Tips to Have a Healthy Marriage and Stay Married for Fifty Plus Years
The Number '50' is a relatively large number. This Hub article is number fifty for me and it got me thinking about the actual number fifty. Fifty articles is a nice amount of articles to have written on here, don't get me wrong there is more to come, but want to reflect on the first fifty.
For some reason when thinking about the number fifty, the first thing that came to my mind was my grandparents and when they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. It was back in 1994 and still see them smiling and so very happy on that day even now after both have been long gone (my grandfather passed away in 1999 and my grandmother in 2010).
Being married fifty years is a huge success as far as marriages go. You think even if one gets married at 18 years old (back in my grandparents day many got married at 18 years old), fifty years brings that same person to the age of 68 and even though that may not be old in today's standards some people truly don't make it to that age. But if you are lucky enough to make it and be in your 60s and possibly even in your 70s or even in your 80s that is also a real feat and success in my book.
So if you are lucky enough and blessed to be married for fifty years, which in my eyes again is a major success. Then my question is how did the happy couple make it to stay married together for fifty years? I am married for six years now and as much as I love my husband, let me tell you there are days where even we have our moments. No one is perfect and as much as you love them, they still can drive you crazy and quite mad even on a good day.
So, how did my grandparents stay married for fifty years, without either divorce or one of them killing the other one is a valid question.
Thinking back (they lived with us) and I had amble time to see their relationship--the good, the bad and the ugly! Remember, they celebrated fifty years of marriage in 1994 and I was 17 years old and at that point I had witnessed their marriage warts and all. And these are some of the things I viewed between them that seems to have worked for them and how I believe they stayed together in Holy Matrimony for over fifty years.
A Golden Oldie Classic--In The Mood (Glenn Miller Band):
Table of Contents
Read Ruchira's Article on Saving a Marriage from Possible Divorce:
- How to Save Your Marriage while a Divorce Is in Progress
Just as, it takes two to Tango, the success of any marriage depends on two individuals. This hub talks about ways a marriage could last and a couple could work out their differences.
1. Learn to Laugh
When you are married and having a disagreement, believe it or not, a sense of humor can get you far. If you can laugh off the argument or situation at hand and move past it, you are doing something positive to help keep your marriage bond strong and healthy.
My grandfather was a practical joker for most of his life and whenever things got tense he would always try to crack a joke to lighten the mood. Sometimes, this would drive my grandmother crazy, but for the most part it would end up doing the trick and make her less annoyed to the point that she would be able to get past whatever the original argument was about. I remember thinking that this was an interesting way to handle the problem at hand.
Once I was married myself, I started to realize how clever it truly was since my own husband, ironically is a lot like my grandfather and will also try to crack jokes when we are in the middle of an argument. Nine times out of ten, this also does the trick for us as well.
Laughter truly is the best medicine. I am not by any means telling you to trivialize the argument or scenario, but sometimes it is not as bad as it would appear and to lighten up the atmosphere with a bit of laughter can really make a world of difference.
Sometime the argument or atmosphere can get a bit ugly and that is when you might need to take a walk or just talk a few minutes to get some alone time.
This was another thing I remember my grandfather doing. If my grandmother and him were not agreeing on something, he was ticked off and needed to blow off some steam he would take a walk. He told me once that it always seemed to take the edge off, make him less annoyed and just generally feel better. Also, it would give him a chance to think and regroup. Most times, by the time he returned, he wouldn't be angry anymore and they usually were able to work out whatever the original problem was.
I am a lot like this I find in our marriage now. Usually even if I can't go for a walk, I like to have a few minutes of quiet time in another room to just think things through before I open my mouth and say something I will regret or can't take back. To me, this is just a momentary time out and helps to calm both of us and the situation too.
3. Learn to Share
Communicating and talking where you are not afraid to say what is on your mind is an essential for a healthy marriage. The gloves are off here so to speak. In order to do this both partners must be able to give a little and be a bit selfless at times too. There truly needs to be a common respect for each other as well.
When I was first married, I remembered thinking, "How am I ever going to get used to sharing a bedroom with someone else." Sounds crazy I know, but I was the oldest child (by 6 years) in a family with 2 children (a girl and a boy) and never had to share a bedroom with anyone. My personal space was my own. If someone in my house annoyed me I could close the door and be in my own quiet space by myself. Sharing a common space was not in my vocabulary for 29 years. So it took time for me to catch on and lean how to do this. So too with being able to communicate my feelings with another person who was there all the time for better or worse. Don't get me wrong I loved my husband dearly and wanted to be with him, but communicating and sharing with him was something that took time for me at least to learn how to do it.
My grandparents never seemed to have this problem at least by the time I got to knowing them (I was born and they were already married for quite a few years). But my grandmother once told me that she had to move to Georgia for the first few years of their marriage. See they got married during WWII and my grandfather was drafted into the army. He was stationed in the US in Altanta, GA at Fort Benning to be exact and lived on the base. Although, they weren't sure if he would be just that lucky to stay on the base and not see combat. When they first got married my grandmother was indeed allowed to move down there and live with him unless he was sent overseas into combat. Well, she told me this was truly the best time of her life, but also the worst, because she was newly married and learning to adjust to married life while being homesick (missing her parents and her five other siblings). Thankfully, my grandfather never did see combat, they came home and adjusted to married life just fine. But the point here was that it takes time to learn how to be married and share your life with another even in the best of circumstances.
4. Never Go to Bed Angry
You are allowed to get annoyed, but never hold a grudge and get your issues out in the open, then let it go.
When I was getting married to my husband, my grandmother was still very much alive, although my grandfather had been gone for a few years at this point. My grandmother and I were talking about my grandfather and her one day. I started to ask her if she could give me one piece of advice to remember about being married what would it be. Well, I will never forget what she said, which was quite simply, "Never Go to Bed Angry!" She then proceeded to explain that you can fight and argue, but if you want to be in a happy marriage don't let this argument get so out of hand that you can't at least work it out before going to bed at night.
Well lo and behold, we got married and did indeed have out first fight. I remembered her words and we fought well into that night, but guess what even as late as it was we still didn't end up going to bed angry.
My grandmother was indeed right and now after being married for over 6 years and countless trivial arguments (trust me we have had our share), we still have never gone to bed angry. My grandmother's words were truly words by which to live!
5. Say I am Sorry
When I was a young girl, I had the hardest time saying I was sorry. My mother was the one I credit to this day that taught me how to say I am sorry and for that I am truly thankful. I remember her each time I did something wrong, telling me over and over, "Janine, say you are sorry!" And I have to tell you as much as it drove me crazy to hear those words over and over again, eventually one day it just clicked, because now I say it so easily and never even have to think twice.
My grandparents too seemed to have mastered that lesson early on and also remember my grandfather telling me it is easier to say you are sorry than drag your feet out on it forever. No truer words were ever spoken and it would seem both my grandparents lived their lives saying these three little words when necessary and yet another reason why their marriage was so very strong and survived through the years.
Even in my own marriage (as I said I am very capable of saying I am sorry having learned this lesson early on) I can tell you I will say I am sorry to my husband usually first, because I would rather get past whatever issue we have and move on from it. To me I love him too much to keep an argument going or hold a grudge, so I would much rather say that I am sorry so we can get on with it and enjoy our lives. So not worth being miserable and annoyed, when we can be getting along and having a good time. Life is truly too short and want to be able to enjoy as much of it as I can.
6. Manners--Use them
Another, life lesson I learned early on was from both my mother and my grandmother was my manners and being able to say such things as "Please and Thank You". From the time I began to speak, I was taught if I wanted something to always say, "Please" and if I got something to say, "Thank You". Very simple, but so very direct.
When you are married, we sometimes take the other person for granted, but seriously if your spouse does something nice for you, then the very least you can do is say thank you and if you would like them to do something then you could at the very least say please. I mean my grandmother always did say, "You catch more flies with honey!" So sometimes you have to be polite in order to get something in return. It is truly as simple as that.
7. Work Hard At It
Marriage only begins at the vows of "I do" and "Death do us part" is a long way off if you plan on being married for fifty plus years. So how to you go from being newlyweds to celebrating your golden wedding anniversary? By working hard at making each day count and last . Guess what those days become weeks, months, and then years.
My grandparents did just that and never gave up working at making their marriage last. My husband and I have only been married 6 years, but we also try to make each day count and work very hard to make our marriage mean something and keep it going all the time.
I was taught that the word 'divorce' was not in my vocabulary so to speak at an early age and so was my husband. So thankfully we are on the same page where this one is concerned. It is so very important, I believe for a marriage to last to be in it for the long haul. If you treat your marriage as it is disposable, then it most likely will be and you will end up divorced even before the ink is dry on the marriage certificate, but if you truly want to be together forever then you have to work all the time to keep your marriage intact.
8. Nothing Is Perfect
Last, but not least, after working hard to keep your marriage strong and intact, you must try to remember that nothing is perfect, however you can experience perfect moments-yes, but remember nothing is perfect all the time.
My grandparents understood this and one of my grandfather's favorite sayings was, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," meaning you may have all good intentions, but sometimes things can go awry. It is what you do when things don't go quite the way you planned that can make it or break it.
Once you can realize this one simple thought, then you truly have a shot at making your marriage work and possibly last fifty plus years.
Read More on Making Your Marriage Work on Amazon:
Summing it up...
At this point in my life I have to credit my family, specifically my grandparents for the person, as well as writer I am and have become. So I felt it only fitting to dedicate article number fifty to them. And what better way to do this than write about their marriage in general if not to remember them, but to also try to help others who are married possibly make their marriage a bit better and even stronger by using some of the techniques I saw my grandparents utilize over and over again.
Fifty Articles and My Shout Out to Some Other Great Authors and People on Hubpages:
Also article fifty would not have happened on Hubpages, if not for the support and kindness of others in the Hubpage's community. I would like to take a moment to thank a few generous and wonderful people here that have truly made a difference in my life on Hubpage's.
1. josh3418--Josh is usually the first if not the first damn near close to it to always lend a helping ear to me and really is just a genuine, caring person, who is also so sincere with his support to me always. It is hard to remember a time I didn't know him even though it has only been a few short months. Josh can be serious, but his sense of humor is one of the best by far (and I only wish I could write a bit more with this type of humor) and one of the funniest by Josh is: http://josh3418.hubpages.com/hub/How-I-Won-The-Recipe-Contest-of-2012. This truly is says it all!!!
2. billybuc--Bill has been such a valued part of my experience here at Hubpages too and also not a day goes by where he is not looking out for me or so many others who follow him. His support is invaluable to me and must tell you I aspire to write like him by painting a mental picture of what I truly want others to see and feel when they read an article by me. If you haven't read an article by Bill yet, may I suggest: http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Home-Town-America-Charles-City-Iowa-1959. I must tell you I cried while reading this one and he truly just has a way with his words.
3. Sunshine625--Linda(Sunshine625) is truly our resident sunshine if I ever met sunshine physically this is what I would picture. She truly is such a warm and energizing person, truly just like I would imagine the sun to be. She was also one of the first to welcome me and has also become someone I feel very fond of too. A day without Linda for me, would truly be like a day without sunshine. If you haven't read one of her articles, I think this one is where you should start: http://sunshine625.hubpages.com/hub/Sunshine-Random-Fun-Facts. This truly gives you, the reader a nice concise background about Sunshine625.
4. ChristyWrites: Christy, I confess has made me strive to be an even better writer than I am on my best day. Her writing style is so direct and in your face. I have learned a great deal by her writing tips from her many articles that do just that by teaching varied writing tips for other writers, including myself. Here is an exceptional read by Christy that has truly helped me and believe me will help you too: http://christywrites.hubpages.com/hub/Writing-tips-Ways-to-gain-the-trust-of-your-online-readers. I have this one pinned to refer to time and again, thanks Christy!!
5. Docmo: Docmo is also someone who I have learned to count on and has been a wonderful person that I have gotten to know on Hubpages as well. I have to tell you I am not only amazed by his writing, but his artistic abilities too. Anyone who has read this one will know exactly what I mean: http://docmo.hubpages.com/hub/Pooh-and-the-Art-of-Living-Self-Awareness. Seriously, he drew these graphics of Pooh Bear and friends himself for this article series and that takes major talent . The story is completely ingenious and yes I am completely humbled by being one of his followers.
6. Teaches12345: Dianna (Teaches12345) is truly been yet another kind and gracious writer on Hubpages who I have had the pleasure of getting to know a bit and truly have learned quite a bit from her about writing as well as some important life lessons, like this one: http://teaches12345.hubpages.com/hub/Dealing-With-Sibling-Rivalry-In-The-Home-conflict-in-children. Having two little girls of my own this one has come in handy quite a few times since the first time I read it (yes another article I have re-read).
7. Midget38: Michelle(Midget38) has truly also become someone that time and time again seems to be so on the same page with me it is a bit frightening, but in a good way. I truly enjoy reading her articles and one that I actually just recently read and could very much relate to is: http://midget38.hubpages.com/hub/a-teacher-voice. This one proves a teacher is a teacher no matter where they teach!
8. Lord de cross: Joseph (Lord de cross) is another writer who constantly amazes me with his versatility. Whether he is writing about teaching or being a bit more comical, i never know from one day to the next what I will read next. I think he likes to keep us on our toes, but again in a good way. This one I could totally relate to being a math teacher by trade myself: http://lorddecross.hubpages.com/hub/WHY-IS-MATH-SO-HARD. If I heard this question once, I heard it a thousand times teaching math.
Thank you to all of you and what can I say, but it is a pleasure to write alongside of you each and everyday now!!
Read More About My Grandparents...
- Grief--My True Story of the Death of My Grandfather and How I was able to Cope
This hub deals with the loss of a loved one for me. Specifically it is about the loss of my grandfather, who I was extremely close with and hope I coped and dealt with the grief from this loss.
- Give Me A Sign--The Surprise That Turned Out to Be a a Gift and Blessing in Disguise
This hub discussed how I found out about my second pregnancy. It also discusses the loss of my grandmother and how her death brought about new life.
- Wacky Mac Three Bean Pasta Salad
This another recipe born out of my bridal shower, where guests wrote down their favorite recipes. This one was given to me by my grandmother and amended a bit by myself for Wacky Mac Three Bean Salad.