It’s still hard to believe that Mr. Cottage and I married 50 years ago today! Three years ago I wrote another post on our 47th anniversary, which you can read here. It pretty much sums up what we had going for us and how things were in the early years. I’m sharing a few more ways I’ve added to my original list on how to have a long marriage.
“People are weird. When we find someone with weirdness that is compatible with ours, we team up and call it love.”
I really debated if I should have put this photo in (too blurry), but it shows just how young we were back in the day! We met at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
I guess you could say that we married very young, compared to today’s standards. I was just under 21 and Mr. Cottage was 23.
We were both fortunate to come from families who had remained married to each other.
So what is the secret to a long marriage?
Well, according to Mr. Cottage, he has a string on the back of his neck that he pulls when he answers me “Yes dear, you’re right”, or “It’s my fault”, and “I’m wrong, again”. He swears by this and says it works magic for our marriage, LOL!
But seriously, here are 11 ways on how we’ve stayed married for 50 years:
- Love and Commitment to one another – It seems crazy to put love in here because you would think that’s a given, but sadly not everyone marries for love. And commitment to really see this marriage last. Too many just want to give up too quickly or they go into the marriage with the thought of divorce in the back of their mind.
- Communication – This includes everything from kids, discipline for them, finances, dreams and plans, as well as how you’re feeling. Are you sad, happy, disappointed, proud? Communicate to each other your emotions.
- Honesty and Trust –You need to trust each other completely, as well as always be honest with one another. If you lie or don’t tell the truth about what’s going on, whether it’s drugs, maxing out your credit card or anything else, know that sooner or later it’s going to come back and bite you; and when it does, you’re marriage could be at stake. Ask yourself how well you trust your partner. In the movie, Casino, Robert De Niro gives his wife the one and only key to their safety deposit box. Could you trust your partner like he did?
- Sense of Humor – This seems almost silly to put in here, but most couples who have had long marriages all say that humor is important in the success of their marriage. I know it is for us!
- Respect One Another – Treat your partner as you want to be treated. This includes the words you speak. Would you want your partner to use those same words with you?
- Be Willing To Forgive – Everyone has their faults. If you don’t forgive, the resentment and anger will continue to build. If the action continues, then counseling and/or help may be needed; but once through it, forgive.
- Take Care of Yourself – After the “I Do” is said, for whatever reason many couples seem to forget how to care for themselves. Don’t let your appearance go down the tubes. You’re never going to look like you did when you first met, but don’t let yourself go. Remember to brush your teeth and dress without stains and holes in your clothes when going out together. Make sure to compliment your partner when they look great.
- Remind Each Other How Much You Appreciate Them – It’s easy to get into a rut over time. Greet each other with hugs and kisses, and even small gifts occasionally.
- Spending Time With Each Other – Remember those dates you went on? Why not continue date days or date nights, especially if you have kids. Take turns doing things with your spouse that they may love, but you don’t; and they in turn will do things with you that they don’t care for. Let them watch football, but later you can watch your chick flick.
- Spending Time Away From Each Other – You heard me! You need some time away from each other. Connect with your friends and go away for a girls weekend or meet your friend for coffee or lunch. This really does help a marriage.
- Be Faithful To One Another – If you both follow all the above, plus some, infidelity in the marriage shouldn’t occur.
As some of you know, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary early by flying to San Francisco for a few days and then taking a 15 night cruise to Hawaii. I still have more to blog about with our trip, but you can read more about our adventures here:
- Hawaiian Islands Through My Lens
- The Big Island Of Hawaii
- Whale Watching In Maui
- Honolulu, Luau, and Pearl Harbor
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“A happy marriage doesn’t mean that you have a perfect relationship or spouse. It just means that you’re both willing to look beyond the imperfections in each other.” ~Unknown
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