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Keven Moore: Reflecting on three full decades of marriage, and sharing some advice with my children

Kevin and Liz Moore (Photo provided)

This past Tuesday marked my 30th wedding anniversary. That equates to three full decades, or 10,950 days, or 262,800 hours, of living with the same person. In all that time, thankfully, I have never failed to recognize my anniversary. And I’ve been lucky enough to have remained married to the same beautiful person to whom I said “I do” back in 1987.

As a ‘riskologist’ working in the safety and risk management industry, I look at life a little differently than others. I am constantly examining everything through the risk exposure lens, assessing the dangers, perils, hazards, threats, probabilities and, of course, consequences.

It’s been proven that a happy marriage will have positive health benefits. It encourages safe behavior, reduces the chance of heart attacks and strokes, improves sleep and increases longevity. On the flip side to that, a bad marriage can have negative effects. The fact is, marriage is one big risk that can break you emotionally and financially if you choose the wrong partner and don’t invest the time to experience life together.

According to a recent Washington Post article, more than half of the nation’s married couples have been together at least 15 years. About one-third have marked 25th anniversaries. And only six percent have been married more than 50 years. In America, there is one divorce approximately every 36 seconds, which is nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 876,000 divorces a year. The average length of a marriage ending in divorce is eight years.

Liz Moore (Photo provided)

Having beaten the national average by some 22 years, I would have to objectively rate my performance as an A-, with a speed bump or two along the way and a lot of room to grow and improve.

Every aspect of life has it’s own set of risks. We must face and deal with these risks daily – and marriage is no exception to that rule. Anyone who does not want to face or take risks has decided to stop living in my opinion. Just waking up and driving to work in the morning has its own risks, but that doesn’t stop people from waking up every day and going about their business.

Even if you choose to stay locked up inside your home you’re still exposed to the risk of a plane crashing into it, right? Domestic violence and accidents occur every day. The risk of fire, falling down the stairs or slipping in the bath tub can still remain. Even sleeping at night can be risky. There is no guarantee of waking up in the morning. My point is that life is a risk. Marriage is risky as well. But it is a risk worth taking if you invest the time and marry the right person.

In the 30 years that we have been married we have lived in Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, Missouri and Indiana together. We have owned five different homes and survived countless moves.

We started out with our very own set of challenges, and life never came easy to us in those 30 years. While still in college, with very little financial support from our family, we paid for our own shoe-string wedding. And I was forced to drop out of college to help pay for my wife’s college tuition so that she could graduate first.

After the wedding, determined to make it on our own, I turned down my father’s offer to use his new vehicle for our honeymoon. I came to regret that decision, as we only made it 105 miles out of Lexington before breaking down on the side of I-75, just outside of Williamsburg, Ky. We were towed back later that night. We were forced to postpone our honeymoon for several months, having used our honeymoon funds to purchase another used car. The struggle was real that week as were forced into a staycation/honeymoon in our $200 a month apartment in Cardinal Valley neighborhood.

During these 30 years, we have had our share of highs and lows. We have gone from being in poverty and heavily in debt to being financially secure with hopes to retire one day together. Together we have buried both sets of grandparents and parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, sisters and other loved ones. We have cried, hugged and leaned on each other for support during some of our most difficult days.

We have strategized our career paths and chased our dreams together. We have danced in nightclubs, living rooms, and patios all across America to our favorite artists. We have laughed, dined, camped, vacationed and binge-watched countless movies and TV shows over the years. We’ve even rocked a few concerts.

Kevin and Liz Moore (Photo provided)

We have raised and educated three wonderful children. From the moment they each took their first breath, they became our sole focus in life. Together we have changed diapers, taken their temperatures, planned dozens of birthday parties and slumber parties, been trick or treating, visited Santa, enrolled them in swim lessons, walked them to their first days of school, attended countless school functions, programs, and classroom holiday events. We’ve prom-shopped and have watched each of them receive their high school diploma before sending them off to college. We have celebrated their successes and have been there to comfort them during failures and heartbreaks.

In all that time we have attended somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 different games, matches or recitals in eight different states. We’ve watched them taste the thrills of victory and the agony of defeat.

Together we have tried to teach our kids the value of money, honesty, generosity, humility, forgiveness, and perseverance. We have taught each the value of life, how to love and respect others and how to talk to God. We have taught them how to walk, ride a bike, throw a baseball or softball, shoot a jump-shot, change a tire, do homework, swim, compete, cook, drive a car and pay bills on time.

We have also argued, fought and hurt each other’s feelings. And we’ve had to say “I’m sorry” more times that I want to remember.

Our marriage may not be perfect, but that is also what makes it so special. It is one huge risk, but one well worth taking if you invest the time and effort, and are willing to make sacrifices. Marriage is not for sissies, believe me. It is hard work, with huge rewards if you succeed. It’s a risk I would take over and over again, and I have no regrets. I thank the Lord daily for guiding me down this path with this special person I call my wife.

I know that the good Lord above has ordained our journey together because, despite all the criticism of my driving abilities for the past 30 years, I have somehow found a way to keep her safe and sound. It’s a miracle from what I have been told.

With all of this said, I would never consider myself a marriage counselor or expert. I’m merely a survivor, failing at times to meet all of her expectations, and having to rely on her good graces to put up with me. I would, however, consider myself to have comprehensive knowledge with decades of experience. So I guess that qualifies me to share some wisdom for my children to follow:

Marry someone with a forgiving spirit because you are going to need it, trust me!

 Make your spouse your best friend; otherwise you are destined for failure.

• Remember to pray together, and to hold one another often.

Always go to bed together, pillow talk is not overrated, it is where you solve most of your problems.

Put your spouse in front of family and friends; they always come first.

Try to do everything together, otherwise your spouse will find somebody else to do it with and you might not like who they choose.

You get what you put in it, so invest your time if you want to see a return.

• When your spouse stands up and rocks the canoe, somebody has to sit down to steady it. So be quick to say, “I’m sorry” even sometimes when you may feel that they may be more in the wrong.

• A healthy marriage is not a dictatorship, each of you should be granted veto powers over one another.

You can’t change your spouse entirely, so accept your spouse’s flaws and learn to deal with them.

Don’t accept your flaws, and always try to work on them, because believe me your spouse will remind you of them.

Marriage is not always exciting and in fact it can be quite boring at times, so learn to how to spend boring days together.

Go on dates regularly, Even if it’s a trip to McDonald’s. But don’t make that the norm.

Support your spouse’s passions & dreams and be their best cheerleader and fan (fanatic).

Learn how to argue and learn how to eventually agree to disagree if need be, and try to never go to bed angry.

Always say I love you and mean it. You can never say it enough.

Marriage is not rocket science; remember it’s based in these simple principles of kindness, respect and loyalty.

Be Safe My Friends!


Keven Moore works in risk management services. He has a bachelor’s degree from University of Kentucky, a master’s from Eastern Kentucky University and 25-plus years of experience in the safety and insurance profession. He lives in Lexington with his family and works out of both the Lexington and Northern Kentucky offices. Keven can be reached at kmoore@roeding.com.

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