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"the Secret To A Long And Happy Married Life"

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by Kavta, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Kavta

    Kavta Senior IL'ite

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    I read this article and thought this might be helpful to many fnds here.

    Love for us, began early. We met at church with just a "hello". We peeped at each other around the
    pews, playing 'hide and seek'. We didn't know then, but the 'love bug' bit. I was five and he was seven.
    Time stood still for we did not see each other again until three months later. We played the same game
    Courting days in the later teens were memorable ones. We were high school classmates and the
    excitement of seeing each other lasted throughout the years. We had other friends and we did not get
    into serious dating business until much later. When we went to separate colleges, there were changes in
    our relationship and we did not regain that former status until we started working as teachers in the
    same school system.

    (Tip: Absence makes the heart grow fonder

    When work assignments forced us together, we renewed and expressed unashamedly our fondness for
    each other. And after the reassurance that we were meant for each other, a marriage date was set for
    July 12, 1939 (the hottest day in the year).
    Our marriage of sixty-four years has been a very exciting journey. It has offered us many pleasant
    experiences and many lasting memories. Naturally, we have had years sprinkled with some kind of
    unhappiness. But through it all, we have survived because of ....
    It is for this reason that I would like to share some of the tidbits of what we consider a successful and
    happy married life for these many years. It is our hope that the stories we share will clue you in to the
    text of "How to Stay Happily Married."
    Our favorite stories begin in the early years of our marriage. We lived with my parents for seven years
    before we became financially secure enough to buy a house site and build our "dream home". During
    those years, as we worked as classroom teachers, we continued our courtship and spent hours just
    having fun.
    (Tip: Make every day count and make pleasant memories.)
    Living in the country offered many opportunities for long hikes through the woods, where we observed
    nature in all of its beauty. We enjoyed romping in the leaves in the Fall, and plodding through the snow
    in the Winter. The most enjoyable time of all was in the Spring when we took long rides to all the
    favorite spots: fishing and camping sites, and watching our favorite sports in nearby areas. Venturing to
    the 'Big City' came much later and we simply enjoyed each other.
    (Tip: Compatibility is half of the game in a happy marriage.)
    The Armed Services interrupted our solitude during the sixth year of our marriage. And, we will never
    live down the jokes told on how I tried to feed my husband with boxes of home-cooked food whenever
    he returned to camp after a weekend visit. It was settled the day he revealed that he did not take the
    food back to the camp with him, but threw it in the first trash can at the bus station.
    (Tip: We learn much from jokes if accepted gracefully.)
    My sister, visiting for the holidays, enjoyed telling everyone about the Christmas vacation when she
    had planned to room with me, when she was interrupted by a surprise visit from my husband. She
    hysterically told how I slid all the way down the staircase to meet him. In the great haste to get to him, I
    stumbled over the tree trunk in the yard and almost broke an ankle. The taxi driver, who was observing
    all of the commotion, left without his fare. Family members visiting for the holidays enjoyed retelling
    these events for many, many years.
    (Tip: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.)
    Dinner meals became special events for me and joke material for the family. I was not aware of the fact
    that I was observed for my lack of expertise in cooking. My first home-made rolls became a joke that
    will last for many generations. When they were ready for the table, they were so hard that when I threw
    them out to the dogs in the yard, they ran away yelping in fear. Naturally, I cried when everyone
    laughingly said 'that even the dogs can't eat them.' I sought comfort from my husband who sided with
    the family thus leading to our first real spat.
    (Tip: We learn from our mistakes.)
    Shopping was always an issue in our early marriage. I loved to browse in the stores for hours, he didn't.
    When we agreed that I would go with some friends to purchase an outfit for the Fall, I was delighted.
    When I returned home with a striped suit, it almost sent him into hysterics. Well, that was another
    episode for consideration. Eventually, the suit was returned to the department store over eighty miles
    away. Similar events relating to shopping followed which taught us lessons in likes and dislikes as a
    young married couple.
    (Tip: Respect the feelings of your mate in all areas.)
    Married life became serious business when he was inducted into the Army. We decided that it was time
    to start a family. Needless to say, when the time for the baby's arrival came, we had many anxious
    moments. My husband, away in camp, arrived in time for the home delivery of our first-born. As he
    climbed the steps, two at a time, the event happened. The stories told by family members about this
    event added to the saga of this happily, married young couple.
    (Tip: Children are the consummation of a happy marriage.)
    Parenthood was a different ball-game. The attempt to keep the time for son and husband evenly divided
    became a real task. Attention given to each was weighed carefully. When we realized that our nerves
    were at the the testing point, we knew that it was time to change our living arrangements, even though
    we were happy in this environment. House-hunting and making purchases for living as a separate
    family unit consumed most of our time. We agreed and disagreed on the type of house we wanted to
    live in. After surveying every possible aspect, we made our decision, bought a spot, built a house, and
    moved in. This was a big proposition for a young married couple. There were many rocky days and
    restless nights, but we made it with lots of love and understanding. After settling in this new lifestyle,
    we agreed that another offspring would be eventful. A lovely daughter was born in the spring.
    (Tip: Love and Understanding in all events will produce lasting agreements.)
    About Travel
    When we bought our first brand new car, I knew we had to go somewhere far, far away. The furthest
    place away at that time to us was Buffalo, N.Y., where my oldest living sister lived. The idea sounded
    fine to my husband who was interested to test the gas mileage on the new car, but -- we ran into a big
    snag. My mother, and sisters wanted to tag along too. Well, this was the test of in-law problems. After
    we discussed all the pros and cons, we had no other choice but to take them with us. We learned our
    lesson on this trip. We had fun, we enjoyed the sights, we tried new marital tricks, and everything
    worked out, but....
    (Tip: Keep family plans between husband and wife until everything is decided.)
    After this episode, we have taken many, many trips that have been the epitome of happiness. Some
    short, overnight trips, some long, seven to fourteen day trips. Travel, for us, equalized the rough spots
    in our marriage. It was both recreational and educational for the family, and we learned to extend many
    work conferences into vacation outings.
    (Tip: Include travel as an integral part of married life. Enjoy each other.)
    Train rides, travel by bus and airplane was always included in our yearly planning. We had loads of fun
    as we visited new places, met and made new friends. Pop-in visits were quite common. We had our
    most exciting and memorable experience on a plane trip from New Orleans. As we were comfortably
    seated in the rear of the plane, a sudden popping noise from the engine claimed our attention. Not
    realizing what the problem was, we grabbed each other by the hand and started praying. We knew this
    was the end for us. We were blessed to land safely in Dallas and on our return home we shared this
    story over and over again and renewed our marriage vows.
    (Tip: Realize early in life who you are and whose you are.)
    Volunteer Work
    Community service was an integral part of our daily life. As we worked, we discovered many
    opportunities to serve others. This included church activities, community, state, and national activities.
    These experiences became special opportunities to deepen the true meaning of married life. We shared
    with children, young couples, and with older couples in many ways: teaching, counseling, and
    demonstrating the "how to's" of life.
    (Tip: To have a friend, be friendly.)
    Day-to-day Chores
    As our marriage life evolved, we developed many little eccentric behaviors that seem to me now as
    plusses in our marriage. I tried very hard and unsuccessfully to break my husband of the habit of
    leaving his work shoes on the backdoor steps. I was sure he was cured of the habit when the neighbor's
    dog ran off with one shoe, and at another time, another shoe and a boot. Well, when we finally sat
    down to talk about this untimely habit, I discovered that he wanted any male visitor to know that "he
    ruled this roof."
    (Tip: Actions sometimes speak louder than words.)
    Sleeping late in the morning, a habit I could not break, was very irritating to my husband. He was an
    early riser and wanted to be up and on-the-go as early as possible, even when we were going on trips or
    outings. Having missed some exciting fishing expeditions cured me of the sleeping late habit, but
    raising a newborn and caring for grandchildren taught me many things about rising early and getting
    jobs done.
    (Tip: Learn by doing.)
    Caring for your health is another aspect of a long, happy married life. As you grow older and more
    experienced with your mate's health habits, you know where there are health problems. It is very
    necessary that you take the very best care of your own health, but more importantly, you should be
    aware of your mate's good health signals. When there are negative signals, talk can be annoying and
    cause undue stress and irritation. Short tempers flare up unexpectedly.
    ---continued in next post
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2007

  2. Kavta

    Kavta Senior IL'ite

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    (Tip: Test the waters before you speak.)
    Bonds of marriage grow stronger when each partner learns to depend on the other for strength.
    However, each mate has special gifts and talents that should be developed. Encouraging each other is
    essential for growth. This can be a testing time for a marriage unless there is harmony in the
    relationship. Couples should continue to study for self-improvement and seek help from each other in
    any new adventure. Hobbies are assets for complimentary performances. Sharing these with others as a
    family unit can lead to a wholesome and fulfilling life.
    (Tip: Continue to learn and contribute to society.)
    Congratulations to your mate are always in order. Living together for many years can sometimes get
    boring, so keep spruced up with the most appealing styles suitable for your age and life-style.
    Something new can change a frown into a smile: Hairstyle, a new vogue in clothing, or something
    different in food choices.
    (Tip: Try something new for size. You might like it! Your mate might like it!)
    Having Fun
    We had a lot of fun during our courtship days and during the years after we married. Of course we had
    to seriously work at it. Our intention was to enjoy every minute we could and to find ways to be happy.
    We soon learned each other’s secret. Writing notes to each other, hiding surprise gifts, planning an
    unannounced outing. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't, but we kept busy discovering new
    things to do.
    We soon found that to get away from home or other family members provided the right opportunity for
    us to get to know each other and to enjoy each other in special ways.
    Rearing a family added much joy and provided new challenges for adjustment to future plans. When we
    decided to build our future home, we planned for two children, a boy and a girl. Playing the role of
    husband and wife assumed a new role, Mamma and Daddy.
    Working, entertaining, church affiliations, membership in recreational organizations and all activities
    that would affect our desired life-style were carefully scrutinized. Decision-making was a team effort.
    Many happenings lent lots of happiness to a sometimes-gloomy life story.
    Recap from story told by my husband:
    It became obvious that on any vacation trip, my husband always received a lot of attention from
    strangers, especially the females. I tried to keep my “cool” many, many times, but it became harder and
    harder not to take notice. While traveling to Columbus, Ohio one summer, we made an overnight stop
    at a new location. While having our supper I vaguely noticed the sudden attention my husband was
    receiving from the waitress(es) and passed it off as an attempt to get a large tip. Not until the next
    morning did it strike me that this was more than just a passing fantasy for unknowing to me my
    husband had dressed and gone for breakfast early. When I finally caught up with him he was enjoying
    the company of the waitress who had served us the night before. Well! This almost ended the trip to
    Columbus. Luckily, nothing seriously happened.
    (Tip: Keep your eyes wide open at all times!)
    The many trips we made to Conventions and other sightseeing expeditions kept me on my guard and
    made the outings “spicy”. It was quite an unusual experience at one of the Mission Conventions to
    notice the attention he was receiving from “so many” women! Well, I felt very special on many
    occasions but soon it began to play on my nerves, especially when three women seemingly were out for
    business. (I’m sure it was all in fun.) However when he was asked by one of the women sitting in the
    back of him if he happened to be a preacher, I was dumbfounded. He asked her why she asked that and
    her answer “Your neck looks like one” turned into a laughing joke that continues to be a “Convention
    Tip: Watch and Pray without ceasing.)
    It became apparent that a way had to be found to counteract this attention on the part of my spouse. So,
    as fate would have it, I received some unexpected courtesies from some of the male attendees at one of
    the Mission Conventions. Nothing was planned, it just happened. In a crowded session, seats were
    scarce and when a seat became available beside an attractive gentleman, I quickly thought, “Here’s my
    chance to test his feelings”. Well, conversation between the two of us flowed very easily and when I
    knew anything the meeting was over and as we were strolling down the hallway still talking, someone
    walked up and said, Were you looking for me?” The look in my husband’s eyes told the story. I was
    happy, for it became a laughable joke to add to our memoirs.
    (Tip: Turn-a-round is fair play, but be sure it doesn't go too far.)
    We learned a lot from these experiences. Having committed to being an ideal married couple, we found
    it very necessary not to intentionally do things to annoy each other. Specifically we adjusted to the habit
    of being on time whenever we were going anyplace together and to read the signals (without question)
    when it was time to leave. We recall stories of the first years of our marriage when we were invited to
    accompany other couples to places of entertainment. On one specific occasion, we were bombarded
    with temptations to participate in life-styles that we had agreed to abandon. On one occasion, I was
    almost left because I couldn’t get my coat quickly enough and had to run out of the door, embarrassed
    because my spouse had “lost his cool” and was ready to leave.
    (Tip: Remember the vows made and let love rule.)
    Family Chores
    Menial tasks can sometimes become real chores when they are not done in love. It was understood that
    the wife would take care of the meal planning and other household chores for a budding family.
    Sometimes things just wouldn’t act right and sometimes things just didn’t go right. We recall the
    “meal-planning” chore as a time when everything seemed to backfire. Easily prepared meals were on
    the menu quite regularly and often led into short heated discussions. On many days, meals were late and
    caused inconveniences and pouting that lasted longer than necessary. Leftovers were common and
    brought disharmony and discord. We learned many things from these episodes that kept our marriage
    from the breaking point. Family talks and planning on paper saved the day. The discovery, that this had
    to be a family chore, convinced each of us to be more considerate of each other before there was too
    much severe criticism.
    (Tip: Take serious things seriously.)
    At the very beginning of our new life together when we were living with my parents, we really couldn’t
    get enough of each other and seemingly we couldn’t do enough for each other. All of the modern
    conveniences during those years were unheard of, however we learned to make-do with what we had.
    The laundry facilities consisted of the washtub and our “first” electric iron. Well, with help from my
    mother, I was able to handle this chore without too much difficulty until one day an overplay of love for
    my spouse caused me to lose the aide I was getting free. On one particular occasion, I approached my
    mother about “not ironing my husband’s clothes because that was my job”. Well, I learned a lesson that
    I never forgot. She quickly informed me that she would be glad not to ever touch the ironing or any
    other job. (How stupid can you get?)
    (Tip: Never bite the hand that is helping you or feeding you!)
    Gift giving was exciting! It was necessary to learn a gift-giving lesson the hard way. Some wives know
    instinctively how to please their mate. I made many attempts to please my husband by selecting for
    him, what I thought was the perfect neck tie, only to discover that it was not the color or style or design
    he liked. I tried to buy shirts, to no avail, something was always wrong. He did not care for buttondown
    collars. Dark colors were not appropriate. I tried pajamas, with the same results. I gave up and
    gave money with appropriate pictures of the items intended. That worked! I didn’t realize that he
    tricked me into purchasing my own gift by letting me select what I wanted and when I left the store
    because of the price, he returned and made the purchase. How clever!
  3. Vysan

    Vysan Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Kavitha,

    That was a real good one... Those are real valuable tips...

    If we start practicing atleast 60-75% of this, it will be a great success... We learn from our mistakes... Trial and error method helps us to learn a lot...

    Life is to enjoy... Enjoy...:thumbsup
  4. priyauc

    priyauc Bronze IL'ite

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    Valuable suggestions. must try and incorporate them in our lives
  5. supriya21mishra

    supriya21mishra New IL'ite

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