What’s Your Secret?

One of the best parts of working in the restaurant industry is the multitude of people I get to talk to over the course of my day.  These are people who I would never otherwise interact with, each with their own unique tapestry of life-experiences trailing behind them.  I’ve met captains of industry, CEO’s and movie stars.  I’ve met small business owners and people from just about every walk of life.   My absolute favorite by far, are the old couples coming in to the restaurant to celebrate their anniversaries.  I always have one question for them: what is the secret to a long marriage?  And I’ve gotten so many beautiful answers, I thought it might be worth writing down.

What is the secret to a long marriage?

“There is no secret.  Marriage is work.”  (wife gives him a cold stare) “…what I mean by that is, you’re constantly working to make the marriage better to find new ways to make the other person happy.  You’re gonna get comfortable in marriage, but you can’t get lazy.”

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“You have to be able to laugh at yourselves.  Life sends you some big heavy problems sometimes, and you just need to be able to have a sense of humor about things rather than get serious and angry at each other.”

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“Everyone says marriage is 50 / 50 —  It’s not.  Marriage is 60 / 40.  You always want to be the one giving that 60, because if both people are giving it more than half, working hard to make the other person happier and [the marriage] better then it’ll grow.”

– – – –

“We met when we were seventeen and we were married by nineteen.  I never thought I could love him as much as I did then, but love grows.  You find ways to love your partner, ways to keep that fire going.  And it’s not always *boom* *boom* like in the movies.  That’s the easy part.  It’s finding ways to love the other person in a deeper and more meaningful ways.”

“like football.”  the husband pipes in

“Like football?!”  (she is incredulous)

“She hates football.  But she’s been with me to a hundred football games because she knows I love it.  That’s love.”

“I don’t hate football.”

“Yeah but you don’t like it either.”  he winks.