The Wall Street Journal had an article back on Feb. 9 entitled HAPPY COUPLES KISS AND TELL.
The journalist, Elizabeth Bernstein, asked the very sensible question, "Why do some couples thrive, while others fizzle or flame out, despite their best intentions?"
The article goes into most of the common, practical reasons for these life-long marriages, which seem so archaic, so unusual today. I remember years ago a couple joking with us that we were the only other couple they knew who hadn't gotten a divorce. They are, of course, now divorced.
I say "of course." Interesting.
The article gives a series of tips on how to stay married for a lifetime, including:
Find the middle ground.Be funny.Keep (some) secrets.Never, ever give up.Stay alive (More on that one in a sec).
The "keep some secrets" one is fascinating. What do you think? The example given is a Las Vegas couple. The husband is a professional gambler. He has never discussed his business with his wife, but is willing to tell the journalist that he's won and lost millions of dollars. The wife has her own bank account. Actually, I think that's the secret there.
My wife and I are closing in on (I'd better get this right...) 32 years of marriage. We were married on Easter Sunday in a Methodist church on South Hill Drive in Madison by a pastor who is now divorced. He gave us pre-marital counselling. He might have taken some of his own advice. I forget his name. Both Deb and I agreed that being married was a lot better than getting married. That was a lot of nervous work.
STAY ALIVE: The article ends with an anecdote about the writer's sister: "...a doctor,
told me about one of her patients, a 92-year-old woman who showed up for her appointment with her husband, who is 94. They said they have been married for almost 70 years.
"My sister, highly impressed, asked the couple the secret of their union's longevity. And they looked at each other for a long moment. Then the wife spoke: "Eh, neither of us died."
That's right, the secret of a long marriage, in the final analysis, is for neither partner to die. As my wife has confessed (for us both) on more than one occasion : "We're just stuck with each other. That's all."
Photos from Life Magazine