Recently my husband and I were invited to a wedding where the bride and groom were in their seventies. This is not unusual in itself but what fascinated me was why they had decided to marry after being together for more then twenty-one years. As we chatted about how they had come to this decision, their story became even more fascinating, as you will discover as you read the interview with Marie and Neive, starting with how they met.
On one of the calls that we made, we found we were both going to the Gold Coast for the weekend, so we arranged to meet for dinner. As I was separated at this time I was there with some girl friends. When we got there, it turned out Neive and Lynn were staying in the next-door apartment. We met up and Neive ended up coming to the conference that I was going to with my girlfriends. It was a Barry Long conference – Barry’s teaching was about life, love between man and woman, meditation etc.
Five years onwards the relationship changed direction and Neive and I ended up courting for twelve months. Right from the beginning, we made a full commitment to the relationship and met up every fortnight for a weekend, commuting between Sydney and Brisbane.
We laid down some pretty good foundations: honesty, transparency, no secrets and to be able to say anything we felt to share. If I had something on my mind or something that disturbed me, I would always tell Neive and what I loved about him was that he would hear it.
We made a commitment that we would give up anything that got in the way of love.”
Is that how you remember it Neive?
Neive: “Yes. Some years after the meeting at the Gold Coast I had a couple of legal cases in Sydney. By this time I was separated so Marie and I got together on my trips down and after twelve months we felt that if our relationship was going to go deeper, we needed to live together, so Marie came up to Brisbane to be with me as I was very established here in my business.”
Marie: “I was 49 when we first lived together. We thought that we did not need to get married, as the commitment to the relationship was total. We lived that for many years and we had a great relationship but our health was gradually going downhill. I was not in the work force during that time. I was running the home, looking after grand children etc. I often had no energy and could not understand why. I found that low energy really affects the quality of your whole life.”
You obviously knew that there was something else but you had not put your finger on what it was?
Marie: “That is right – I couldn’t understand why I was so exhausted, as I really appreciated my relationship, our beautiful home, our standard of living etc. I did not relate that my lack of energy had anything to do with the way I was living. Barry Long’s teaching was that it is all about the relationship between a man and a woman being a way to God, and I aligned with that and lived the consequences.
Then in 2012, a friend who had also gone to Barry Long told me about Universal Medicine, so I went to a few talks and had a few healing treatments. This led me to look very deeply at all of those teachings and see where I was giving my power away and to whom. I learned how energy works - giving your power away to anyone has a consequence to your vital life. Over time I have come to see that true love includes but is not limited to a relationship between a man and a woman. We are so much more.”
Neive: “2012 was a very significant year. I had had a miracle survival after an accident with a tree fall and we had theoretically retired but I was still working and then I started to have health issues. Friends told us about a workshop they had started to attend and invited us to come along, which we did and it was an amazing experience. We both thoroughly enjoyed the whole energy of a large group of people who just enjoyed their living life. You could connect with people at a real level the first time you met them – I found that extraordinary.
I could see the interaction with people and what I particularly noticed was that when someone would come and you would think – bearing in mind that I came from a judgmental back ground – well this little lady or this old bloke could not add much to the discussion and then he or she would be the person who would blow the discussion wide open.
So the first lesson was connecting with people and it meant that it blew away the greatest impediment I have had to get to understand myself. Freeing myself from being judgemental has helped us change the way we run my law practice.”
How has your relationship deepened over the years because it obviously has?
Marie: “From when I started to attend Universal Medicine events and understand how energy works, I started to claim my life back. Neive and I talked about it together and identified what was happening and I changed my behaviour whenever I became aware of what I was doing. That changed the dynamics of all my relationships to one of equalness. I went back to work with Neive in his Law practice. As I did this, my energy levels and health improved out of sight.
This was supported by fortnightly sessions with an esoteric practitioner and attending various workshops at regular intervals. This had a very beneficial effect on our relationship and has helped us to see that there is a Divine purpose in our being together. It is not just about us, not just about love, not just about family and friends anymore, it is about evolving together and serving together and understanding that what we do affects the ALL. I also want to address everything that I become aware of in this life so that I do not carry any limiting beliefs or patterns over to my next life.”
Neive: “Communication was a major issue for me in my first marriage – the lack of intimate communication - so one of the first things we did was to understand that we could ask the other person any question and the response had to be from the heart. What a change that was! We did this at the beginning when we came together and even before we lived together.”
Marie: “Through being honest, transparent, committed to the relationship and communicating openly, we continue to deepen our love for each other and all those around us.”
Why was it that you decided to marry late in life and after so many years together?
Marie: Whenever we had mentioned marriage, I had always thought that I would not bother getting married, but then a couple of years ago, I heard some esoteric vows. I can’t remember the vows off by heart but there was something in them that I felt “I can do that” and it started the conversation going again. Neive was not as open to it as I was, but it was in me from that moment, so we decided that we would do it.
Marie: “What amazed me was the difference it made once we had decided to marry, as everything we did towards the wedding seemed to deepen the commitment to our whole life together. It seemed that it was not just for us, it was for the All and it was committing to the All in an amazing way.
I knew the wedding was going to be beautiful because we made all the necessary arrangements to ensure that it would be beautiful, and that our guests were well cared for. On the day, the service was so beautiful that I thought that it would not matter if we did not eat or celebrate any further!”
Neive: “The day itself provided an experience for both of us beyond our wildest dreams, particularly during the actual ceremony; a sensation of elevated universality, oneness with each other and with everyone, of love and gentle timelessness – a sensation that will never leave us.
There was a real joy in celebrating the love between Marie and me with people we love and wish to have in our lives.”
Marie O’D., Neive O’D., Anne McR., Australia
Observations from Marriage Celebrant – Anita Stanfield
“Marie has always felt the deep integrity of Neive; right from the first moment they met. For her it is the simplicity of just being in the same space as Neive that fills her heart with love. Neive’s gentle nature as a true man is consistent and loving and Marie deeply appreciates his honesty and willingness to address issues as they arise, which has allowed their relationship to deepen more than they could ever expect.
Neive feels a deep knowledge and awareness of love from Marie; she embraces him in a way he has never experienced before. It is holding, unconditional, trusting and committed love. Neive simply adores the preciousness and gentleness of the woman Marie is. She is self-reliant, self-motivated and loves all without judgement. He so appreciates the way this beautiful lady always gives a hand up for whoever needs it.
Marie and Neive feel quite special today as they show us that marriage can be done at any stage of our lives. They feel age is irrelevant and if you feel well you are ageless … for them there is no time limit. Whatever is needed they are prepared to do and are still learning more about the purpose of life.
May those who share you in your day-to-day lives be constantly enriched by the beauty, harmony and power of your love for each other.
May you keep the power of love in this day ever present in your consciousness and may your trust, respect and dedication for each other grow with each passing day.”
If you enjoyed reading this article, you may also enjoy ‘Serge Benhayon, Relationships and Marriage’.