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Mar 8, 2012 BY Joy McCarthy

How to make your relationship last 40 years or more. Tips from the pros!

—  found in  Well-being  —

On March 18th, 1972 my parents were married and they will soon be celebrating their 40th year of happy marriage!! I emphasize happy because yes, it's quite an accomplishment for anyone to make it this many years, but being happy and committed for this long seems to be a rarity these days and this is evidenced by our current divorce rates.

So I decided that I would do a little Q&A with my parents and share their relationship tips with you - after all, they are pros!

Before I do that, I must tell you that my parents are high school sweethearts, grew up in Toronto and used to "make out" in the school library. Their first kiss happened while skating at Nathan Phillip's Square in downtown Toronto and my mom put the moves on my dad, as the story goes! The rest of their story is still in the making. So here's a snippit into the life of my lovebird idols, my parents. EnJOY!

Joyous Q: You are going to be celebrating 40 years of marriage very soon. What's your secret?

Never go to bed angry. Respect the other person's opinion on matters, even if you disagree with them. Be friends as well as lovers.

Joyous Q: What do you love most about each other?

My Mom: I love Michael's sweetness. He IS truly my shining star! I love his hugs, his smile, his sense of humour - yes, his sweetness, that's the word that comes up for me!

My Dad: She is my best friend. She is always eager to be with me and do all and any activities with me. I enjoy the beautiful vision of her and feeling of greeting her whether itÂ’s coming around the corner in a store, watching her as she approaches me from a distance or observing her as she does the simplest everyday activities. It is truly a joy to be with mom.

Joyous Q: How do you resolve conflict?

We have very little conflict because of one word: compromise. We compromise in every decision we make. It's never about....he's right, I'm wrong, so there isn't much conflict because we discuss and work things out before conflict arises.

Joyous Q: What's your favourite thing to do together (keep it clean please!)

Our Thursday night dates. We have been going out on a date on Thursdays FOREVER. Nothing expensive - usually just for coffee or tea and a sweet treat that we often share. But it's our time together - time to just sit and chat, hold hands if we want to and enjoy one another's company!

Joyous Q: What is one piece of advice you can give other couples?

Two things come up for me. One is to look for the good in the other person - what is it you like about them, not what you don't like. So often, people look for the negative in situations or in other people - but what do you LIKE about that person. If you look at what you like about them their faults aren't so bad.

The second thing is to take time to be alone with your partner - take time away from the daily grind, the busy routines of life. One doesn't have to go away on a fancy vacation with the person, but just spending quality time with them in the simplest of ways is wonderful such as a nice walk down a country road, or a quiet evening at home - no tv, no kids, just you and your partner.

 My parents have taught me so much simply by being an incredible example of respect, loyalty and unconditional love. This is also largely in part by being true to themselves, being honest and sincerely kind to one another with no expectations. They obviously love one another, but another thing they've got going for them is that they genuinely like one another.

I can't tell you how many times I hear people tell me how heartbroken they are about a break up because they loved someone so much yet at the same time, all they ever did was complain about every little thing the other person did or didn't do. You've got to really like someone, to spend your life with them. Know what I mean? :)

Happy 40th Anniversary Mom & Dad! Thank you for allowing me to share your story with my lovely readers. You are my shining stars!

Be joyous,

Joy

Mar 8, 2012 BY Joy McCarthy
17 Comments
Elaine   •   March 8, 2012

Awww, I love your parents:)

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 8, 2012

Jillian Gora   •   March 8, 2012

Very inspirational interview - great advice! thanks so much for sharing. easy to see where your JOYful disposition and positive attitude come from.

Reply

Joy McCarthy   •   March 8, 2012

Thanks ladies!

Reply

Gillian   •   March 8, 2012

I love all of this advice. I am so happy to be in a relationship where I am willing to compromise, talk it out, and always see the good. I know I want to be with him 40 years from now, so it is all worth it.

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 8, 2012

Erin @ The Grass Skirt   •   March 8, 2012

Congrats! My parents just celebrated their 40th last month! :)

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 8, 2012

sophie   •   March 8, 2012

Thanks for sharing this, Joy. I love that we have these examples of true love when divorce rates are so high and such... My grand-parents will be married for 60 years this coming April...and I can see why...It's all the little things...like when my grandma leaves the room that my grandpa is in, she'll walk by him and caress his arm...or she'll wink at him from across the room...<3

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 8, 2012

Suz (tzuzan from Kensho Nutrition)   •   March 8, 2012

Aww, so cute! My parents did the same thing every week too -- go on weekly dates. I remember coming home from school one day and wondering where they were. Apparently they were out on a date and they said they always did that every week while the "kids" were in school. Haha, I only found out YEARS later!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 14, 2012

Tania   •   March 14, 2012

What a beautiful article Joy! It's so nice to hear a happy story :) My husband and I have been married 11 years, our parents (both sets) for 43 years and all of our grandparents were still together before they past. It's truly amazing and it means a lot to grow up with parents that communicate and make their relationship a priority. Amazing role models!

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Joy McCarthy   •   March 14, 2012

Shannon   •   March 15, 2012

I love this. I really really love this :)

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Deanna   •   March 16, 2012

Contratulations to your parents! Me and my husband have been married for 28 years and I love him more everyday!

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Denise   •   March 22, 2012

Hi Joy, Your parents are truly an inspiration. Their unconditional love, support, compassion and spirit is given freely to each other and to all those who they touch. Here's to the next forty years of life's celebrations. Love Ya

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