I’m often in awe of my aunt and uncle, who have been married for more than 50 years now.
Can you imagine?
We traveled to the midwest to visit them for a few days recently. When spending time around them, it’s not hard to guess how they made it that long.
IMO, it comes down to a few things:
They both work very hard. My aunt is in her 70s, and still works as a realtor. They certainly don’t need the money, she just enjoys her work. My uncle is a retired math teacher who often held two jobs. He didn’t have to, but he likes to stay active and enjoys the rewards that working brings.
Their work ethic has always helped them maintain their sense of individual achievement. And yet the results of their work benefited the whole family at the same time.
They spend a lot of time enjoying life – together and apart. They make it a point to regularly go on vacations, out to dinner, to parties, and other quality time activities, by themselves and with friends.
They also spend time apart – visiting friends, visiting family, my uncle on his fishing trips, my aunt with her girls’ weekends.
There is no clingy-ness there, just trust and the reality that getting a break from one another can also be healthy for a relationship.
They don’t do drama. Of course, my aunt’s upper midwest calm demeanor helps. But you’ll never hear them take jabs at one another (or others), hold grudges, roll their eyes, or get angry when someone doesn’t behave the way they wanted them to.
They understand what’s important to be concerned about, and what can and should be let go.
I’m sure there have been many difficult things go down between them and around them in those 50+ years. No marriage is perfect, of course.
And there are other reasons why I think they’ve made it this long.
But overall I think their success comes down to these 3 things:
Be willing to let go of your ego and focus on the collective.
Work hard, at your job and your relationship.
Approach everything with unconditional love and acceptance.
I hope you find some inspiration in my observations of this long and happy marriage, whether you’re married, engaged, partnered, co-habitating, or any form of a relationship.
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