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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Couples Married 50 Years or Longer Give Advice

Married 68 years

Secrets to a Long Marriage

Going directly to the experts, long time married couples, makes sense to researchers like sociology professor, Todd Migliaccio, California State University, Sacramento. He has interviewed and taped dozens of couples in long marriages including my husband and me. More than 100 couples contributed to "Married for Life", Honor Books by Bill Morelan, one of the sources I used. I have been sharing some of these experts' advice in my most recent blogs.

Interestingly, "spending time together" in one form or another was recommended more often than any other advice. A close second was commitment to the marriage. One person put it uniquely, "Never consider getting unmarried as an option."

Many other responses were repeated in different ways. These experts on love advised couples to  realize neither of you are perfect; practice cooperation, follow the Golden Rule, try to see each other's point of view, but agree to disagree sometimes. I tell my clients, "Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. If you focus on the strengths you will have twice as many together, If you focus on the weaknesses, you will have twice as many weaknesses. Which you focus on will determine how strong a marriage you can create."

Becoming lifetime soul mates is a unique rewarding adventure. If you remember the story , "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams, you will remember the discussion between Rabbit and Skin Horse  about what is real. Rabbit asks if it happens all at once or bit by bit. Skin Horse tells Rabbit it doesn't happen all at once. It happens when you have been loved over a period of time, but "it doesn't happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept." In other words, you must learn how to let go of defenses.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Couples Married 50 Years or Longer Give Advice

Walter and Mary Bieri

More Advice From Long Married Couples     The advice given in this series of blogs comes from a study of couples married 50 years or longer......

You have to really like each other. That means being able to listen to each other no matter what the subject.

Always be willing to walk away when a subject becomes too heated, but always be willing to come back to it when you are both calm.

Never call each other names when you are angry. Just say, I am angry right now.

Love must be nurtured. Kindness and respect are a part of the nurturing.

Share common goals and find common interests.

Give each other plenty of space to grow and accept each other just the way they are.

Share responsibility and care of the house, children, and the relationship.

Everyone has problems. Stay together and work them out.

Agree that it's okay to disagree.

Talk things out and never give up.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Couples Married 50 Years or More Give Advice

Dave and Jacque Leek 

Secrets of a Long Marriage from Couples Married 50 Years or More

I love my husband and he loves me. We work together. We talk things out, even though sometimes it may not be a quiet discussion.

You only get out of a marriage what you put into it.

Be individuals. Give each other space.

Have fun together and never get too old to hold hands.

Never give advice unless it's asked for and then be careful not to tell him/her what to do.

Take responsibility for your own feelings, needs, and happiness.

Friends will always let you down. Don't be fragile. Toughen up.

Never stop learning listening skills. Be aware of subjects you react to.

Do everything you can to express your love. Never let a day go without telling each other, "I love you."

Always make marriage and family a top priority.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Secrets to a Long Marriage

Gene and Georgia Schroeder

Couples Married 50 Years Or Longer

"We're seeing more and more couples that have lasted where friendship is one of the big factors. If they're from a close family, that provides a huge social network that contributes to marital longevity. Couples have more to draw on and more commitment to the greater good of the family."

That comment comes from Todd Migliaccio, California State University, Sacramento sociology professor. My husband, Everett, and I were one of the dozens of couples married more than 50 years interviewed by Professor Migliaccio. Interestingly, he was not married at the time.

My own mother died four years before she and my dad reached their 50th anniversary, but many older couples reach that milestone. Presently, more than half of American marriages have lasted more than 15 years according to census figures. About 30 percent of married couples celebrate 25 years together. Experts theorize about what makes it possible to make a marriage last. The true answers come from those who year in and year out through good times and bad, find ways to make their marriages work.

Look forward to future blog posts giving answers by those who have made marriage work. I welcome pictures of people who have been married 50 years or longer with their names and wedding dates.

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