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Cheryl Lavin: Secrets to a long-lasting marriage

I’ve given today’s column over to Brigitte, a woman who knows the secrets to a long and happy marriage.

“My husband and I have been married for almost 50 years, and although we’ve had some very tough times, we weathered the storms and are enjoying the best time of our lives. We married when I was 18 and he was 20, just before he was sent to Vietnam. I doubt that anyone at our wedding gave us much of a chance. That first year, I waited every day for the mailman to bring me a letter. I would touch something my husband had touched while I read his words of love.

“He returned home at 4 a.m. one day. I can still remember rushing into his arms when he stepped off the plane. He swung me around and gave me the biggest kiss. I think I’ll always remember that exhilaration!

“We had our first child 9 1/2 months after he came home, our second 18 months later, and our last one two years after that.

“He worked full time and went to school at night full time to obtain his degree. He started at the bottom of the corporate ladder and retired after 36 years pretty much near the top of that same ladder. All three children are college graduates and contributing members of society, all married and each with two children of their own.

“We didn’t have a lot when they were growing up, but we did have a lot of love! I never thought we were struggling, even though we were. I was just always happy to have my husband near me.

“Even though I struggled with many illnesses due to difficult pregnancies, including post-partum depression, we weathered the storms and grew stronger in our relationship and deeper in love. My husband is my best friend, and I can’t imagine anyone I would rather be with than him. We still have so much fun when we’re together, and we do laugh a lot!

“We don’t have a lot of common interests (I love to gamble and he doesn’t; he loves sports and I just tolerate them, etc.), but we love and respect each other enough to compromise. He’ll come to the casino with me and hang out, and I go to sporting events with him and hang out.

“Whoever said marriage is a 50-50 proposition got it all wrong. Sometimes one partner needs 100 percent, and the other has to give it. So many young marriages fail today, and I’m always so sad when I hear that a couple married only a couple of years are splitting up. They haven’t even begun to know what marriage is. A real marriage begins after the first heat of passion fades, and becomes something deeper and so much more meaningful.

“I believe the secrets to a long and successful marriage are compromise, communication, friendship, laughter, love and, of course, passion. To say that I’m more in love with my husband now than the day we were married says a lot. Each day is a gift, and now that we have more days behind us than we have in front of us, each day is sweeter than the one before.”

Do you have the secret to a long, happy marriage? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com.

And check out my new ebook, “Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front.” COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM