Secrets to steal from couples in love (Part 1)

Secrets to steal from couples in love (Part 1)

Fifty years ago, marriage looked pretty different. But the fact that sharing a life together is both challenging and rewarding hasn’t changed. Here’s how a few still-going-strong couples have made their love last.

Talk to each other, don’t vent to friends

 Sure, Jean and Daniel Terry have gotten irritated with each other during their 55-year marriage, yet the duo don’t gripe to pals. “People, in my belief, get too much advice and generally the wrong advice,” he says. “Other people just tie your problems up in knots and make them bigger. It’s best to work things out among yourselves.”

Kids makes marriage stronger

 Jean was 19 when she and Daniel, now 73, welcomed the first of their three children. (And the second followed just 13 months later!) “I’ve never been sorry for raising the kids when we were young,” says the now 72-year-old grandmother of seven. “Now, we’re fortunate that our kids all live within 30 minutes of us so we can have get-togethers often.”
Talk to each other

Give each other personal space

 “I credit still being married to living in a big house,” says Maureen McEwan of the Maine couple’s staying power the last 50 years. “I need space. I need to know that I can be by myself and [have room to be] artistic.”

Marriage is not always 50/50

Often, one person has to compromise or live outside their comfort zones. For Maureen, it was getting to be the “social person” she is despite her husband’s more introverted nature. “I had lots of kids over all the time,” says the 73-year-old mother of three, who met Tom on a group blind date, with another man. “For years, I filled the house with people and kids and whatever else and I don’t think he’s always been totally comfortable … but he put up with it.”

Kids makes marriage stronger

Make an effort to look your best

 Growing up as family friends, Sherri and Charlie Sugarman have gone through nearly every life stage together. (This photo was taken when she was 4 and he was 5!) Now 71 and 72, respectively, Charlie says, “It’s important for couples to maintain sense of vanity” and take care of themselves as part of a happy marriage. “It’s nice if you can stay in shape,” he adds. “Then you stay attractive to each other — and stay healthier.”

Embrace your individuality

 That whole “better half” idea? Ditch it. “It’s important to be your own person,” says Sherri of her 51 years of marriage to Charlie. “You want to compliment each other and bring interest to the conversation.”

Don’t overlook small family moments

 Sherri loves cooking dinner — especially for Charlie. “It’s a time where we sit down and really talk together,” explains the mother of two, who adds they work to be off their phones. “In the age of technology, I think it’s really important to take the time to be a good listener.