Seven percent! That is the club we now belong to having been married for 50 years. This statistic seems low to me, since we have long-term friends in this same club. We recently met up with two other couples from college who were married in the sixties and are still together. Is it easy to be in the seven percent club? Not necessarily, but it is incredibly interesting to be with the same person for so many years and still, still realize there is much to learn about each other.
The secret to a long, happy relationship? I am not sure there is one formula, but in discussion with our friends, we circled around these ideas:
Patience with each other. Tying the knot does not mean to be tight. Loosen up and allow each other space to grow and flourish.
Respect for the others’ process. Taking time to understand each other’s ideas makes life easier.
Giving up control. Basic fact of life: you cannot control someone’s thoughts, actions or deeds. Being in love’s space rather than finger pointing brings you closer.
Commitment to each other. Even in rough moments (and there are always those), when you are committed to each other, the storm passes and fresh times abound.
Love and friendship. At first you are starry eyed in love. Add in a deep dose of friendship sharing common interests, and bingo, 50 years passes in a blink.
In these last 50 years, we have come to an easier resolution of the differences in our personalities; we remain lovers and friends; we love to travel and adventure together; hanging out with our adult kids brings countless smiles and, we continue to appreciate the life we have created as we love and honor each other. Whew! What a charmed ride!