The secret to a long marriage is something that people have been seeking since forever. With the hookup culture coming into its own, and heartbreaks happening left, right and center, falling in love and continuing long-term seems more daunting than pleasurable to youngsters today.
More people are now preferring to focus on their careers and building individual lifestyles; many are even opting to do away with marriage completely. Belief in the institution of marriage seems to be waning because the secret to a long marriage or the key to having a happy, married life seems impossible to find.
Let us tell you, there is no magic potion or single piece of advice that will transform your married life and make it longer or happier. Love and marriage are a lot of work, but the rewards are always worth it. To have a long married life, one has to persistently work towards it every single day. We can show you how.
What Is The Secret To A Long Happy Marriage?
The secret to long marriage for me personally comes from my Grammy’s story. My grandmother is not really a traditional old lady. I say this because she was way ahead of her time. She was a gutsy, modern and progressively educated lady who worked till the age of 82 and did everything that most traditional grandmothers in a conventional middle-class family wouldn’t. Grammy was a gambler, a businesswoman, a stay-at-home mom, and an extraordinary matchmaker.
She got married at the age of 25 to my grandfather whom she had been dating 7 years already. He too knew he was dating an independent woman and never once tried to muffle her decision making or strong-headedness. Here’s an amazing story of a woman who was often jokingly called “James Bond” within her family and social circle. If I had to learn how to make a marriage last, I would take inspiration from her marriage and her journey.
She was always independent and spirited
When my grandparents got married, they were always influenced a lot by my grandfather’s family for they only lived in the next lane. On Thanksgiving day, the whole family had gathered together for dinner. My Grammy’s mother-in-law commented on her hair calling it wild, unkempt and hair that needs to be tamed.
Grammy always had beautiful curls and that’s what added to her charm. Appalled at what her evil mother-in-law had to say, she wasn’t one to just tuck her tail between her legs and walk out of the room.
She furiously went out that same evening with her sister and cut her hair as short as a man, the then bob-cut which in that era was considered rebellious and feisty.
Soon after, my grandparents decided to move to a completely different part of town. It took them a while to save up for it for it was in a much nicer neighborhood, but they knew they needed the independence.
Life after moving out and with the grandkids
My grandmother worked as a freelance marketing consultant and my grandfather was a government worker. I grew up with my grandparents, as both my parents were working on the expansion of their printing business. They were true lovebirds, I remember since I was a kid.
They would fight, argue, apologize, throw tantrums, but at the end of the drama, everything just went back to as normal as ever. They truly knew how to practice forgiveness in relationships. I knew it was going to be one of those long lasting marriages that defy all odds.
My grandparents used to celebrate every little thing in their relationship; for example, we used to be taken out for dinner on the date when grandpa proposed to grandma, or when she told her brother about her love affair with grandpa. I used to wonder how they remembered all these dates. I suppose the secret to long marriages is celebrating the little things.
Grammy was full of energy and therefore also an extremely dominating lady. She always made her point and would never shy away from confronting people. My grandpa was very disciplined, as he had served in the US army for quite a bit of his time during the ‘60s. How to have a long lasting marriage also was a lot of work done on my grandfather’s part because of his discipline and commitment to his wife.
Grammy loved playing cards and poker with her friends, but had to leave the game to come home and have dinner with my grandfather. But she would often lose track of time and be late. How furious my grandfather would get at her!
At 85 my grandfather died
As he aged, my grandfather started ailing and at 85 he passed away, leaving my Grammy behind to cope with old age. She struggled for the first few months, for this came suddenly after being married for a long time. It was the loss of her soul-mate with whom she had spent more than 6 decades. She truly had a happily ever after. Thankfully, she had us, my dad, my elder brother and his wife and of course I, her favorite grandson.
Within a month’s time after her husband passed away she decided to take on a few more projects for work. At the age of 80, companies did not want to work with her, but she insisted and took all the help she could from me when it came to technology.
She started maintaining a diary, in which she wrote all that she could remember about my grandfather. One night, I asked her, “Grammy, what do you keep writing?” She replied, “I speak to your grandfather through this diary.”
I couldn’t resist, so I asked her if I could read it. She instantly said yes and we would sit together in the evenings and write about our memories and all things that we wanted to tell him but could not. Their memories had all the ingredients for a happy marriage. From their financial struggles to developing trust and faith in one another, these two had been through a lot.
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What Makes A Lasting Marriage?
She kept herself busy even after his death. She would go to play cards in a club nearby and perpetually come back in the red. Every Saturday, she would go have a potluck with her friends and on my grandpa’s birthday and their marriage anniversary she would invite all his friends and throw a party.
So you might still be wondering, what makes a lasting marriage? Well to me, it is the sheer persistence. Even after my grandfather’s death, my Grammy refused to bury his memories and was insistent on keeping him alive with her.
You do not have to agree to everything your partner says because that is not the real secret to a long marriage or to make it a successful marriage. To be able to rise above those differences and treat one another with respect is truly how to make a marriage last.
After 5 years living without her soul-mate, she got a stroke and within weeks she started deteriorating. Finally, she went where her heart always wished to be, with her husband.
When you love someone, you make it a point to work things out with them. Walking away when things get tough is easy. But staying through the difficulties is what marriage is about.
You know a marriage will last when you see two committed individuals. Not only are they kind to one another, but they treat this marriage as the most important thing to them. The secret to long marriage is willingness to be with one another.
Absolutely. With the right person, a marriage can last forever and make you happy.