Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lasting Love - Part 2

Last week, I shared one idea about how Larry and I have managed to remain happily married for fifty-plus years. Here’s another.

2. Meaningful Rituals

On our wedding night, Larry told me a story about his grandparents. They were married for sixty-three years before his grandfather’s death. (This photo was taken of his grandparents and their six children at their fiftieth anniversary celebration.)
After his grandfather died, Larry asked his grandmother what she missed most.

“We always kissed goodnight and said we loved each other. Now that he’s gone, I’ve had a hard time getting to sleep without our goodnight kiss.”

Larry told me, “I’d like to start doing the same thing in our marriage.” For over fifty years, we have done the same except when we’re apart.

Early in our marriage, Larry traveled quite a bit for work. He often ate yogurt for dinner and used his food allowance to call home so we could say goodnight and “I love you.”

In 1977, he spent several months working in Alaska. One night he didn’t call, and I couldn’t sleep. I needed to hear his voice, so I finally phoned his hotel in Alaska and received a message that the trunk lines were down.

Even though it was late, the phone rang about half an hour later. Larry couldn’t sleep either. After we said we loved each other, we were finally able to fall asleep.

We also kiss, hug, and say we love each other when we awake in the morning and whenever we part. As soon as we arrived home from work, we located each other for a hug and kiss.

Meaningless rituals don’t serve much purpose. However, one morning, we discovered how important ours were. Larry went downstairs in the morning. I heard the garage door open. Then the car started, pulled out, and the door closed. He hadn’t come back upstairs to say goodbye. I felt as though something important was missing from my day. And I felt sad.

A few minutes later, the phone rang. Larry said, “I was almost at the freeway when I realized we hadn’t said good-bye. I felt terrible.”

We both laughed, and then said we loved each other. I felt much better, and I know Larry did, too.

Do you have any rituals you observe in your relationships?


  1. Congratulations on 50 years of a great marriage. Sound like you worked at it, and it paid off.

    1. We had great modeling in Larry's family. His grandparents' 50th (photo above) made the papers circa 1958. They made 63 years, and his parents made 67. We still have a long way to go to catch up!

  2. You are a great and most romantic couple. Good advice!

    1. So are you and Hap. More great role models. Love you both.

  3. Not to one-up you, but Bill and I have been married fifty-TWO years. We practice the same rituals you all have. Another thing we do is always ask a blessing before meals. It's sort of an informal acknowledgment of God participating in our lives together.

    1. Congratulations to you! Another lovely tradition.