Couples Share Secrets to a Long Marriage

Published: 2024-05-09 00:00:00

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Numerous studies have shown that intimate relationships, such as marriages, are the single most important source of life satisfaction. Although most couples enter these relationships with the best of intentions, many break up or stay together but languish. Yet some couples stay happily married and thrive. What is their secret?

When asked what her secret was to a long marriage, Macie Waller, who has been married to her husband Sam for 75 years, said, "I don't really know if there's any secret. We just respect each other and we love each other. We're best friends." Treat your spouse with kindness, empathy, and consideration. A foundation of mutual respect creates a nurturing environment for long-term love to thrive. Celebrate each other's achievements, support each other during challenges, and always prioritize each other's well-being.

One foundation of any strong relationship is open and honest communication. Couples must feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. James and Virginia Wilson have been married for 63 Years. When asked about communication, James said, "We have so few conflicts, but we talk about it. She expresses her side and I express mine." Virginia added, "Talk it over. If you don't get it done today, talk about it in the morning, talk about it in the afternoon." Regular, meaningful conversations allow partners to understand each other better, which fosters an even deeper connection.

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it can be easy to let quality time with your spouse slip away. Make a conscious effort to prioritize and cherish moments together; spending quality time fosters intimacy and keeps the connection alive. Research published in The Marriage Foundation Journal found that married couples who went out on date nights once a month when their kids were nine months old had a lower likelihood of divorce over the next ten years. Paul and Diane Doherty, married for 53 years, have planned a date night once  a week, even when their kids were little. Diane commented, "We'd stay out just late enough to make sure the kids were asleep so that when we got home, we didn't have to jump back into Mom and Dad mode."

Because every relationship is unique, finding what works best for you and your partner is essential on the journey to a lifetime of happiness together. John Mattocks, married to Betty for 51 years, noted, "I've learned over time that the best thing I can do is to pick the cars and the electronics and leave the rest to the wife… It's been great."

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