Why Long-Term Marriages Can Be So Powerful

Portrait of a happy middle aged couple in bed together“Research shows that the divorce rate among adults aged 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010.” The HuffPost’s Post50 has done it again. They’ve served up a compendium of bloggers’ common sense thoughts on enduring marriages which I found very moving. As a widow whose marriage was very, very happy, I smiled, cried a little and wished the same joy for my adult children while I perused the article.

The list runs the gamut of thoughts such as not being frantic or worrying overly about looks to feeling open about communicating your needs and feelings to your partner. For example, “we tell each other everything, whether it’s good or bad. We never hide anything from each other — ever — and can openly discuss any subject without fear of being judged. We made a pact to do that from the beginning of our marriage (it took a little to get used to, but we knew it would be invaluable) and I think it helped to create the wonderful marriage that we have,” said Cathy Chester of An Empowered Spirit.

Concluding the article is a group of reader’s responses to The HuffPost Post50’s request for their takes on how to have a long and happy marriage. My favorite is: “When you give to the other person, that’s love. When you take, that’s ego. Over the years, both people contribute what they have. … I’ve been married 32 years, and my promise in being with my wife is that I am committed to helping her find everything she needs. If she has a need/problem, it’s mine too. The value of marriage isn’t solely playing a part so much as my wife accepts all my love and I get to be that guy I most like being, her lover.”




Architecture For A Happy Marriage

non-vday-staircaseToday my daughter pointed this article out to me, “How To Pick Your Life Partner,” in the Wait But Why post. Having read a lot of such articles, starting as a teenager with dating advice in Glamour Magazine, I was pleasantly surprised to have been enchanted with this one. It’s pretty obviously written by a male with its no-nonsense approach to the topic of how to choose a partner and then create a happy marriage. So, I could not resist checking out the author.

Tim Urban shares some of his attributes with us: “getting called an out-of-touch Baby Boomer even though he’s only 31,”not being an expert on things he writes about” and “drawing stick figures at a 2nd grade level.” As a real Baby Boomer who was impressed with his cogent account of the trip from first date to the altar and many years down the road of wedded bliss after, I had to research further.

Lorena O’Neil wrote “Wait But Why: Making Nerdiness Viral,” in NPR AS HEARD ON NPR LISTEN ONLINEa description of the blog which helped me to understand why this 31 year old guy could put such brilliant perspective into the marriage topic. Wait But Why is a blog that works as an adult science and social studies classroom. The website pairs cartoons, infographics, lists, and irreverent, conversational writing for a mix that looks like BuzzFeed meets Hyperbole and a Half meets Thought Catalog. The act of reading the posts is an experience in and of itself. You can easily curl up for 20 minutes digging into a single post with all of its drawings, data visualizations and captions. Don’t let the crude, seemingly haphazardly drawn stick-figure images and basic layout of the site fool you — it’s full of insights and skillful explanations of real-life situations. Sometimes the best way to make a complex idea click is with a really basic drawing, a super-simple pie chart or a stack of candies sized up against Earth.” 

Read more: Wait But Why: Making Nerdiness Viral | Good Sh*t | OZY

Enjoy Parts 1 & 2 of “How To Pick Your Life Partner” here:


On Becoming A Grandfather Without Having Been A Father

Renee_Dan-560x371Dan was single, living in a high-rise condo with no children and no pets when he married Renee, a divorced mother of three grown children. A year after their marriage, a grandchild arrived, followed by another and one more is on the way.

Now they live in Renee’s house and have little visitors, Jonah and Simon. It has been a transition, involving patience and kindness plus a bit of alone time for Dan. That his screen saver has their photos on it and his new sailboat has been named JoSimon tells it all.

See Renee’s article in the BoomerCafe:


How to Date Like a Grownup

Mature couple in cafeMany people past 50 find themselves back in the dating game after a very long hiatus. “Unreliability and confusion do not have to be a part of your dating-over-50 experience, dating coach Bobbi Palmer told Huff/Post50.” 

The relationship expert shares tips for women, giving special emphasis to the sensitivities of men. “They’ve been rejected since they were 14 years old at the dance. We think we have to deal with rejection, but they’ve had it 100 times worse. Compassion is the key to having an enjoyable time when you’re dating. They’re just like us and we’re all people.”

Her six-step plan commences with falling “in love with yourself.” “If you find yourself dating again in your 50s, chances are a major life event — whether it be divorce or losing your loved one — has given you quite the beating.” It’s about familiarizing yourself with whom you’ve become over the years.

There is an accompanying slide show, Where To Meet Singles Over 50, which includes volunteering, joining clubs and going online.slide_196948_472818_freeStay tuned for the most walkable cities for retirement tomorrow.



Keep Doing These Five Things …

headshotAfter laughing out loud at My Face Is Up To (I Mean, Down To), No Good, Susan McCorkindale’s hysterical treatise on facial aging, I decided to check out her other writings.

In her New Year‘s blog in The Huffington Post, she describes her response to a request for guidance on dealing with death after losing her husband to pancreatic cancer. McCorkindale made up a list of 5 “dos” to live by which she recommits to yearly. She shares these and a do-over “because really, everyone deserves at least one do-over!), now, at the start of 2013, only with the hope of giving hope and helping someone else find the courage and strength to believe that, while life as they know it is over, the road they’re embarking on can be beautiful, hopeful and happy. Life can still be filled with sunny days, love and yes, laughter.”

I can really relate to her love of laughter and the need to find beauty, meaning, purpose and loads of friendship going foward after the death of my spouse, my best friend, Marc. This is for all of us in the same boat; for those who are alone due to divorce as well. Reinventing ourselves is hard work. I have been blessed to reconnect with three best friends from high school and others from different times in my life. As well, I’ve found very supportive, new friends in my Spousal Bereavement Support Group.

The laughter part has always been big for me, but not so terribly much in the last 2 1/2 years. It is returning as friendships blossom and movie dates keep appearing. Going out for coffee or dinner to discuss a film is one of my greatest pleasures lately. Also, making big blocks of time to have a heart-to-heart chat with a real friend is hugely salubrious for me.

So, enjoy the positive, wonderful 5 “do’s” here after this sample:

Listen. The little voice telling you to buy the shoes and the bag, get the Goth black manicure and learn to ride a horse? That’s the one to listen to. You can always take the shoes and the bag back, the polish will last ten days, tops, and as long as the little voice isn’t suggesting your ride bareback ….”


The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement

“The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement” by Jan Cullinane, author of “The New Retirement,” comes to bookstores this week. Practical and entertaining, it contains checklists and interviews dealing with topics of interest to single women.

When asked why she wrote the book, Jan replied:

It primarily came from the comments I heard from single women after I would give a talk. They would say things like: “Where should I move? Everything seems geared to couples.” “After 30 years of marriage, I’m divorced. I want and need to go back to work. Help me.” “My husband died unexpectedly. I never handled the money. Any suggestions?” “I am happily single, but want to live in a place with a lot of social support after I leave my primary career. What are some possibilities?” “I’m gay. Where I should move?” “I’m ready to return to the dating pool, but haven’t been on a date in 40 years. Where do I start?”

From: TopRetirements.com October 1st, 2012