Being married for any length of time is truly an accomplishment these days. Recently,  someone asked me how long I have been married and when I said, “46 years this July,” her eyes got huge and she said, “To the same person? How is that possible?”

At our wedding, people were taking bets on how long our marriage would last.  The average bet was between two months and two years because of our age difference and personalities.  Let’s just say, he is calm, wise and conservative and I am the exact opposite.  I also got really nervous during the vows… “For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health, till death do us part.”  That’s a huge promise! Could I really do this?

Flash forward forty five years. We are still married and happy, but it hasn’t been an easy road, and our relationship has taken many turns throughout the years, and I’m sure more are to come as we navigate through our senior years. However, he is my best friend, my lover, and the father of my beautiful girls and I know that he is a keeper.

I remember someone once said, I married you for better or worse, but not for breakfast and lunch.  I never really understood that until now.  Obviously when we first got married it was exciting, challenging, romantic and fun!  We both worked full time, coached, played our sports and when we had our kids, it got even more challenging but was even more fulfilling. We looked forward to seeing each other when we got home to talk about our busy days.  But now, as we have more time at home, and our kids have moved out, we are starting to run out of things to talk about and it seems like we keep running into each other, especially in the kitchen.  It’s not bad, it’s just different!  So in order to keep a marriage going all the way to the end, here are seven rules of engagement that are fun!

 

  1. Stay vibrant and interesting, Learn something new! You can do this together, or separately.  No one likes to get stuck in a routine or a mundane life, so make sure you keep reinventing both yourself and you as a couple.
  2. Have date nights at least once a week! Always have something to look forward to!
  3. Make sure you don’t “let yourself go.”
  4. Don’t ever try to change your partner. Trust me, it doesn’t work.
  5. Never go to bed mad at your partner. One of my friends said that he and his wife, when they are mad at each other “fight naked.”  He said that there is no way you can fight in bed snuggled up to someone you love.  We haven’t tried this yet, but if we need to, we won’t count it out.
  6. Listen! We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. We are supposed to listen more than we talk, especially in a relationship.
  7. Don’t forget to say “I love you” at least once a day!

 

These rules seem simple, but how many couples do you know who don’t seem to abide by any of them?  Are they happy?  Are they fun to be around? I saw an older couple at a restaurant the other day, and they just sat there and ate their food, and never spoke to each other.  It was sad!  I wanted to write them these rules or engagement on a napkin, but I doubt they would have read it.  So keep the fires burning.  All it takes is a little effort, ingenuity and a lot of love.

close

Keep Up To Date With Our Latest Baby Boomer News & Offers!

Sharkie Zartman Health Coach, Professor, Radio Host, Author

Sharkie Zartman, MA, is a college professor, a former All-American athlete, and award winning volleyball coach. She hosts Sharkie’s Pep Talk on HealthyLife.net Radio Network and is a certified health coach, speaker, and the author of five books including Shark Sense, Empowered Aging, Have Fun Getting Fit, Hey Sports Parents, and her newest, WIN at AGING. She is passionate about helping people take an empowered approach to life so they can have optimal health, happiness, and success at any age.

Tagged: