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My Grandfather’s Secret To a Successful, 60-Year Marriage

Now pronounced

Last month, we visited my Grandparents in Tennessee, as a surprise for their 60th wedding anniversary. My husband and I were there with our 3 kids, and my Mom & Dad, sister, Aunt and her 2 children went as well. We all went out to dinner and the waitress asked for their secret to a happy marriage.

My Grandpa paused for a second, then deadpanned “I traveled a lot for business.” I think humor in marriage is key (something else I want to write about), but I honestly think he’s on to something.

My husband rarely travels now, but for a few years, he had a job where 25% travel was required. One particular summer, he was gone about 2 weeks out of every month. It was definitely hard to have him gone, but there is a lot of truth to the old adage: “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Most of the time we dropped him off at the airport and picked him up, and the kids missed him, but had fun sending him photos, drawing pictures for him, and talking to him on the phone before bed. We would often text, talk, or chat on the computer before bed, while when he’s home, he’s usually too busy tinkering with something, watching TV etc. to just talk to me.

When he came home, I think we all appreciated him a bit more, and it also helped me feel more independent, that I can get things done by myself, though things like bedtime are a bit more difficult without the extra set of hands!

My husband complains about the food, the traveling and the uncomfortable hotel pillows, but I think it’s good for him to get away. He has had the chance to visit Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, and technically Belgium and Germany (the airports, LOL.) He’s seen the Grand Canyon and the sunrise in Sedona, and he’s eaten authentic Italian cuisine in Italy. He has gotten to visit museums and throw back a few beers and some good food with friendly coworkers in the evenings. He’s even gotten to do a little gambling when they’ve had work to do in Atlantic city.

My husband’s Grandpa knew of my Grandpa when he worked for a company that my Grandpa sold to (how weird is that?) and when my husband has come home from conferences with “swag” like pens and hand sanitizers, it reminded me of my Grandpa bringing us trinkets like that when we were little girls!

I have heard some women say they can’t sleep when their husbands are away, but I don’t mind. In fact, I lived alone before we got married (not that long since we were married young!) and I enjoy the silence in the evenings and having one less person to clean up after (kidding, sorta.) Plus, I really like having the bed all to myself.

We’ve been married for 11 years, and have made it through an awful lot of trials and tribulations. I hope we will be married 60 years too!

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • August 9, 2012 at 11:44 am

    My husband travels all the time for work. If there’s a stretch when he’s been home for a week, I go “don’t you have something somewhere to go do?” Lol!

  • July 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I feel the same way. I like my husband taking all his trips and doing his volunteer work. It gives both of us enough space to be independent. I tend to feel rather smothered easily, so it works for us. Plus, when he is gone I have more time to get everything done and catch up on writing and cleaning.

  • July 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    my husband is away on business, and I can relate. we check in morning and night, and this doesn’t happen very often without kidlet interruption, because he’s usually out the door by 4:15 and I’m struggling to get back to sleep after the baby’s had me up around 3. Then the girls are ALL over him after he gets home in the afternoon and my 3 year old has a motor mouth. she NEVER shuts up. I never get a word in edge wise. perhaps a lesson in all of it is that we need to call each other on the phone now and then.

  • Amy S
    July 25, 2012 at 9:19 am

    My dad traveled a lot when I was little and he still does. I remember digging through his suitcase when he returned to see what he had brought back. It was usually just the shampoo and soap from his hotel room, but it still made me happy.

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