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How to Stay Married for 50 Years

imagesGo into marriage with the thought, ‘This is forever.’  Take each day one day at a time and never go to sleep mad.  The days you don’t like each other stop and remember why you fell in love.  Did you read these words of advice from married couples in this newspaper’s supplement on Valentine’s Day?  Golden Anniversary – a celebration of local couples who have been married 50+ years.  Eighty- three couples married between 50 and 75 years and not a single one stated, “Our life together has been blissful.  We never had problems  – only happiness and each day filled with loving actions and thoughts.”  No, these couples shared real life stories.

A couple married 67 years stated, “We were too stubborn to give up.”  One couple compared marriage to a birthday cake.  “To enjoy it you need some cake (everyday living) and a little frosting (romance and passion.)  Too much cake without frosting is boring.  Too much frosting by itself will make you sick.  Find your perfect balance.”

I studied the couples’ stories and words of advice to create a Top Ten List  – How to Stay Married for 50 Years.

10. Threaten that whomever leaves has to take the kids.

9.  Don’t get mad at the same time.

8. Try hard to get along with both sides of the family.

7. Treat your man like a king and treat your woman like a queen.

6. Always keep God in your life.  Pray for your mate.

5. Be willing to put your wants (and sometimes needs) second.  Treat your mate as your best friend.  Be kind and considerate to each other.

4. Play childishly with each other frequently.  Have fun.

3. Learn to say you’re sorry.  You always need to give and take and forgive and forget.  Talk to each other and don’t just hear – really, really listen.

2. Hold hands, love each other always, kiss in the morning and before bedtime.  Tell each other often, “I love you.”

1. When you marry and say ‘till death do us part, mean it and stick with it.

I’m keeping this list and the newspaper supplement handy, in the top drawer of my bedside table.  I need be reminded that other married couples haven’t always slept on a bed of roses with no thorns.  And it makes me smile to read about the couple who’ve been married 62 years and said, “Love grows with the passing of years until one day you wake up and realize you don’t want to be with anyone else except your sweetheart of many years.”

In six short years, Husband and I will celebrate our 50th anniversary.  Maybe we’ll be featured in the 2019 Golden Anniversary Celebration and give advice.  But until then, we’re like the couple married 65 years who stated, “We’re not a perfect couple, but we never quit trying.”

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