The Secret To Marriage

December 16th, 2011

Clarence and Mayme Vail, married for 83 years

Clarence and Mayme Vail have been married for 83 years, becoming the new Guinness World Record holders for the longest living married couple.

In a society where 50% of marriages end in divorce (and some don’t even last 72 days!), the question often asked to Clarence and Mayme is, “How do you do it?”

Surprisingly, their answer is very simple: you take your vows seriously!

“You take your vows, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer,” Mayme said. “I guess you just stick to it, come what may.”

There are always going to be curveballs thrown at you in your life: schooling, job changes, children, relocation, financial instability, families. None of these things make the relationship easier and they are sometimes the factors that push people to divorce. But like Mayme said, “Come what may.”

When you are in a committed relationship, you are also committing yourself to grow and change as the situations change. It isn’t just, “I will stick around as long as we have a good job and money.” Lives are naturally going to change over time. This means you need to be willing to change with it, or the relationship will struggle.

In a 2003 study called “Marriage in Utah,” the number one reason for divorce in Utah is “Lack of Commitment.” That statistic is really disconcerting to think that because of not being fully committed, families and relationships are torn apart when maybe they could have been saved.

Of course, there are always certain situations when divorce is needed. And people on the outside of the relationship have no place to judge what others decide about how to handle their circumstances.

This message isn’t for those extreme circumstances; it is for those who find themselves doubting and struggling in the day to day disagreements. And in the day to day, when you find yourself wondering if you can still make the relationship work, my question to you is this: Did you mean it when you said “for better or for worse?” And are you trying the best you can?

We can all try better, I can try better! It shouldn’t be so common to have so many broken lives and hearts. Instead, we should try for a better attitude of understanding and communication. We should just try and put forth more effort.

What are some things you do to keep your relationship strong? Do you have any secrets to marriage that you want to share? Tell us about it in the comments!