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    Introduction

    Once upon a time, a handsome young prince came galloping by on his white horse. He saw a beautiful young maiden, drew her up into the saddle with him, and they rode off into the sunset, married and lived happily ever after.

    Now, let’s see about how to make a fairy tale into reality – or turn reality into a fairy tale.

    In the beginning…

    Dating and marriage are different from what they were twenty years ago. In today’s society, more than 50% of all marriages fail for one reason or another. The fact is that relationships, whether dating or married, are hard. Things do not always go perfectly, fighting does occur, and it takes a 100% commitment from both parties to make it a success. The very traits and appearances that enchanted you when you first dated have two sides -- looks, sexuality, tenacity, creativity, sense of humor, intellect, talents, personality, athleticism, and many, many more. As time passes in your relationship, tenacious may become stubborn; focus may turn into “You’re not listening.” Looks may cause jealousy, or fade, and a great body may put on weight!

    At some point, one or both of you may feel as though something is missing. The “spark” has gone, leaving you feeling inadequate and unfulfilled, and may cause you to want to break off the relationship. It’s easy to lose perspective, but you and your partner will benefit by working together to remember what attracted you in the first place and to keep it alive. Most of the time, there is great value in your relationship that make it worth putting up with the short-term aggravations.

    So, what can you do to increase your chances of a successful marriage? If you haven’t yet tied the knot, you would be wise to engage in discussions with your fiancé(e) and possibly a marriage counselor or clergy on the types of issues that can cause marital difficulties – for example, issues involving your financials, children and religion. A list of pre-nuptial issues for discussion is attached to the end of this book. If you are married, these can still be discussed, so you can work out any areas of disagreement while you are both happy and in love, rather than facing them when the relationship is on rocky ground.

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    With a little bit of luck

    First, to stay happily married for 60 years, you both have to live that long.

    Accept and respect your mate

    Second, third, fourth and fifth, you both have to learn to accept your mate for what he or she is, not what you want him or her to be. You grew up in different families, have different ways of looking at just about everything and are certainly wired differently. You each have your own opinions and ways of doing things and will continue to do so, smoothing the edges with, hopefully, some modification and deference. Keep an open mind. When something your mate does causes you to become frustrated or angry, try to figure out his or her motives. You may find there was a good reason that you hadn’t thought of; or at least that there was some reason other than to make you upset.

    Stay committed to your commitment

    Even though the odds are not very good, healthy, and long-lasting relationships are definitely possible and proven by many people. Look at Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, or Nancy and Ronald Reagan. What secrets do or did they possess? The answer is that they all worked hard at their relationship. They made a decision to choose to love their mate, rather than rely on the “warm and fuzzy” feelings, which everyone knows will fade. By making love your choice, you both make and stay with a decision that even in the bad times, you stick it out.

    Think of it like buying a home. You spent a lot of time selecting your home, and have signed the mortgage, probably the largest investment of your life. After you move in, you discover that there are some repairs needed, some fixtures should be replaced, the gardens need tending – a never-ending stream of tasks. It’s a lot of work and expense that you didn’t anticipate. You could try to sell the home and look for another place to live, but that is probably not going to make your life a lot easier, as you still have to find another place, sell this place, move, etc. You’re better off figuring out how to make it work. It is the same for marriage. Not everything will be perfect, and there will be major obstacles to overcome, but while the alternatives may look more appealing, they are undoubtedly full of complications as well. Having made your decision, you should stay committed to it and choose to make it work.

    When faced with seemingly large problems, break the problems down into little steps to be taken every day. You’ll find that those little steps will enable you to overcome them and move on to better circumstances.

  • About the Author

    Frankie Weisburgh has been a devoted, enthusiastic wife, mother, gardener and cook for what seems like forever.

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How to Be Happily Married to the Same Person for 60 Years

Dating and marriage are different from what they were twenty years ago. In today’s society, more than 50% of all marriages fail for one reason or another. As time passes in your relationship, tenacious may become stubborn; focus may turn into “You’re not listening.” At some point, one or both of you may feel as though something is missing. The “spark” has gone, leaving you feeling inadequate and unfulfilled, and may cause you to want to break off the relationship. So, what can you do to increase your chances of a successful marriage?

Fortunately, there are many things you can do. Frankie Weisburgh, happily married for 60 years, shares in this SkillBite a host of useful tips for building a strong and happy relationship with your spouse. You’ll learn, for instance, the importance of communicating effectively, giving each other space and handling issues when they arise. If you, or someone you know, is getting married, this is a must read to achieve “happily ever after.”

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