Advice From Couples Who’ve Been Married for Decades

The best advice from those who've made it work. 

When you’ve been married for over a decade, you learn a thing or two about how to make a marriage work. From average Joes to the pros, you’ll hear that marriage is nothing short of hard work, and like anything else in life that poses challenges, relationships require a little bit of savvy. As proven here, some couples employ humor to keep even the hardest days light-hearted, others keep sentiment short yet find it incredibly sweet, and others still can’t help but be effervescent with love and gratitude for their partners—all tactics that have keep these couples married for the better part of a lifetime. For all the recently engaged couples, honeymooners, and even those who are years deep into marriage, here are some tips from experts who’ve achieved your marriage goals and kept the romance around years and years after the “I Do’s.”

Kathleen Dies and Derek Seymour Munger

seniors-holding-hands
Photo by Buero Monaco/Getty Images

Beaumont, Texas

Married 47 years

“The secret to marriage is maintaining a bond of trust; focusing on the important things and not sweating the small stuff that sometimes gets overblown; being able to forgive and be forgiven; sharing a common faith and being able to laugh at yourself as often as possible.” —Derek

Warren and Mattie Sanders

Rochester, KY

Married 69 Years

"From the very beginning, we agreed to never argue. It was ok to disagree and for one to walk away if we did. Agree to disagree. Respect one another, always kiss each other goodnight, and never go to bed upset. If you follow that advice, you will make it 69 years.”—Mattie

Bob and Jean Haynes

Childersburg, AL

Married 67 Years

“Keep a good sense of humor—laugh a lot. Lift up and support each other. And never use your partner’s vulnerabilities against them.”—Jean

RELATED: There is a Gilmore Girls Inspired Wedding Dress, and Spoiler: It’s Gorgeous



Ray and Joan Day

Spring Hill, FL

Married 48 years

“Share and compromise.”— Ray

Joseph “Joe” and Virginia “Ginny” Solomon

Brooksville, FL

Married 31 Years

“We've been married 31 years and we've laughed together almost every one of those days!! Compromise when you can and find a happy medium.”—Ginny

Margaret Rose and Lt. Col. Azad Husnian

Canton, North Carolina

Married 53 years

“Always honor each other. I think that’s what we’re missing in today’s society–we don’t honor one another enough.”—Margaret Rose



George J. and Alberta H. Jobczynski

Huntsville, AL

Married 59 years “Cooperation, always do what your wife tells you.” — George

“Remember that your spouse is your other half. Always treat them with love, kindness and respect.”— Alberta

RELATED: The Most Famous Southern Weddings of All Time

Benny DeWitt and Joyce Smith Speares

Anderson, SC

Married 62 years

“Always kiss each other goodnight because you never know what tomorrow may bring.”— Joyce

Adele and Tom Pope

Newberry, SC

Married 43 years

“Take care of yourself; be happy; and do not give others marital advice.”— Adele



Rudy and Letty Sagun

Hickory, North Carolina

Married 59 years

“We kept the love alive by laughing always and dancing...a lot!”—Rudy

RELATED: 17 Iconic Wedding Dresses

Patsy and James Mitchell

Tulsa, OK

Married 49 years

“We met on a blind date. It was love at first sight. We were engaged 6 months later & married 6 months after that. We were married for 49 years. She died 5 months before our 50th anniversary. If there is anything I learned in our precious years together it is that there is not just one single ingredient in the recipe for marriage. It’s made out of love, respect, communication, compassion and compromise. With all that, you have a recipe for success."— James

Ann and Joe Yedowitz

The Villages, FL

Married 53 years

“Patience has made our marriage resilient, and has been one of the most important reasons that we are still living happily ever after, enjoying our golden years!”— Ann



Leon Brown and Elsie Marine Robinson

El Dorado, Arkansas

Married 55 years

“Never leave each other without giving a kiss first -- even if just going on a short errand or you’re not getting along at the moment.”—Elsie

Donna Hyder and Richard Rogers

Elizabethton, TN

“Love isn’t perfect. It isn’t a fairytale or a storybook and it doesn’t always come easy. Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on and never letting go. It is a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define and impossible to live without. Love is work, but most of all love is realizing that every hour, every minute and every second of it was worth it because you did it together.”—Donna

Michael and Susan Kelley

Floridians at Heart (Detroitinites by zip code)

Married 44 Years

“I believe communication is the key. Make your relationship a priority and spend time together.”—Susan