A couple in Japan recently broke the record for the longest marriage ever, reaching an impressive accomplishment of 80 years together! Masao Matsumoto and Miyako Sonoda were married in October of 1937. Both are still alive today and their marriage is still going strong.
This is the kind of love that most people only dream about. That is until it happens to them! While it’s hard to tell if you and yours will live long enough to celebrate your 80th anniversary, it’s actually pretty easy to set the groundwork for your love to last that long.
Here are some tips to keep in mind that will help your marriage thrive.
1. Honesty Really Is Everything
Love requires full honesty. You can’t keep anything from your partner if you really want your marriage to do well. You have to be comfortable being honest with them about your needs, wants, successes, and shortcomings.
This means you have to be transparent about the things on your mind and heart even when your partner doesn’t ask. It also means that you have to give them every detail you possibly can instead of holding back information.
More so, you have to be honest with yourself. This is the part that too many people forget. Make sure you listen to your heart as your marriage evolves. Such self-understanding is what will help your marriage continue to grow for years and years.
2. Find Joy in Giving and Taking
You’ve probably realized by now that love is a cycle of give and take. But, ask yourself how much joy you truly find in compromising with your partner when things go “their way.” Notice how you feel when they give to you and when you give to them.
The goal is to be just as joyful in everything you do and say when giving and when taking. This takes some time to learn. It can be hard to learn such a level of self-less compromise, but it’s all for the greater good of your marriage.
3. Be Patient
The next step to building a marriage that lasts forever is to make sure your patience never runs out. There will be times when it’s spread thin and moments when you will feel absolutely spent. You’ll feel emotionally drained and physically exhausted between the things that life throws at you and the ups and downs of being married.
But, you have to be patient with your partner and with your own self.
You have to remember why you walked into this life. You need to take a step back when your patience is spread thin and focus on what’s really going on. This means to set your emotions aside, think about the issues you’re facing together, and work on finding a solution.
Sometimes, the answer will be obvious. Sometimes, it will take a lot of work to see the other side of a tough time. Having patience will always get you through, though.
4. Work on How You Communicate
Whether you met on a dating website or you’ve been friends for a long time, you have a lot to keep learning about your other half. You and your partner’s communication style is going to evolve from time to time.
It shouldn’t be something that is constantly switching up. But, it is good to re-assess how you handle things from time to time. This goes for everything from conflict resolution to praise and appreciation.
There’s a big difference in how you say things to someone and how they may receive them. When you both work to say things in a way that the other will best receive them, everyone wins.
5. Never Stop Learning About Each Other
Just as you should work on communication, don’t be afraid to re-explore other aspects of your marriage. Make it a point to learn more about your partner even if you think you’ve already got them 100% figured out.
You’d be surprised to realize what their favorite food is lately or how their love language may have recently changed if you just asked. More so, make it a point to ask about any new hobbies they’ve picked up and try new things together, too. These will all reveal a little more about your husband/wife and help you both grow in your marriage.
6. Keep the Sexual Fire Alive
This one sounds like the most fun item on the list, but for some couples, it’s a real struggle. Your marriage needs to have just as much physical passion as it does trust and compromise.
It makes a big difference in the long run. Regular love-making keeps your hearts fully-invested in one another. It minimizes the risk of cheating and unfaithfulness in your marriage. Not to mention, it encourages the expression of love in other ways.
When sex is a regular part of you and your partner’s life, so are things like the willingness to compromise and the patience to hear each other out. It’s not enough to have one aspect of marriage down if you don’t have a good handle on the others. You need full trust and honest communication and good sex to succeed.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help in Your Marriage
The final tip to creating a long-lasting marriage is to give it the help it needs.
Are you having trouble remembering the last time you had a beautiful sexual encounter together? Do you find yourselves constantly arguing or drifting further and further apart?
It’s worth seeking counseling for these things. As hard as taking this step may be, it’s a step in the right direction. Counseling can help the two of you work things out in a safe, comfortable environment. It gives you a perspective you may not have thought of without a third-party’s professional, understanding guidance.
Learning a Thing or Two from the Longest Marriage
Before Masao and Miyako Sonoda held the record for the longest marriage, the title was given to Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher. The Fishers were an American couple from North Carolina who had been together for 86 years. The couple has since passed, which is why the title was passed down to the Sonadas.
As far as your marriage goes, though, the most important thing to take away from other successful couples is that they’ve kept at it. Marriage is a journey that you’ll always have to work at. It asks for celebration of the good moments and patience in the bad ones.
That’s the key to looking back at the end of your days and having your loved one beside you through it all. For more tips on love and married life, click here.