If you spend any time in a senior living community, one thing you may realize is that many of the residents have been married for a long time. When we say “long time” we don’t mean 20-30 years; we mean 50, 60, or even 70 years.
With the current divorce rate at about 50 percent, it seems that most people today could use some tips on how to stay married for the long haul! Here are some of secrets we’ve learned along the way from our residents who know best:
- Choose Kindness
With every day stressors such as work and money, it can be tough to be positive 24/7. However, positivity breeds positivity, and it is only respectful to spread kindness to your partner. As a rule of thumb, you should be at the minimum as kind to your partner as you would a stranger – but we suggest that you go above and beyond that!
- Enjoy Time Together
You should consider your spouse as a very close friend. Many of our residents consider their partner their best friend. And what do best friends do together? They have fun! Try to make even mundane, routines fun such as grocery shopping or errands. Take time to laugh, have interesting conversations, and enjoy each other’s company.
- Pick Your Battles
It’s completely normal to have arguments once in a while, but if they are happening on a daily basis it can put a strain on your relationship. Try to be compassionate, and think to yourself “will this argument matter in a year from now?” if the answer is no, let it go.
- Appreciate the Little Things
As time passes, we might take each other for granted. Don’t forget to cherish your spouse, and show them in small ways how much they mean to you. It’s important to be appreciative of even little gestures from your husband or wife, such as opening the door, doing the dishes, or a compliment.
- Never Stop Dating
Don’t get stuck in a rut of sweatpants on the couch. Try to do something new and exciting at least once a week. Dress up and go out to dinner, go to the movies, go to a museum, or somewhere outdoors! This will help keep the spark alive.
- Nobody is Perfect
Finally, it’s imperative to remember that no marriage is perfect – there will be bad days, there will be good days, there will be boring days, and there will be exciting days. The only thing that matters is that you are always there for each other!
Of course, marriages are complicated and relationships are not always easy. If you put each other first and truly love each other, you can have a long and happy marriage! At Discovery Village, we know that cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships is a fundamental aspect of a healthy life. Take a look at some of the activities our community offers to find some inspiration for your next date night!