How to Make it to the Big 50

My husband and I attended a 50th anniversary party Saturday. Surrounded by their four children, many grandchildren, extended family, and friends, they celebrated a life that probably was not what they envisioned on the day they married.

This couple met at a carnival in Cuba, where they were born. My friend Gloria and her sister snuck out of their house to visit the carnival. She met up with a boy she liked, and when he got a little fresh, decided she didn't like him after all, but that hardly mattered because that was the night she met her future husband.

This teen-aged couple married six months later, so they're only in their 60s with many years ahead of them. The only thing is, I'm not sure they even like each other, but like and love can look different in other people's marriages. All I know is that not one golden anniversary kiss was exchanged, and while I often visit Gloria, I don't see much affection exchanged.

What does it take to arrive at a 50th anniversary and still love your spouse? We still have 23 years to go before reaching that milestone, but on reflection, I think these pieces need to be part of that puzzle picture:

  • forgiveness
  • persistence
  • commitment
  • selflessness
  • deafness
  • blindness
  • determination
  • realism
  • patience
  • friendship
  • acceptance
  • sense of humor
  • teamwork
  • sacrifice
  • respect
  • love.
What do you think should be on this list?


  1. Hi Elizabeth! I love this list, and the story of this couple is so lovely. I love the blindness part! My name is Cecilia and that name means 'blindness.' Nice to see a good spin on that.

    I think a sense of humor could be on the list too :)

    1. A sense of humor is vital in a marriage. Sometimes life is so frustrating that being able to laugh about thing helps.

  2. Communication needs to be on the list. And making the time for physical affection. My first marriage of 22 years imploded for many, many reasons, and was probably really over after just a few short years but I stuck it out b/c I was trying to stay true to my vows. My relationship with my fiance' is the opposite of what I had w/ my ex and it's absolutely amazing. We are, unfortunately, at the age where seeing a 50th anniversary seems extremely unlikely, so we cherish every single moment we have together. His daughter even told me she sees a huge change in her father. :D

    1. I don't know how I didn't think of communication. Thank for that vital addition. I am sad your first marriage was so difficult and I admire you for trying so hard to honor your marriage vows. Many people bail out at the first sign of trouble.

  3. I'm with Jojo Commitment is key. And we don't really learn it correctly until we've been married some time! From your list, I think commitment is first. People don't know how to stick w/ things, even then they are difficult. Marriage is a lifelong covenant, and society would so benefit if couples would take it seriously.

    1. I agree Mare. Before my husband and I married we both agreed that divorce was not an option. Knowing that, we knew we would have to work things out because there was no escape.

  4. This is a great list. Determination is a great one. Determine to work through problems and not sweep them under the rug; determine to forgive; determine to love; determine to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. We can't do it on our own, however. We need God to work through us to bring it to pass.

  5. PS The only one I would add would be joy which I think is different than a sense of humor. Live with a sense of joy even in the hard times. We need a joy in the small things in life.

    1. I never thought about Joy, but what a great addition.

  6. I think that is a great list - you need all of those! lol