I will not apologize for calling my parents and in-law's marriages "old". Today a marriage that lasts past the 10 year mark is a remarkable feat it seems. So I am thankful to call their marriages old.
In light of Thanksgiving weekend I would say that I am thankful for their marriages of over 50 years. What is the secret? My mom's advice was "keep short accounts" meaning be quick to ask forgiveness and quick to say sorry. That used to make me so frustrated in the early years of marriage because admitting I was wrong about something was so humbling, it is still tough after 27 years. My father said, don't go to bed angry. We had some very late nights taking his advice but if we didn't we had horrible sleeps. Do you know how hard it is to sleep as close to the edge of the bed as possible without falling off?
As I watch my parents in the golden years of marriage I would say that they are good friends. They have inside jokes, they laugh with each other, they disagree, they cherish each other and they are committed. Sounds like a great friend to me.
My in-laws exemplify loyalty through tough times, stability and commitment. Through many years dealing with illness they have stood by each other. Marriage isn't always laughter and fun, it's work. They did a lot of things correctly because I am reaping the benefit of a husband who believes that we are in it for life and wanting a good life, works hard at our relationship.
So, when the honeymoon is over and his stinky socks are everywhere and she seems to suffer PMS more often than not, start talking to those who's marriages you admire and get some good 'ol advice!