With a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary at the church, the minister asked Brother Ralph to take a few minutes and share some insight into how he managed to live with the same woman all these years. The husband shyly stood and turned to the audience: “Well, I treated her with respect, spent money on her, but mostly I took her traveling on special occasions.” The minister inquired, “Trips to where?” “Well,” the man says, “for our 25th anniversary, I took her to Beijing, China.” An appreciative murmur went up in the congregation. The minister then said, “What a terrific example you are to all husbands, Ralph. Please tell the brethren what you’re going to do for your wife on your 50th anniversary?” “Big plans!” he said with a smile. “I’m headin’ back to Beijing to pick her up!”
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Hendersons are the world’s oldest married couple. On Sunday, December 15, John (age 106) and Charlotte (age 105) will celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary. The two met in college in 1934 and wed five years later. (Their weekend honeymoon cost $7.00.) Both are still healthy and exercise everyday. Needless to say, their marriage has stood the test of time
So what are the secrets of marriage longevity? Recently, a gerontologist (one who studies old age) interviewed 700 couples who have been married for a combined total of 40,000 years. (John and Charlotte Henderson were one of the couples.) He then combined all of their responses into the top-ten most common things that he was told. Here is the list, in descending order:
#10 Likable – Ask you family and friends what they think of the person you are dating. And, if generally they do not like the individual, end the courtship.
#9 Disposition – Watch closely how your prospective spouse handles conflict. If they have a quick fuse, nip the romance in the bud. It won’t get better, only worse.
#8 Butterflies – Marry only if you are in love. You need to have those butterflies. Yes, they won’t last; but the honeymoon foundational period is vital.
#7 Communicate – Talk a lot, especially before marriage. Make sure you have the same values. And after being wed, share what you do like and don’t like.
#6 Priority – Make and keep your husband/wife relationship as number one; that it’s more important than – the children, the job, your friends, activities, etc.
#5 Fighting – Surprisingly, never argue when hungry came up often. Avoid having anything nasty come out of your mouth by putting something yummy into it.
#4 Adaptable – As time goes on, things will change; both personally and jointly, lives don’t stay
the same. So learn to adapt in the big and in the small things.
#3 Altruistic – Pay attention to what makes your spouse’s life easier and happier; knowing that this in turn will make your life a lot easier and happier.
#2 Appearance – Long-married couples tend to stay somewhat fit and well-groomed, recognizing the importance of personal appearance to the relationship.
#1 Commitment – Those who stayed together were committed to doing so from day one. And all said – persevering thru the hardships was more than worth it.
The bottom line? Happily ever-after? It’s not a fairy tale, it’s a choice!
● A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person … ● Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of coffee every morning – you might have it every day, but you still enjoy it … ● The older I get, the less time I want to spend with the part of the human race that didn’t marry me … ● A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers … ● Love doesn’t make the world go round, but it does make the ride worthwhile … ● Show me a man who is smiling from ear-to-ear and living a beautiful life, and I’ll show you a man who is grateful for what he has and utterly in love with his wife … ● In marriage: the first to apologize is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest and the first to forget is the happiest … ● Enjoy the little things in life. For one day you’ll look back and realize they really were the big things in life … ● The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds; they mature slowly, but surely.