After 50 years of marriage, couple has learned to nurture the "sacred we"

Celebrating our 50th anniversary was a big deal for us. Married June 2, 1969 at the ages of 20 and 22, we thought we were very adult. We laugh now at this, while simultaneously appreciating the fact that we made it through our immature and bull-headed years of our 20s and 30s, our independent and personal development years in our 30s and 40s, and our co-creative years in our 50s and 60s. Now beginning our 70s, we are intentionally dedicating this decade to kindness and appreciation to each other and all those around us for all the love and goodness we’ve received and wish to share. 

We always wanted to work together and support each other through our differences but we were young, misguided, and without role models or mentors. When we consciously chose to stay together back in 2002, we also chose to recreate our relationship and work on our “sacred we.” We were willing to do whatever it takes to find the mentoring (that was now available) and to learn what we needed in order to nurture our relationship as being the primary focus. Our “sacred we” is now big enough and fluid enough to include our differences, being both wise enough and understanding enough of our uniquenesses, needs and boundaries. Hahahaha — at least we keep making efforts to remember and renew this pact … as often as needed.

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Thinking about inviting 160 people was a little overwhelming. And so we created two special and amazing events at Belterra Cohousing on Bowen with the help of our talented friends: celebrating with family members and friends from out of town (Montreal, Toronto, California, Vancouver Island, Greater Vancouver) on June 1, and with Belterra and Bowen friends, on June 8. 

We thought deeply about what we wanted to create. Our creation: we walked through an archway of loving arms of friends who then followed behind us. We spoke our renewal vows in front of the family and friends who witnessed us, exchanged rings, sang to one another, sang together with our friends, told stories, listened to memories of shared times, ate delicious foods served by Bowen’s finest, and danced the night away. Through it all we actually achieved the intimacy we had hoped for. We were fully engaged, gratified, honoured, loving every moment of it. 

Soorya and Jack Resels celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 2.
Soorya and Jack Resels celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 2. - Submitted

People were inspired by us sharing our lives. Why? Because they could see parts of their own stories in ours. We all hide our relationship stuff not knowing we are really all in this together. We have found that the problems in relationship that we encounter are not truly unique to us personally. Realizing that, laughter comes. We shared abundant laughter.

Sometimes we think that as soon as someone commits to a significant relationship they should have a relationship coach. We know now that we needed that way back then. We are so grateful for all of our experiences, teachers, mentors, family and friends. And a huge thank you Bowen for being such a wonderful and gifted community that has welcomed us, and Belterra for being such a supportive home. We love you all.

Soorya and Jack are sharing what they’ve learned in an upcoming one-day retreat “Essential Relationship Skills” June 30 at Nectar Yoga. For more information: email

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