Marriage Success: In Their Words
by Trish Hubschman
What makes a marriage work? I was eager to find out the answer. I spoke to ten people who have been married between nineteen and fifty-nine years to get their opinion.
Communication seems to be a definite factor agreed on by all who were asked.
“I think what makes a good marriage is being able to discuss everything with your spouse and respecting each other,” says Virginia Kriegel. She was married to her second husband, Pete, for twenty-five years before he passed away.
Ruth Ruggiero has been married to Andrew forty-seven years. She says, Marriage is accepting the good and bad in your partner because no one is perfect. “Talk about your problems and compromise.”
Christy Reed says, “My marriage has lasted 27 years and a little over 7 months. Has it been good? Well, if it has lasted that long, it must be good. Truth is, it’s been bumpy all the way, but that is normal. Communication is an important part and so is willingness to accept each other. It takes both sides to make it work.”
From what I’m hearing here, friendship between spouses is a recommended ingredient in a long-term marriage.
When asked her opinion on the subject, Patrice Wein, who has thirty-two years in, said, “A lot of things come to mind. First off, marry wisely. Mary someone you really like. Don’t take each other for granted. Try to have a sense of humor. Let the little annoying things slide. Don’t expect your spouse to fill every need You have.”
Tasha Halpert, who has been married to her husband Steven for forty years, says, “Honesty and integrity, respect, and love that overlooks small stuff and starts with friendship. When we first got together, I told Stephen we must always be honest. We have also learned to overlook small differences and agreed to disagree rather than polarize and argue. We have grown together, meaning both willing to learn, grow, and sometimes change. We are still deeply in love, and share many of the same tastes, while also having our differences.”
Leonore and David Dvorkin have been married fifty-two years. “I would say that #1 is being very good friends before you marry,” says Leonore. “David became my best friend very quickly, and we have remained best friends. We dated for about two and a half years before marrying.”
Agreeing on finances, how much money to spend and on what, as well as how much to save, having shared beliefs and opinions on things like religion and politics is especially important. Both partners need to be willing to share domestic chores.
Author & Poet Joan Myles has been married forty-two years. “Of course, each couple needs to blaze their own trail. What has worked for us is our shared values (not necessarily based on religion), kindness, and humor.”
The parents of Karen Hughes have been married fifty-nine years. What does she attribute their long-lasting union to?
“Love, commitment, keeping vows, loyalty, patience and tolerance, support and reliance, companionship, accepting implications, strengths and weaknesses, be able to forgive, not sweating the small stuff, humor and laughter.”
Donna Momorello gives her take on it. “My parents marked 59 years last June. I think the secret to their long marriage is that they not only both love each other, but they are honest and would never dream of doing something that would hurt their spouse. They never looked at another person, and if problems came up, they were something to be solved, not like today where couples jump right to ‘irreconcilable differences’”.
My mom and dad were also engaged for two years, while my dad was in the Army, and they had been dating a while before that. They were not like those couples in a whirlwind romance that met and married immediately, and only later discovered that there were some major incompatibilities to address.”
Author Robert Sollars has been married twice, the first time just over 19 years and this time, to Eileen, for just over 18, so far. In his words: “Marriage is a bonding between two people to work through the worst times and enjoy the best of those times with each other. Working hard together to build a life. love, trust and admiration, and always the inevitable fight that will ensue, over trivial concerns at times. But no matter what, the glue that holds us together is always there and the reason we fell in love to begin with.”
On March 21, 2021 my husband, Kevin, and I will celebrate our twenty-ninth wedding anniversary. No, we don’t have the perfect marriage. As you’ve already heard, there’s no such thing. We have our ups and downs, our disagreements, etc., but, the bottom line is, we love each other and we’re happy. That’s what makes a successful marriage.
About the Author
Trish is the creator of the Tracy Gayle mystery series, Tidalwave, Stiff Competition and Ratings Game. She also writes short stories, poetry, creative non-fiction and articles. She is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a bachelors degree in English-Writing. She lives with her husband, Kevin, and dog, Henry, in Northeast Pennsylvania. Her website is https://www.dldbooks.com/Hubschman/.