For the last 15 years, when I’ve met a happy couple, especially older couples, I’ve asked them a question: What’s your secret for a successful marriage?
Over the years, I’ve gotten some wonderful answers and I wish I’d written them down. Maybe that will be my next project…
At any rate, here are a few of my favorite answers:
I met a couple who’d been married 47 years. When I asked them how they made it work, the husband smiled like the sun had come out, took his wife’s hand, and said, “You both give 100% every day. You don’t give 50% and 50%. You each give 100%. Then if you fall short sometimes, you still have more than enough.”
Another couple I met around the same time was less serious. The husband (of 52 years) told me, “I just never turn on my hearing aid!” His wife laughed and punched him gently on the shoulder. They were holding hands. I love seeing older couples holding hands.
My oldest sister has been married over 25 years. When I recently asked her this question, she was thoughtful for a moment then said, “I chose early on not to speak badly about him to others. When I was a young military wife, sometimes a group of wives would get together and they’d end up complaining about their husbands. I didn’t want to speak about my husband that way, didn’t want to get in the habit of saying or thinking negative things about him. I’ve always been glad I made that decision.”
I met a Bay Area man last week who has been happily married 16 years, and spoke so sweetly about his spouse. He advised, “Marriage is like riding waves. Sometimes you go up, it’s good times. Sometimes you go down, not so good. But don’t get scared, don’t be afraid. Stick with it, it will go up again.”
What’s the best relationship advise you’ve gotten, or the best advice you have to give?