Eleven bits of advice from the older generation to help newlyweds stay together forever15 December, 2015
If you’ve just married, you’ll be delighted and feeling like you’re going to be together forever.
It’s a beautiful time, but keeping your relationship truly happy for the long run might take a little more hard work. Don’t worry though, because we’ve assembled a crack group of experts to pass on their priceless advice for keeping that marriage blissful for good.
And it’s not just any team of experts, either. It’s a group who’ve been through it all, lived to tell the tale, and kept smiles on their faces in the process – that’s right, it’s the older generation.
So here is a list of the top eleven pieces of advice experienced couples have for young newlyweds who want to stay together forever.
1. Talk to each other
A survey of 2,000 people who had been married for a decade or more said the number one thing couples can do to ensure long-term success is talk.
There’s no problem that can’t be ironed out by a good old chinwag, it seems.
2. Appreciate the things you have
Here in her happiest moments video for Beagle Street, 80-year-old Maureen says it’s important to appreciate the wonders of modern life we all take for granted. Even the washing machine.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Marriage bloggers Kim and Fred from Making It Last Forever have been together 13 years and counting, and this is perhaps one of their most unlikely tips.
Kim writes in a letter to her younger self: “Trust me: Fred is never going to put the cap on the toothpaste or put the seat down on the toilet. Learn to accept those little aggravations, so you can spend less time fussing and more time enjoying life together.”
4. Don’t plan to fail
A couple called Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher held the world record for the longest ever marriage, having been together for 87 years. Sadly, they’ve both now passed away, but not before passing on some pearls of wisdom to the younger generation. They both say that divorce wasn’t even an option.
Zelmyra said in an interview: “With each day that passed, our relationship was more solid and secure. Divorce was NEVER an option, or even a thought.”
5. Learn to bend, not break
Another great piece of advice from Zelmyra and Herbert came in a Twitter Q & A session they took part in, where they said: “Agree that it’s okay to disagree, and fight for what really matters. Learn to bend—not break!”
6. Make sure you both know who’s in charge
Another American couple who became famous for their longevity is John and Ann Betar, and John has one simple piece of advice for lasting the distance. He says: “Get along. Compromise. Live within your means and be content,” before adding, “and let your wife be the boss.”
7. Always, er, touch toes OK, so this is a bit of an odd one. But then Jenny and Manny DaSilva have 65 years’ experience of wedded bliss, so they must know what they’re talking about. When interviewed about their marriage by US website The Huffington Post, they said: “When you go to bed at night, it doesn’t matter how angry or sad you are, you don’t have to say anything but you always, always touch toes. Just a little reminder that I’m here and I still love you no matter what.”
8. Kisses go a long way The same website asked another couple, Mary and John McFeely, who’ve been married 60 years, for their advice. They got something a bit more traditional. John said: “Tell [your wife] she’s beautiful every day and no matter how old you get, how sore your ol’ bones feel, or how many teeth you lose, slow dance with and kiss [your wife] every chance you get. You never know when you won’t be able to again.” AWW.
9. Don’t ruin your relationship for the sake of your kids American writer Karl Pillemer spent years interviewing older couples about the things that kept them together for so long. One of the most interesting things he was told is not to put your kids above your relationship. He says: “The elders had one really strong recommendation in terms of adjusting to kids. Put your marriage first, put your relationship first, and don’t let kids distract you from having a good relationship with your partner”. “It’s very unusual that people have an awful relationship and wind up being good parents. If you sacrifice your relationship for your children, you have a reasonable chance of losing both.”
Love ❤️ #love #couples #leahashkenasi #oldcouples A photo posted by לאה אשכנזי-אדריכלות ועיצוב (@leah_ashkenasi) on
10. Be an optimist! Pillemer says one of the main reasons marriages break down is that too many look at divorce rates and assume marriage never works out. You should know that it does work – and yours totally can. As he says: “The hundreds of long-married elders in the surveys provide a much more hopeful picture. “In their view, a great lifelong marriage is possible – and they are living examples of that fact.”
11. Get your life insurance sorted! OK, so this is a bit of a cheeky one, given that this blog is on a life insurance website. But it’s really true – newlyweds are one of the most likely groups to look at getting life insurance, and that’s because they have something new and valuable to protect. If you’re newlywed and thinking about protecting your future together, it needn’t take long. With Beagle Street, you can get a quote in just ten minutes – and we’re up to 35%* cheaper than other life insurers.
Awww, this is so cute. #Oldcouples #cutecouple #truegentlemen #rain #justbecauseimmad #doesntmeanistopcaring A photo posted by Sasha (@punkysasha) on
*Average across 12 providers, Independent prices as published MoneyFacts September 2015.
Figures based on 20-45 year olds, smoker and non- smoker, £100k level or decreasing term, for 25 and 30 years.