad times

Love is the source of strength

Love is being honest with yourself at all times; being honest with the other person at all times; telling, listening, respecting the truth and never pretending

Love is the source of reality

Love is an understanding that is so complete that you feel as if you are a part of the other person; accepting the other person just the way they are; and not trying to change them to be something else

Love is the source of unity

Love is the freedom to pursue your own desires while sharing your experiences with the other person

The growth of one individual alongside of and together with the growth of another individual

Love is the source of success

Love is the excitement of planning things together; the excitement of doing things together

Love is the source of the future

Love is the fury of the storm; the calm of the rainbow

Love is the source of passion

Love is giving and taking in a daily situation; being patient with each other’s needs and desires

Love is the source of sharing

Love is knowing that the other person will always be with you regardless of what happens missing the other person when they are away; but remaining near in heart at all times

Love is the source of security

Love is the source of life

If There's Empty Spaces in Your Heart by Ernest Hemingway

If there’s empty spaces in your heart, they’ll make you think it’s wrong,

Like having empty spaces, means you never can be strong,

But I’ve learned that all these spaces, means there’s room enough to grow,

And the people that once filled them, were always meant to be let go,

And all these empty spaces, create a strange sort of pull,

That attract so many people, you wouldn’t meet if they were full,

So if you’re made of empty spaces, don’t ever think it’s wrong,

Because maybe they’re just empty, until the right person comes along.

Falling In Love is Like Owning a Dog, by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility, especially in a city like New York [change as appropriate]. So think long and hard before deciding on love. On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security: when you’re walking down the street late at night and you have a leash on love ain’t no one going to mess with you. Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable. Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

 

On cold winter nights, love is warm. It lies between you and lives and breathes and makes funny noises. Love wakes you up all hours of the

night with its needs. It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy. Love doesn’t like being left alone for long. But come home and love is always happy to see you. It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life, but you can never be mad at love for long. Is love good all the time? No! No! Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

 

Love makes messes. Love leaves you little surprises here and there. Love needs lots of cleaning up after. Sometimes you just want to get

love fixed. Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper and swat love on the nose, not so much to cause pain, just to let love know: Don’t you ever do that again!

 

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk, because love loves exercise. It runs you around the block and leaves you panting. It pulls you in several different directions at once, or winds around and around you until you’re all wound up and can’t move. But love makes you meet people wherever you go. People who have nothing in common but love stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back, again, and again, and again. But most of all, love needs love, lots of it. And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Untitled (Author unknown)

Little Things Mean a Lot
Send me a kiss from across the room
Say I look nice when I'm not
Touch my hair as you pass my chair
Little things mean a lot.

Give me your arm as we cross the street
Call me at six on the dot
A line a day when you're far away
Little things mean a lot.

Don't have to buy me diamonds or pearls
Champagne, sables, and such
I never cared much for diamonds and pearls
'cause honestly, honey, they just cost money.

Give me a hand when I've lost the way
Give me your shoulder to cry on
Whether the day is bright or gray
Give me your heart to rely on.

Send me the warmth of a secret smile
To show me you haven't forgot
For now and forever, that's always and ever
Little things mean a lot.

Apache Marriage Blessing

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.

Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.

May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.

May happiness be your companion to the place where the river meets the sun.

And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

The Art of Marriage by Wilfred A. Peterson

The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV Version)

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

 

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Ecclesiastes: 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him.

Genesis 2:24-28

The Lord God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him." So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

 

So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said:

 

"This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken."

 

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

Mark 19:6-9

From the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

1 John 4:10

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! Love one another. This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. This is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

 

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us. We love because he first loved us.

Wedding Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Lord, behold our family here assembled. We thank you for this place in which we dwell, for the love that unites us, for the peace accorded us this day, for the hope with which we expect the morrow, for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth. Amen.

Blessing of the Hands (author unknown)

These are the hands of your partner, young and strong and full of love, holding your hands as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will hold you and comfort you in grief and uncertainty. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and joy. These are the hands that will hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength. And these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Excerpt from The Gift of the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity- in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

 

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits- islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

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