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Having just celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary a couple months ago, I found this post on Aleteia’s home page really struck a chord:
A long-married friend posted this on my Facebook wall recently: “Marriage is until death, not until you stop trying.” After I, also long-married, finished laughing, I took a moment to consider people whose marriages ended despite their trying very hard. After that, I considered some of the things that make love last—and who better to ask about those things than people whose marriages have lasted? Not surprisingly, their advice had similarities. We talked to long-married men, long-married women, and several marriage and relationship experts (most of them also long-married) about what lasting relationships take, and what people just starting out in their relationships should know about love. David, married 42 years, writer, Garrett Park, Maryland: “Don’t be afraid to go to bed angry. When you wake up the next morning, you may just realize you were being stupid. But if you argued it out the night before, with both people tired and ticked off, well, bad things can happen.” Jane, married 24 years, arts executive, Charlottesville, Virginia: “Find a way to show your love daily. A kiss every time you say hello or goodbye goes a long way. Even when you may dislike them at times (or them you).” Rosalind Sedacca, PhD, marriage counselor: “The secret to a lasting relationship is respect. Treating your partner with respect even when angry or upset with them makes all the difference to your relationship. Using respectful language when talking to them and respectfully listening to them when they disagree with you or have a differing opinion is crucial to lasting success.” Joe, married 46 years, retired broadcast executive, Washington, D.C.: “Everybody’s a pain in the [butt] sometimes.” Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz, “The Marriage Doctors,” married 50 years: “The older you get, the more you begin to realize that you want and need companionship until the end of your life. Nobody wants to grow old alone. Friendship becomes of paramount importance as you mature. Growing old together with the one you love is a blessing not easily understood in youth.”
Read more. I’d just add the advice my wife and I gave the waitress at a restaurant when we celebrated an anniversary a few years back. The waitress asked us the secret to our long marriage.
I smiled and said “Patience.”
My wife added: “And prayer.”