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For Immediate Release - October 21, 2003
50 Years of Wedded Bliss
On October 25, 2003 Gerry and Fern Couvrette will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. That’s a milestone few couples today reach, so we asked the couple to share their best tips for a long, successful marriage.
1. Trust one another. Make sure that your words and actions build trust. Every lie you tell or promise you break -- even if you think it's trivial -- will erode that trust, and regaining it is all but impossible once it’s gone.
2. Respect each other. Take time to listen, and start with the belief that there will always be some "gold" in what your spouse has to say; sometimes, you may have to dig a bit deeper to find it, however.
3. Expect give and take. Don't keep track of either -- just focus on giving.
4. Encourage your partner to do what they love. You don't have to like or even understand why your partner likes their hobbies, but you must encourage them to paint/bowl/ski/fish/dance -- whatever they love to do.
5. Do things together. Participate in at least one activity that you both enjoy every week. If you have kids, make sure that some of these activities are for you and your spouse only.
6. Spend time apart. Gerry is a sports fan, while Fern is very involved with her local church. Their separate interests give them time away from each other and provide new topics of conversation.
7. When times are good, focus on your family and your future; when times are bad, focus on your family and your future.
8. Love each other, like each other, and love liking each other. Friendship is key, so demonstrate affection and respect for each other every day, and genuinely enjoy each other's company.
9. Learn to accept each other. This generally doesn't come naturally -- it's something that requires time and effort to create.
10. Say "I love you" every day. This is especially important when you're not feeling the sensation of love; at these times, you have to actively generate it.
In addition to this, Fern and Gerry say that shared goals and a strong commitment to being a family is what will keep you together through thick and thin. "Some of the things that may have first attracted you to your partner -- how they look, or what kind of job they have -- will change or fade over time," says Fern. "You have to believe in and want the same things, and be committed to achieving them together."
Gerry agrees. "If you have all these things going for you -- respect, friendship, love, and shared hopes and dreams -- it just seems normal that you would want to stay together forever. Fern and I were always committed to our family, so we never seriously considered the alternative. We loved watching our children grow, and we really enjoyed sharing that experience together. Our grandchildren are the icing on our cake."
On the lighter side, Gerry says it helps to be a little deaf, and Fern says it helps to be a lot forgiving.