Let's face it: These days, it's a huge accomplishment for a married couple to make it to their 50th wedding anniversary. In fact, only about 6 percent of couples make it that far, according to Census data. Typically, one of the most common questions we want to ask couples like these is, "How do you do it?"
The truth is, other than just living long enough, those who do make it to their Golden Anniversary, often share common habits which help keep their marriages together. Here are a few of the most important ones:
They Communicate Well.
Good communication is essential for any relationship to thrive, but it's especially important in a marriage. Couples who make it to 50 years or more have usually learned how to communicate effectively with each other. They don't shy away from difficult conversations; instead, they see them as an opportunity to learn more about each other and grow their relationship. They know how to fight constructively, and they know how to make up.
They Have a Shared Vision for Life.
Couples who make it to 50 years or more may not agree on everything all the time, but they do tend to have a shared idea of what they want out of life, and they are committed to walk with each other toward those goals. This can be anything from raising a family and owning a home to traveling the world together or simply growing old side-by-side. But whatever their plans are, having a shared vision for life gives them something to strive for together and helps keep their marriage strong.
They Put Their Spouse First.
For a marriage to last, each spouse needs to feel like they're a priority to the other. Those who make it to 50 years or more often have a "we before me" mentality. Each is willing to put their spouse's needs before their own, and they know this is crucial for a strong relationship. However, for this to translate into a lasting marriage, both spouses need to share this sense of priority. (If one spouse puts the other first and the other doesn't reciprocate, it can make the first feel taken for granted or that their needs aren't valued.)
They Make the Choice. (Sometimes Daily.)
A good marriage is more than just making vows and keeping them. Any marriage is a choice—a decision to love, honor, and cherish your spouse no matter what. Couples who make it to their 50th anniversary have usually made that choice repeatedly throughout their years together. No relationship is perfect, and there will be times when it's difficult to choose your spouse. But those who do make it to their 50th have usually found that, more often than not, choosing each other is worth it.
Of course, life "happens," and for many couples, it's just not possible to stay together for 50 years for a wide range of reasons beyond their control. If you need compassionate legal help to move through a divorce, the Jenkins Law Firm is here to assist. Call us today at (919) 719-2785 or contact us online.