Feb 7, 2017 - Sustaining Healthy Relationships by Damon Corrie


I do NOT know why anyone else’s marriage has failed, I only know why mine has been successful, so i’ll just speak about that…I can break it down into 9 simple snippets…which can be condensed into one word ‘RESPONSIBILITY’.

#1 – I promised my grandmother when I was 16 that by the age of 20 I would be married back into the tribe and be a father…so I had a responsibility to keep my word to my maternal grandmother, when I was 19 and my wife was 17 this was done.

#2 – I see my wife as my partner – not my property, and we have both come to value and follow the wisdom of the visions/dreams we each receive at different times in our life together (and our visions/dreams are never in conflict with each other so we listen to each other) …we both have a responsibility to make difficult decisions for the greater good of the people and our own children (including changing our own positions on some things upon reflection of a new direction we are shown by an external force in our dreams/visions) and that includes the strengthening of our give and take relationship with each other – not drawing lines in the sand and taking inflexible positions.

#3- It was I who ASKED (after 4 days from meeting her for the first time) for my wife’s hand in marriage – not the other way around, so I have a responsibility to be a man of my word to my wife who had others courting her constantly for two years before my appearance on the scene.

#4 – It was I who voluntarily submitted myself to the rigorous hour long ‘interrogation’ of her family, and it was I who promised her AND her parents that I would not spoil their virgin daughters good name and good reputation by using and then discarding her….so I have a responsibility to be a man of my word to her parents and her siblings as well.

#5 – My maternal grandfather (who died when I was 5 and who told my mum as his last words to her that his only regret is that he would not live to see me become a man) appeared to me in a daytime waking vision on the morning after our marriage night consummation (which was the 7th day we knew each other and the first and only time we were ever alone together) …and granddad told me about ‘our children to come’ that were not even physically conceived yet..so I take it to be his blessing for our marriage and I have a responsibility to him as well.

#6 – I grew up wanting to have the same kind of ‘one-man-woman’ wife as the mother of my children that my father, grandfather and great grandfather had before me, so having been granted my hearts desire – I have a responsibility to respect, cherish and protect that gift of my wife for the rest of my days.

#7 – My wife grew up believing that the Creator would send the right man for her to marry one day, all she had to do was keep herself chaste for that man, the first day she saw me walking around her reservation – before ever meeting me in person – she pointed me out to her family and said “You see that man there – he is going to be my husband”…so I take this as another spiritual proof that our marriage was destined to be, therefore we have a responsibility to work together to resolve any and every problem that we encounter in our relationship – in a manner that leaves our union intact and stronger than it was before the problem arose.

#8 – We have a responsibility to set a positive example for others in the tribe to help break the trend to broken homes and domestic abuse that has been creeping into tribal life ever since the difference between ‘Religion’ and ‘spirituality’ was erased from the minds of the people by those who came in from outside with a ‘holy book’ and a twisted version of the ‘truth’.

#9 – We had 5 children together, and buried one of them together, so we have a responsibility to provide the same loving and stable home environment that WE were both given by OUR parents – for our own remaining 4 children so that our children and grandchildren will be able to continue to carry the same sense of responsibility to others throughout their own lives.

And the fact that we both come from families who’s every member see it as THEIR responsibility to help other family members whenever they are in genuine need of help – only contributes to the success of our now 25th year of marriage as well. 

By Damon Corrie

Last Real Indians