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12 Love Lessons From Women Married 50+ Years

Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint, and these women have gone the distance!

By Wendy Robinson

This summer my husband and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. In almost a decade of marriage, I think I have some things figured out about how to stay (mostly) happily married, but I’m pretty sure the real experts are the women who have been married for 50 years or more.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I asked them to share their wisdom on how to keep a marriage going to the 50-year point and beyond:

1. “Never forget an anniversary! And each spouse should put the other’s happiness first.” -- Anne A., married 53 years

2. “You have to respect each other and desire to make your spouse happy. I find more joy in pleasing [him] than myself.” -- Teri J., married 50 years

3. “Make sure you have your own interests and friends. Once you retire, you have a lot of time together and you’ll get on each other’s nerves if you count on your husband to be your only source of conversation and entertainment.” -- Brenda A., married 55 years

4. “If you have a disagreement, try to see where the other person is coming from and learn to compromise.” -- Arlene D., married 54 years

5. “Affection is important. We don’t make love as much as we did when we were first married, but we still kiss every day and hold hands. Touch is important to staying close.” -- Glenda B., married 51 years

6. “I read advice from someone else who said when they got married she decided she would forgive her husband for 10 things. Every time he did something to bug her, she’d say, ‘Good thing it’s one of the 10.’ Works for me too!” -- Esther W., married 55 years

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7. “If he wants to think he’s right, sometimes it’s best just to let him think that -- even if I know I’m right.” -- Grace S., married 50 years

8. “As a teacher, I know that kids respond to praise MUCH better than criticism. Husbands do too. They have such fragile egos, it’s amazing what compliments can do.” -- Linda M., married 52 years


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9. “I’ve been married for 53 years, 48 of them happily. Realize that there will be some bad times mixed in with the good and sometimes the bad times might last longer than you expect. The good news is that you don’t always have to like him in order to still love him.” -- Sally T., married 53 years

10. “Remember that you have annoying habits too! I can get so bugged by the little things he does wrong and I can feel like I am the only one who is making compromises, but the truth is that we both bring our warts and all to the marriage. It is good to stay a little humble.” -- Nancy S., married 50 years

11. “You can teach an old dog new tricks! I was a stay-at-home mom and wife, and so for years I did all the cooking and cleaning. Now that the kids are grown and we are both home, I got fed up with doing it all and pitched a fit until he learned to do laundry and started sharing the work more. Now our marriage is happier because I feel less put upon.” -- Myrna V., married 53 years.

12. “I think you get more relaxed as you get older and marriage gets easier, especially after you are done raising kids. Now we don’t fight as much because we aren’t as tired and overworked as we used to be. It is something for you younger couples to look forward to!” -- Constance C., married 56 years

This advice inspires me to look forward to the next 40+ years of marriage!

What is your best piece of marriage advice?

Wendy Robinson is a writer, working mom, and graduate student. Someday she'd like to sleep in again. She also blogs at www.athleticmonkey.com.

Image ©iStock.com/SilviaJansen

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