Secrets To A Successful Marriage - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/19/04-Longview

Secrets To A Successful Marriage

Nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Given that reality, how do couples manage to stay together 'til death do them part?

We found the perfect group to answer that very question. Sixty-eight couples were honored today at First United Methodist Church in Longview for more than 50 years of marriage.

It's been 50, 60, even 70 years since the couples said "I do." Granted, no marriage is always picture perfect. But the love birds say the key is to keep working on it.

"We do have to compromise," Margaret Fite, married 65 years, said. "Forgiveness of small, petty things."

"Do things together," Jim Asbury, married 56 years, said. "And never go to bed angry."

"It's very important to have a sense of humor," Bonnie Asbury said. "And if you don't have one, develop one."

Then there are those basic facts of marriage many couples seem to forget.

"You are different: male and female," Jim said. "And you just have to work out those disagreements and not be self-centered. Think of the other person."

"It's not always easy," Margaret said. "We've been through good times and hard times."

For the husbands and wives honored today, divorce is just not an option.

"We come from an age when you just didn't think about it," Jacquelyn Jameson, married 60 years, said.

"When you have somebody that's smart, attentive, lovable, then you want to keep 'em," Blackshear Jameson said.

"You take your marriage vows seriously, for better or worse," Margaret said.

That means supporting each other when you both need help...

"You should hear our conversation sometimes," Margaret said. "He doesn't hear, and I don't hear."

...or when one of you needs the other just a little bit more.

The 68 long-time couples at the church represent more than 3700 years of marriage.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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