11 Women Reveal the Marriage Role Models They Look Up to the Most

11 Women Reveal the Marriage Role Models They Look Up to the Most

See how these couples inspire others to make their relationships the best they can be.

By Leah Maxwell

There’s no instruction manual for marriage. Most of the time, we just muddle through and do the best we can, hoping we’re choosing what’s best for ourselves and our partners. If we’re lucky, though, we come across examples of relationships we’d like to emulate, and that can put us on the road to becoming someone else’s relationship role model some day. Here, 11 women share the couples who inspire them and help shape their own ideas of what marriage can be.

1. “My parents are the best example of a team I’ve ever seen. When I was little, they worked opposite shifts so one of them was always home with us. As I got older, I noticed that if one was busy at work, the other picked up the slack and vice versa. Plus, they know how the other needs to be loved, and do it. My dad puts gas in my mom’s car (she literally never goes to the gas station), and my mom makes my dad’s favorite foods. They’re also still grossly (to me) in love and affectionate.” -- Amy E., Sacramento, California

2. “My husband’s parents. For a million reasons, but mostly because they inspired an idea of marriage in their son that is just so beautifully solid. When we were dating, he said to me, ‘I think you’re either committed or you’re not; there aren’t degrees of it. In or out.’ And I’ve seen how this thought comes directly from his parents. They’ve been married 37 years, and they’re just ‘in.’" -- Jennie C., Roanoke, Texas

3. “Our marriage counselors. They have been together through so much and still look at each other like it's their first time seeing one another. They love unconditionally and never give up on each other. They are a big reason why our marriage has survived everything it has.” -- Christina B., Hattiesburg, Mississippi

4. “My husband’s great-aunt and -uncle. They will celebrate 70 years this August, and they are still VERY much in love with each other. They hold hands, smile all the time at each other (with their eyes, as well as their mouths). I caught him pinching her butt this past summer during the family reunion. I will hate to see either one of them go. Besides the fact that they are great people, when one goes, we all know the other one won't be too far behind.” -- Anonymous

5. “My dad. Though he's been married three times, he has such an amazing outlook on relationships. He has ZERO expectations and just loves everyone where they are at. It’s so refreshing and freeing, and it makes me love him more.” -- Sarah L., New York City

6. “Our former neighbors/adopted local grandparents. They are from Brazil and Germany by birth, but have lived here for over 50 yrs. They are honest, giving, gentle, and gently teasing at the same time. They obviously love each other and are incredible models of how marriage is hard for a million reasons, but years later, they have stuck it out! They are just the best.” -- Steph F., State College, Pennsylvania

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7. “Good friends of ours who are almost my age (45) and have been married for about 23 years. I think it takes a lot these days to have stayed together that long. People are so quick to quit. They have raised their kids, and even now that it's just them, they always seem happy and are always doing things together.” -- Sharon F., Angleton, Texas


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8. “Morticia and Gomez Addams. They love each other madly and their children too, even with all their quirks. They STILL find time to be romantic with each other, no matter what else may be happening. They’re excellent co-parents and supportive and extremely loving of their children.” -- Rai, western Colorado

9. “My grandparents. Grandma felt in her heart that Grandpa was the only man for her and never so much as went on a date with anyone else. I’ve always thought it was so romantic.” -- Brooke K., Peoria, Arizona

10. “I look at my dad and stepmom, who are deliriously happy, and it shows me that it doesn’t matter when you find someone, just that you get on like a house on fire.” -- Anonymous

11. “My grandparents. They have been together for almost 56 years now. He can be a little old-fashioned, but still lets my grandma be the wild spirit that she is. (For example: She was set on going whitewater rafting with us grandchildren, and my grandpa was really set against it but said, ‘Do what you want, woman,’ in the cutest way.) They have never once wavered in their love and commitment. My fiancé and I are very similar to them in personality and beliefs, so I can only hope that we will be able to still be that in love 56 years from now.” -- Joie, Idaho

Who are your relationship role models?

Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/TomFreeze

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