Making It Last… and Last and Last

What if when you said “until death do us part” you were signing on to a marriage that may last as long as a century?

Today TIME.com ran a piece that talked about how with the possibility of some of us living to be one hundred fifty years old we may live long enough to have two or even three very long marriages.

I began to wonder, instead, what one would need to do to have one marriage that would remain vital and satisfying for a hundred years, or even longer? With a mere thirty-five years of marriage under my belt, my first thought was that it would require a willingness to adapt to a great deal of change.

The marriage that I had as a newlywed barely resembles the one I now have these many years later. And thank goodness for that! Most people I know who are in long marriages have said the same thing. They’ve changed through the years and their marriages have changed with them, though by no means gracefully or easily.

With all that my husband and I have been through in our many years together, we’ve remade our relationship several times over. Maybe we’ve gotten the best of both worlds: a life spent with someone we’ve come to know deeply, with room for the unexpected that will require us to grow.

What do you think it takes to make a marriage last?

6 thoughts on “Making It Last… and Last and Last

  1. Each persons acceptance of personal growth and the concept of developing your compassion and awareness – so that there is an interest in understanding yourself and others – along with a larger concept or holding tank than is generated by oneself!

  2. We are going on 28 years of marriage, and I am glad to say good-bye to the early days of self-doubt and doubting him, and semi-annual knock-down, drag-’em outs. We have learned to be much kinder to one another. And I think that we both make it a priority to make sure the other has as much personal freedom as possible to try out ideas and to be creative about life choices. Our ability to do that has been a steep learning curve, and has caused our love to grow deeper over the years. We are so happy to be together, I can’t think of anything better in life!

  3. I love this, Winifred! I like that it relates to a recent article. (I’m doing that in my presentations.) I like that it’s short and to the point. With great examples and visual images. Super!!

  4. You are so right about the importance of adapting to change. In our 28 years together, we’ve experienced the expected changes – weight gained and lost, hair color altered, a new house, pets cared for and then grieved over, friends and family members passed away. And we’ve also faced bigger changes – new career directions, unexpected personal crises, health issues. During many of those times, adaptability goes hand in hand with commitment, remembering that we promised to be there not just for better, but for better or worse. Now we know each other better than anyone else in the world, and have a rich history together that can only get more interesting as time goes on.

  5. I’m so glad you stopped by my blog so I could also pay you a visit. It ‘s so unusual to read positive words about long mariages or relationships with the same partner that sometimes I feel like an anomaly when I mention being with the same man since 1986. You are so right when you write about the changes due to life changes, our children when we have some, and our personal evolution as human beings. Very encouraging to read other bloggers’ thoughts as well. Thank you for having created a positive online place where I will definitely return.

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