It’s Valentine’s Day!
These days, it is rare to find couples who have committed themselves to loving each other — especially with the many curves life throws everyone’s way. Still, NewsOne found 10 couples who wholeheartedly believe in the sanctity of the institution and were willing to share their gems of wisdom to making one’s relationship survive the test of time.
1) Betty and George Wilson, married 56 years, five children (pictured above)
Even after 56 years as husband and wife, our relationship is STILL a work in progress! Love is an ongoing process and we consciously work at it every day; we have to if we want to continue to be successful at it.
Our marriage is built on love and Godliness.
When we were first married, we stumbled upon a biblical passage that we have tried to live by ever since. It is found in 1 Corinthians, 13:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Whenever either of us feels frustrated with the relationship, we are comforted and fueled by reading these words. The verse reminds us of what marriage is supposed to be and why we signed up for it in the first place. Family is also everything to us; they can actually keep you from throwing in the towel, and we are so blessed to have a supportive network of love all around us.
2) Peter and Delisa Gibbs, married 35 years
Delisa and I have worked really hard on building this marriage from the ground up, and there is an important credo that we live by:
Do not relive the past, move on. If you forgive, then forget. If you don’t completely forgive, then move on from the marriage, it will not work from that point on.
We are firm, passionate believers in the institution of marriage and have even started a movement, The Celebration of Marriage Movement. We offer insights on the intricacies of marriage and are working together on an upcoming book to help couples sustain a healthy marriage over time.
3) Debbie and Frank Wallace, married 34 years, 2 children
Every day we try to make an effort to communicate, laugh, and embrace the other person’s idiosyncrasies. There are days when Frank drives me crazy, and yet, there are those days when I can’t wait to hear this voice, see his smile and feel him snuggle up against me in a warm bed.
We never let a problem fester to the point that we cannot solve the issue.
Oh, but don’t get me wrong, we’ve had scream fests, non-talking days, even one busted-wall day, but we learn to forgive and move on. We truly just try to enjoy those moments we have together because time flies by so quickly.
As we age, we’ve come to realize that it’s our history that has glued us together. No one knows more than your spouse all that you’ve gone through to get to this point.
Last but not least — through richer or poorer in sickness and in health — we have and will continue to support each other. On this roller coaster ride called “life,” we have encountered some pretty rough patches during our journey together as a couple, but we’ve always managed to pace ourselves, brace ourselves, and think to ourselves, I sure am glad I’m riding this out with you!
4) Judy and Marc Jenkins, married 25 years, two sons
A wife should always have a younger man on the side as a backup, as long as he doesn’t look like Rick Ross! Oh, and the art of masturbation is crucial!
OK, so my husband and I don’t know what the hell has kept us together for a quarter of a century.
There is no secret formula as to what is making our relationship work except for the fact that we laugh one hell of a lot! I’ve got jokes, he’s got jokes, our boys have got jokes, and even when we’ve been faced with life’s messes, we always seem to find humor somewhere.
We also love each other, and that is the common denominator, so we’ve built up from there. Besides, I’m sexy as hell and can STILL rock his world, so where is Marc going?
5) Linda Rivera and Beatrice Talms, together 20 years, married one year, one son
6) Ed and Stacey Martin, married 19 years, 2 children
Every morning before we get out of bed, we cozy up to each other and whisper a prayer to start our day.
Just because we’re married doesn’t mean we have to take each other for granted! When we get home from work, we greet each other with a kiss and ask each other about our day.
Calling, texting, sending smoke signals — every single day we communicate with each other a few times during the course of our day just to check in.
I might call Ed just to say, Hi, handsome! or send him a text telling him to have a beautiful day, and he’ll do the same for me. We also love having date night sans the kids. We also remember to do little things for each other that shows the other person they are appreciated and loved: I get up every morning at 5 a.m. to prepare for work and Ed doesn’t have to get up until 6:30 a.m. In the winter, Ed will go out at 5:55 a.m. to warm up my car for me.
Kids will also stress a relationship to no end.
We have two teen girls, but Ed and I try to always be on the same page, especially when it comes to disciplining them. Overall, marriage is hard work, as a matter of fact, it is a full-time job!
One thing to keep in mind is that like anything else, the more you put in to it, the more you get out of it. We have invested quite a number of years in this relationship and we refuse to let our good years go to waste! Nineteen years down the drain? We don’t think so!
7) Barbara and Monte Croft, married 15 years, one child