Through Thick and Thin
Bob and Kathy recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, and they say the secret to marital success is to keep dating your spouse. "Have 'date nights' at least twice a month even if it’s in front of the fireplace when the kids are sleeping," Kathy says. "Hold hands, kiss and pinch bottoms every chance you get. It’s hard to stay angry with all that going on.”❤️
Chuck and Cindy met at a U.S. Naval Academy mixer and were friends before a romance ensued. Cindy says, "Our 'friends first' relationship is what has made our 38-year marriage work. We truly liked each other, and the love came later. Chuck has my back and vice versa. Do we argue? Of course! But we make sure to hear each other and try to compromise. I told my children to marry someone they really like because relationships aren't always blissful. Be sure you like the person you are in the trenches with!"
Put Your Spouse First
A Husband's Secret to Success
Melissa says one of the secrets of her 28-year marriage to Michael is recognizing the romance in the small things.
"Forget roses & chocolates! True love is when he gets out in the cold rain to fill your car with gas and drops you off at the front of the store so you won’t get wet. He is MY MAN and truly my best friend," Melissa says.
Mark and Deborah celebrated their 33rd anniversary in July. Their journey together, including raising 3 biological and 7 adopted children has succeeded thanks, to faith, family and having fun together. "Mark had a brain tumor in 2009 that completely changed who he was for 18 months," Deborah says. "That time was the most difficult of our marriage. My commitment to our family and faith in God knowing that this period would not last forever is what kept me from leaving. He slowly recovered and he is healthier than he was pre-tumor.
We have 11 grandchildren, which makes all that we have gone through worth the fight to stay intact! Watching this man (who was a great father) be a fantastic 'Doodah' to our grandkids is heart-melting. Every day is truly a gift we enjoy unwrapping together."
Make Marriage Your Top Priority
COVID shut down Dawn and Ron's 40th anniversary celebration, but their love is still going strong. Dawn says she finds it easy to be happily married. Her secret? “My husband has ALWAYS been my top priority,” she says. He is number one in my life, and I treat him that way.”
Scott and Elizabeth met during his senior year at the US Coast Guard Academy. They've been a happily married, active duty duo for 27 years. “'Grit' is the word that definitely defines our life!" Elizabeth says. "Along this incredible journey, we have moved 6 times, always together. God blessed us with four ugly children, and now that they are young adults, my husband and I surprise each other with little vacation dates. Whether it’s a long road trip, a trip to the beach or a kayaking picnic, we LOVE being by each other's side."
Carolyn and Steve met in college and tied the knot the summer after graduation. Carolyn says. "Looking back on nearly 35 years of marriage, through infertility struggles, adoption blessings, parenting joys and pain, addiction issues, recovery, a chronic illness diagnosis, a brain aneurysm rupture and survival miracles...what has kept us together has been an unwavering Christian faith, the commitment to the idea that divorce was never an option, having the example of both sets of parents being in happy marriages for over 40 years, and always being able to make each other laugh."
Jacqueline and Will were married in 1970, and the secret to their marital success involves not one “F” word, but two! “Through the years we’ve found that two important words in marriage are friendship and forgiveness,” Jacqueline says. “We made a commitment to each other and kept it. Many times, our friendship, that started in junior high, helped us navigate through tough times. To this day, there is no one I’d rather spend my time with!”
Rick and Sonja have been married for more than 37 years. They married “smart” with the help of Pre-Cana counseling through their church. “Through the process we got the great advice to never let the sun go down on anger and to resolve all issues within 24 hours. After that, the issue is to be buried and forgotten,” Sonja says.“If Rick and I were to counsel young couples, we would certainly give them the same advice and also encourage them to seek premarital counseling. You never know what you'll learn about your prospective partner regarding values, religion, finances and family. Those are the issues that will trip you up.”