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More Advice

By Ashley Riddle Williams

14 January 2020

Advice From Couples Who’ve Been Married for Decades

When you’ve been married for over a decade, you learn a thing or two about . From average Joes to the pros, you’ll hear that marriage is nothing short of hard work, and like anything else in life that poses challenges, relationships require a little bit of savvy. As proven here, some couples employ humor to keep even the hardest days light-hearted, others keep sentiment short yet find it incredibly sweet, and others still can’t help but be effervescent with love and gratitude for their partners—all tactics that have keep these couples married for the better part of a lifetime. For all the recently engaged couples, , and even those who are years deep into marriage, here are some tips from experts who’ve achieved your marriage goals and kept the romance around years and years after the “I Do's.”

Kathleen Dies and Derek Seymour Munger
Beaumont, Texas

Married 47 years

“The secret to marriage is maintaining a bond of trust; focusing on the important things and not sweating the small stuff that sometimes gets overblown; being able to forgive and be forgiven; sharing a common faith and being able to laugh at yourself as often as possible.” —Derek

Warren and Mattie Sanders
Rochester, KY

Married 69 Years

"From the very beginning, we agreed to never argue. It was ok to disagree and for one to walk away if we did. Agree to disagree. Respect one another, always kiss each other goodnight, and never go to bed upset. If you follow that advice, you will make it 69 years.”—Mattie

Bob and Jean Haynes
Childersburg, AL

Married 67 Years

“Keep a good sense of humor—laugh a lot. Lift up and support each other. And never use your partner’s vulnerabilities against them.”—Jean

Ray and Joan Day
Spring Hill, FL

Married 48 years

“Share and compromise.”—Ray

Joseph “Joe” and Virginia “Ginny” Solomon
Brooksville, FL

Married 31 Years

Photo taken circa 1985

“We've been married 31 years and we've laughed together almost every one of those days!! Compromise when you can and find a happy medium.”—Ginny

Margaret Rose and Lt. Col. Azad Husnian
Canton, North Carolina

Married 53 years

“Always honor each other. I think that’s what we’re missing in today’s society–we don’t honor one another enough.”—Margaret Rose

George J. and Alberta H. Jobczynski
Huntsville, AL

Married 59 years

"Cooperation, always do what your wife tells you."—George

"Remember that your spouse is your other half. Always treat them with love, kindness and respect."—Alberta

Benny DeWitt and Joyce Smith Speares
Anderson, SC

Married 62 years

"Always kiss each other goodnight because you never know what tomorrow may bring."—Joyce

Adele and Tom Pope
Newberry, SC

Married 43 years

“Take care of yourself; be happy; and do not give others marital advice.”—Adele

Rudy and Letty Sagun
Hickory, North Carolina

Married 59 years

“We kept the love alive by laughing always and dancing...a lot!”—Rudy

Patsy and James Mitchell
Tulsa, OK

Married 49 years

“We met on a blind date. It was love at first sight. We were engaged 6 months later & married 6 months after that. We were married for 49 years. She died 5 months before our 50th anniversary. If there is anything I learned in our precious years together it is that there is not just one single ingredient in the recipe for marriage. It’s made out of love, respect, communication, compassion and compromise. With all that, you have a recipe for success."—James

Ann and Joe Yedowitz
The Villages, FL

Married 53 years

“Patience has made our marriage resilient, and has been one of the most important reasons that we are still living happily ever after, enjoying our golden years!”—Ann

Leon Brown and Elsie Marine Robinson
El Dorado, Arkansas

Married 55 years

“Never leave each other without giving a kiss first -- even if just going on a short errand or you're not getting along at the moment.”—Elsie

Donna Hyder and Richard Rogers
Elizabethton, TN

“Love isn't perfect. It isn't a fairytale or a storybook and it doesn't always come easy. Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on and never letting go. It is a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define and impossible to live without. Love is work, but most of all love is realizing that every hour, every minute and every second of it was worth it because you did it together.”—Donna

Michael and Susan Kelley
Floridians at Heart (Detroitinites by zip code)

Married 44 Years

“I believe communication is the key. Make your relationship a priority and spend time together.”—Susan

Marriage Advice From Couples Who've Been Together Over 40 Years
Look no further for some heart-warming, true-love inspiration. If you've been married for over a decade (or, over 40+ years like these folks have!) you've got a thing or two to say about what makes a marriage work. These Southern couples have put years of work, laughter, heart, and joy into their stories, and are sharing their secrets for keeping the love alive. Here are some tips from marriage 'experts' who've kept the romance long after the newlywed bliss.

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