With the Valentine’s Day holiday here, I started thinking about those of you who have been fortunate enough to have been married for decades. I asked our readers on Facebook to give me their advice for making love last. I’ve put together some of their answers (and they are great!).
Do you have advice to add? Let me know in the comments!
“My husband and I have been married 40 years. We have gone through ups and downs but through it all we are best friends. We also embrace each other’s interests. Like I never thought I’d want to ride a motorcycle until I knew how important it was to him so I learned and got my endorsement. I love him more than words can say.”– B. Rathman
“Tradition can be built out of small things. My husband always included at least one of the flowers from my wedding bouquet in all flower arrangements he gave me. I tried to provide his favorite cake or cookies for special occasions and when he seemed down. Having these little traditions gave you a positive to look at when things weren’t going smoothly. It was always a good common ground to start the all necessary communication. I think laughter was very essential. Remind yourself your relationship is unique and don’t compare with others.” — D. McDonald
“Mutual respect, patience and a smattering of stubbornness and perseverance.” — S. Stockton
“Never stop dating. My parents always gave this advice to their 6 kids as they married. I’ve continued the tradition by holding hands, snuggling, going out as a couple and pillow talk. 31 years strong!” — M. Gebele
“I married my husband on my 48th birthday. He was my special gift that year and he has told me that I am and always will be his special gift for life! That is how we treat each other, as gifts we were fortunate enough to receive in our marriage!” — R. Baeringer
“Always be patient and considerate of each other. Never take your spouse for granted, he/she is a gift every day.” — L. Hornung
“Absolutely communication and selflessness. …working on 53 years and our love has weathered many storms as all marriages do but it’s still growing everyday…. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and no we don’t always see eye to eye but we each put the other first….no room for distrust or jealousy…. talk things out and never go to bed angry!” — C. Ardeeser
“A relationship is like a garden. It needs love, attention, hard work and praise. You have to feed it if you expect to get something in return Love is not for the lazy.” — P. Wells
“Married 40 years, he is my best friend, we set aside a time every day to hold hands and have the most wonderful, long conversations, happy memories, and great sense of humour! Love of my life!” — J. Doyle
“34 years last 28th January. Among ups and downs, it’s been worthwhile, the good moments are the best we can take of this life. Lots of patience, trust, friendship, love and above all, companionship and understanding.” — P. Santos
“Learn how to bite your tongue, laugh with and sometimes at each other, surprise each other, always show appreciation, dream together, cry together, pray together, and put each other first. 47 years” — J. Nowaczewski
“Laugh every day and make time for yourselves! Put a slow song on and dance together in the living room. My parents followed the rule of never going to bed angry and it’s worked for us!” — W. Mancuso
“Just passed 38 years. Talk it out, let him let me have my way and separate bathrooms. From hubs; listen to your wife, it will make your life much easier.” — T. Hayes
“Communication is the key to any relationship. Never keep secrets, be honest and loyal to yourself and your partner. Always make sure that both have time for each other, self-space is important to build trust and articulate your love for each other. We all need our space. Let go of anger and never bring a third person into the relationship. Two people (partners) can resolve their issues 3 can double and destroy it.” — P. Kuta
“47 years in September. Remember! Remember the vows you made to each other. Remember how you felt on your wedding day. Remember the commitment you made. Especially during tough times. Take a look at your wedding ring and Remember!” — C. Brzezinski
“We celebrate our 50th anniversary in September. Thinking back on how young we were. Right out of high school my husband, Ken was drafted and deployed to Vietnam. A very close friend to both of us advised that we might want to hold off on getting married when he got home from Vietnam because he would be changed. We didn’t listen, he was changed but we have traveled this bumpy road of marriage together and faced every challenge. Putting each other first. At times, you have to call up the wonderful memory of falling in love to get through a hard time. Now in this time of our lives we find humor is getting us through some days.” — P. Wolters
“By talking every day about everything & nothing, listening to each other, liking each other as well as loving, encouraging each other, respecting each other, laughing and crying together, having fun together and always valuing your relationship as your number one priority…” — M. Forbes
“We were told ‘Marry in haste regret at leisure’ – we haven’t had to regret it yet. I feel three things help – a sense of humour and being able to see that a lot of things argued over really do have a sense of the ridiculous. How important is being right over having him there beside you for the rest of your life.
My parents did say, never let the sun go down on your anger – resolve it before you go to sleep. Even if in your heart you feel you were right, never be too proud to say sorry, what a choice right and alone or apologetic and together – others call that give and take – we all need to exercise a bit of both. Treat him how you want to be treated – make him first in your life and you will be first in his. All that ramble just to say a sense of humour and to ALWAYS communicate.” — Y. Peters
“For us it will be 48 years in 2018, and through the bad times, the hard times, the sad times comes the joy, the love, the laughter and the respect. My husband is not perfect, but he is perfect for me. The one thing I would say that is key is communication. Talking it out when calm, knowing when to be quiet and when to yell. Stand up for yourself and expect respect, love yourself too, don’t give up who you are, you shouldn’t have to to be who we are.” — D. Fahrenbruck
“Don’t associate with other couples who argue and put each other down. Cultivate a circle of friends who are compatible and support each other. Listening to animosity will affect your own relationship.” — F. Brezsny (married 73 years!)