10 secrets to a long-lasting marriage

Posted: Friday, February 01, 2008
Sunrise Senior Living, one of the largest providers of senior living services with more than 450 communities worldwide, shared the results of a recent survey conducted among couples who have been married 50+ years and spent more than five decades of special Valentine's Days together.

To give perspective to this special occasion, residents were asked what they attribute to the longevity and success of their relationships. Results revealed their top ten secrets to a long-lasting and satisfying marriage:

1. Don't Go to Bed Angry

While many couples acknowledged that at times, they went to bed annoyed, they didn't allow their anger to linger long.

2. Share "I Love Yous" Regularly

Some husbands and wives remember to share these words before going to work each morning while others found it a part of their nightly routine.

3. Kiss Each Other Goodnight

Almost all of Sunrise's couples noted the importance of sharing love and affection regularly and what better way to keep a connection then a kiss goodnight?

4. Have an Argument Every Once in While

One husband remarked that even though they may have disagreed, "she never packed her bags and left" ? small misunderstandings are natural and working through them together is important.

5. Respect and Trust Each Other

A majority of couples said that respecting and trusting their spouse was an integral part of their success.

6. Enjoy Time Together

One couple encouraged newlyweds to create a series of honeymoons, while others reminisced about nights of dinner and dancing out on the town.

7. Be Understanding and Compromise

Some husbands joked that they do whatever their wives tell them, but all the couples attributed their happiness to recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of their spouse and mastering the art of give and take.

8. Laugh Together

Being good friends first and laughing with ? and at ? each other was a common theme of the surveying.

9. Communicate and Listen

A resident recommended that one should "have an intelligent partner and then listen to them" as all Sunrise couples recognized the importance of communicating with partners and of course, understanding when you might have to just "shut up."

10. Celebrate Special Occasions

Many couples shared stories of their romantic trips to mark birthdays, holidays and anniversaries, while others remarked that they spend every day like its Valentine's Day ? setting aside special private time for each other.

Other notable findings include advice such as: people should find out as much as they can about each other before they get married; go on regular dates; treat the other how they would want to be treated; overlook the faults; don't put all your thoughts on money; and consider marriage a joint endeavor.

According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, the population aged 65 and over will increase from 35 million in 2000 to 40 million in 2010 (a 15% increase) and then to 55 million in 2020 (a 36% increase for that decade). With baby boomers coming of age, the need for senior care and services ? coupled with the quest to maintain and enjoy marriage ? will continue to escalate.

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