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The Love Blog
Ordinary Couple Gives Extraordinary Advice
Bob and Anne Gregor recently celebrated 50 years of marriage, but it wasn't love at first sight. They met in their hometown of Edwardsville, Illinois, and neither was very taken with the other. Bob finally asked her out, but she refused.
He was intrigued. Three weeks later, he sent her a letter stating that he would be home again soon from college and would like to have dinner with her. This time she accepted, and they have been together ever since. They eventually married.
Both Bob and Anne agreed that love isn't easy, but they both said there are a few steps to make the hard times easier.
"We give one another space," Anne said. "He can do his thing and I can do mine."
"The big word is compromise," Bob said. "Never consider divorce as an option; when you get married it is for life."
"And when you have problems, just grab one another's hand," Anne said, "Even if you are fighting."
They never gave themselves the option of divorce, as many American's do. According to the Center for Disease Control, there were 2,300,000 marriages in 2005 or 7.5 marriages per 1,000 members of the total population. There were also 3.6 divorces per 1,000 members of the total population.
"We have always had wonderful friends and family, a strong support system; we were not just by ourselves," Anne said. "They are marvelous people and they have built our relationship," Bob said. "They give us something to look forward to."
"And you always need something to look forward to," Anne added.
Bob and Anne also agreed that money could be a major issue in relationships. Their advice: live off one salary and learn to save.
Anne also said that it is important to build a friendship with your significant other, and remember to laugh. "We are good friends, we have common interests, we support each other and we kid one another," Anne said. "We have arguments, but I usually win." Bob laughed, but agreed.
If you ask Bob and Anne what the best part of their marriage has been thus far, they will tell you without hesitation that it is their children that have made them the happiest. "The first thing to come to mind is the success of our children," Bob said.
On their 50th anniversary last September, Anne and Bob had planned on a quiet dinner out. When they arrived at the restaurant, they found much more than a candlelit dinner for two.
"We thought we were going for dinner," Bob said, "My daughter was able to find out who our intimate friends and associates were and invited them to a party. Not many people can say they have so many intimate, close friends."
Bob and Anne did give some final advice.
"Find a way to laugh and have fun," Bob said. "When you lose fun and laughter, you lose the relationship," Bob said.
"And always respect each other," Anne said.
-Some excerpts ©Edwardsville Intelligencer 2007
*** Why not visit "Pearls of Wisdom" and glean some more great relationship advice from "them that knows how"!