Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Secrets of Half-Century Marriages

C.B. Lieber

Couples whose marriages have spanned five decades and beyond have much wisdom to share about the process - of building a relationship and growing older together

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

 Mishpacha image

“It’s a matter of respect and teamwork. You’ll hit life challenges, and if you don’t have respect for your partner, the marriage can fall apart. A marriage is a contract. Someone has to give in sometimes, or else you’re always at odds and disagreeing with each other. And of course, it’s a mazal and brachah to have a healthy spouse and children”

B

uilding a Bond

“A long marriage in years doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a happy one. We married at a time when divorce wasn’t common, and we didn’t see divorce as a realistic option unless there was no other alternative. So there have been good times and difficult times.

“Since we were both busy with our professions in the early years, and I was running the house and had the bulk of the responsibility for the children, it was easy to lose track of each other. I made a point of trying to find things that we would enjoy doing together and finding the time to do them. It wasn’t easy, but I was successful some of the time.

“For many young couples today, where the husband may be in kollel or working and the wife is working as well, it’s hard to find ‘together’ time. But it’s crucial. I have a magnet on my refrigerator: Marriages come in kits and you have to put them together. A relationship takes work and needs attention in order to thrive; it doesn’t just happen by itself.”

—Annie F., married 58 years 



“I didn’t want to run to my mother with every little thing. We kept our problems within ourselves, and we always presented a united front to the children.”

—Faygie L., married 51 years


“The most important thing is to work on some goal together. We were teaching all the years, and my husband would help me with all my lesson plans. That was something that kept us involved in each other’s lives. A sense of humor is also very important, to keep things on an even keel.” 

—Eva H., married 64 years

 

“It’s not necessary to be together night and day. I respect his friends and his activities, and he respects mine”

“When the children were young, we always had a full table on Shabbos. We both enjoyed hosting, and having an open home is a big part of our bond to this day.”

—Shoshanah Zucker, married almost 67 years 


“After the kids were in bed, we’d sit at the kitchen table and talk. We couldn’t afford babysitters very often, and life was busy, so we really had to work around the situation. Sometimes we’d put the kids in the car and go for a drive. They’d sleep in the back, and we’d talk and laugh. I feel there’s a lot more expected of young mothers today than there was back then.”

—Bracha S., married 54 years

 

Agreeing to Disagree

“I find that we have fewer disagreements as we age. Neither of us feels a need to prove that our individual point of view is correct. Most of the time we find some middle ground, and we’re more accepting of each other’s flaws and shortcomings. “There are a few things I’d like to do over, but I can’t. For example, I wish I had been less critical and more patient with my husband and the children when I was younger. But you can’t go back, you can only go forward.”

—Chaya T., married 54 years

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 558)

Related Stories

The Busy Woman’s Guide to Maximizing Elul

Elisheva Appel

We’re blessedly busy, and spiritual preparation for the Yamim Noraim often gets neglected. With a li...

Journey from the Silk Road

Barbara Bensoussan

Geula Sabet’s life includes pre-independence Israel, the repressive Iranian regime, and Queens, New ...

Lessons for Life

Mishpacha Contributors

Though you’ve long forgotten why the Wars of the Roses began, there are some lessons that linger, so...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
I Also Read Perfidy
Rabbi Moshe Grylak I read it twice, and both times it kindled my rage
“Reeducate” UK’s Jewish Kids?
Yonoson Rosenblum Orthodox Jews in England face anti-religious agenda
Hold the Phone
Eytan Kobre Phew! Only one quote was something I simply hadn’t said
The Way I See It
Nathan Diament “Engagement with the policy makers is indispensable”
Pot of Gold
Yisroel Besser The Rebbetzin is gone, but the message is alive and well
More Top 5 Shiur Title Techniques
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Aside from the classics, here are five more
Bill of Rights
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Whether Avrumi or Allan, whether peyos or blue jeans”
Don’t Thank Me
Jacob L. Freedman “Are you a psychiatrist or a witch doctor?!”
5 Things You Didn’t Know about Shlomo Simcha
Riki Goldstein 600 meals a day for poor people
You Can Always Rely on the Rebbe
Riki Goldstein “The chassan just wouldn’t take no for an answer”
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds boosted performers into the limelight
Profession of Perfection
Faigy Peritzman He’s not just an educator; he’s a role model
Summer Clock
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Consistency is key to drama-free bedtime
How Do I Find My Son’s Bashert?
Sara Eisemann “What about this girl made you think of my son?”