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Old 02-04-2015, 01:37 PM
Location: Tennessee
16,227 posts, read 22,005,624 times
Reputation: 23996


I work with the elderly. I have ask several couples "what can they tell me is the best thing to do, to keep a marriage for 60 years."
One lady said, "to keep your mouth shut." lol
Another couple said" always work together, never against each other."

I would say"patience, understanding, communication."
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:41 PM
Location: A place that's too cold
4,103 posts, read 4,063,113 times
Reputation: 10113
My now-hub and I have been together only 7 years, but we came out of 25- and 30-year largely unhappy, incompatible marriages. So we know a lot about what makes a marriage NOT work, and we very much appreciate how well our marriage to each other DOES work.

Simply, but most importantly, I believe a successful marriage requires two kind, good-hearted people who bring out the best in each other, who truly like, respect, and admire each other, and who desire happiness for the other.

I'm sure there are many other traits that keep us so happy with each other, but my husband's pure kindness is the biggest thing for me (probably because my ex lost his temper with me so much, and it devastated me every time.)

My hub & I actually used the book linked below to help us assess our compatibility before we got married, and I highly recommend it.
1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married: Monica Leahy: 0639785415848: Amazon.com: Books

Edited to add: this marriage is characterized by cooperation, whereas my first always felt like a competition. Someone else said she knows her husband is always in her corner, and that's pretty much what I mean, as opposed to feeling like your spouse is your opponent.
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:43 PM
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,914 posts, read 4,016,302 times
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Originally Posted by LaylaM View Post
Are there secrets to long-standing, happy marriages? If so, what are they? And I mean truly content couples, not the kind of relationships where 2 people tough it out for the sake of kids, emotional or financial security.

I've been married almost 36 years and, I guess, I would have to say we're still best friends above all else. Our marriage has plenty of flaws, and we both find ourselves making many, many compromises to make it work. We also started out with a great romance in the beginning and I guess remnants of this never really die.

How do you keep your relationship strong and healthy? Do you have special ways of handling conflict, boredom, stress? Tips for reigniting those times when the sparks just seem to be gone?

Would love to hear from successful couples who have it together.
Fear of lawyers....nuff' said....
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:35 PM
Location: California
1,191 posts, read 1,233,464 times
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I've got 12 years in. I will echo the sentiment of actually liking your spouse. You have to enjoy one another's company. Of course physical attraction and sex are both important. But actually liking each other beats sex and attraction by a country mile. The reality is passion comes and goes and comes back again. You can't expect to feel "madly in love" all the time. Life doesn't work that way. Sense of humor, intelligent conversation, good debates, and even occasional silence all helps keep a relationship strong.

I'll add that your spouse should bring out the best side of you. I can honestly say my wife makes me look good. She really represents our family well. If she goes into any social situation ahead of me I KNOW I'm in good hands coming behind her. For example, the people at our local grocery store think I'm some kind of world traveled, ultra accomplished guy. They can't think it because of anything I've said or done. Because when I am in there I don't talk very much. However, my wife is on a first name basis with nearly everyone in the store. They think highly of me not so much because of what she says about me. But more so because of they way she represents herself and me by extension.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:37 PM
Location: Texas
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Be nice.

Be respectful.

Remember you are on the same team!!!!!!

Finally, it all starts with choosing well.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:43 PM
Location: St. Catharines, ON
718 posts, read 468,126 times
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Lilly and Marshall had the pause thing.
They're my goal couple.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:50 PM
Location: The analog world
15,729 posts, read 8,794,392 times
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Twenty-six years.

Compatibility, respect, and solidarity, as others have already mentioned. Before we were married, we pledged that we would never, ever invite others into our conflicts. We promised to portray each other in a positive light even if we were struggling. We also promised that if our relationship was in trouble, we would seek unbiased help from a professional counselor whose priority was helping us restore our relationship. Fortunately, this has never been necessary, in large part, I think, because we've always honored promises 1 & 2.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:03 PM
Location: Katonah, NY
21,199 posts, read 20,144,866 times
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A lot of people are talking about how you don't talk about your problems to others or bad mouth your spouse to others - and I agree with this completely. I think that one of the reasons that people do these things is because they aren't sure of the other person or aren't sure of the relationship. I know that I used to talk to my girlfriends about issues I was having in my relationships either early on in my relationships or when the relationship just wasn't right. Here's the thing - the only person that can really make you feel better when you are having a disagreement or whatnot with your partner is your partner. When you are with the right person, you trust them, you know they love you, you are in it through thick and thin - you know that you can talk to them about whatever issue is at hand and that you will resolve things and feel better. If you aren't sure of your partner or your relationship - you aren't sure that your partner will make you feel better - so you talk to other people in the hopes that they will make you feel better. It's futile because the only people that can fix things between you and your partner is you and your partner. But I think that when you are with the right person - you naturally don't talk to others about things because you don't need to - and when you are with the wrong person, you do talk to others because you aren't sure your partner will give you the comfort that you seek.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:26 PM
521 posts, read 469,073 times
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One of the most important things that can keep a relationship going is if both people are going the same way. By that I mean they both want the same things: children, a country house, an apartment in the city, ski vacations, you name it - any number of variables. It also helps to try to involve yourself with each other's hobbies. It's so much more pleasant if your spouse takes an interest in your interests and the two of you enjoy things together.
A HUGE HUGE thing that results in the success of relationships is having a sense of humor and not taking things too seriously. If you have a sense of humor you can more easily forgive the really stupid stupid things other people say and do that would otherwise INFURIATE you. You also can't pay too much attention to small things. You must know which battle to pick and which one to lose. Sometimes losing a battle yields much greater rewards than winning.
You must practice eyelash batting, crying on cue and all the other good stuff that your spouse falls for. People are wired a certain way - do what works!
Never forget why you got together in the first place. It helps when you occasionally ask yourself what you are doing and why you are doing it.
You must be willing to do anything for the other person. You must be supportive, understanding and above all empathetic. You can't abandon the other person when they are out of sorts, upset or facing medical problems that may be terrible.
You must always remember that love does exist even though the world is full of people who are frightened of it, claim they can't find it, or blame the entire opposite sex for the sins of a handful of people who they happened to have had bad experiences with.
Above all, you must be selfish enough to love yourself so that another may love you. If you represent yourself as an unlovable character, that is how you will be perceived.
Finally, the most important thing of all - you must be sure you are getting the love you are giving so that you may give more of it in return.
I have attempted to follow my own advice for the past 37 1/2 years. So far, I've been good!
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:23 PM
343 posts, read 600,794 times
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Mrs. Terp and I are going on 39 years. Here's our secret! When we first married we made an agreement, she would handle all little decisions, and I would handle all the big decisions. Imagine, 39 years and we still haven't had a big decision.

But I'm ready if a big one comes along!
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