Huff Post is always a little curious about why some couples split apart and others stick together like glue. But we are especially interested in those couples who met when they were kids. We found a few of these couples, and asked them to share their secrets:
1. Just hang on tight for the ride!
Joy (51) and Bob (55) met when she was 17 and he was 20. They have been married for 35 years and have two children, ages 25 and 22.
“I think we always are working together — like good teammates! We are there for each other. Bob is in a Barbershop chorus; I tell people that I don’t sing but I am the best audience member around. We don’t have to do everything alike, and we are always open to trying new things (like the tandem bike we just bought). I could never imagine sharing my love or my life with any other man.”
2. Accept that life comes with some funny twists.
Alan (62) and Harriett (58) met when she was 15 and he was 19. They have been married for 37 years (together for 43) and have three children ranging in age from 26 to 36.
“It’s important to do things that each partner is interested in. Interests lead to good conversations,” she said. And yes, they are still friends with matchmaker Caren (and her husband).
3. Let’s hear it for rocky starts and smooth finishes.
Rachel (81) and Fidel (81) met in high school and married when they were 18. They have been married for 63 years and have three daughters ranging in age from 54 to 62.
They married at 18, worked hard, and credit their faith in God with the success of their lives. “Throughout our lives we have attended church and stayed close to God,” said Rachel. “We have stayed in love and remain happy and devoted to each other.”
4. Commit to the marriage as much as the person you are marrying.
Glenn (61) and Barbara (60) got married when she was 17 and he was 18. They have been married for 43 years and have seven children ranging in age from 20 to 42.
Their secret is simple, she said. “When we said ‘I do,’ we meant it. For life. Have we struggled? Absolutely!!! Do we fight? Yes! Are there times we wanted to go our separate ways? You betcha. But we are committed to each other. With all our idiosyncrasies, all of failures, we love each other deeply.” She added, “As Christians, our faith in God comes first, and because of that, we have faith in each other. Forever.”
5. Start with a sense of humor and don’t ever lose it.
Christina (55) and Scott (55) met in high school when they were 17 and married at 21. They have been married for almost 34 years and have four sons ranging in age from 12 to 27.
Tina notes that “having a sense of humor” is the the most important thing in a successful relationship, followed by treating each other with kindness and respect. “It’s the little things, but it all boils down to kindness and respect … and being able to say ‘I’m sorry, let’s try again.'”