The secret to a long life is yet to be fully settled upon — though some people argue it’s healthy eating and exercise, and others might say it’s finding a good wife — but the matter is still up for debate.
But what about the secret to a long, happy marriage? Everyone’s got their own reasons to believe various methods are foolproof.
One couple that’s been married for nearly eight decades has their own secret, though. Can you guess what it is?
Well, let’s start with how they met. Merle and Stella Keena happened to both be at the dentist’s on the same day, but for different reasons. “I was delivering teeth and she was getting a tooth fixed, and then we just bumped into each other and started talking.
“Later we met at a dance and then from then on I used to stop and see her once or twice a week,” said Merle.
From there, they were together for around a year before getting married on June 10, 1939.
Now, they have a huge list of kids to spoil. “We had three children: two girls and a boy. The boy is the youngest but he’s 77 years old. We have grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; about nine of them,” said Stella.
Can you imagine being 77 and still being able to call your mom and dad and tell them about your day? I know that’s what I hope for.
Over the years, of course, there have been some trying times. Merle has had cancer three times throughout his life.
Stella’s broken her hip and then later broken her back, but she took Merle out of the nursing home he’d been in to care for him herself.
So what has gotten them through all of these crazy times over the past 80 years?
“Work out every argument as soon as possible.” Don’t go to bed angry, as the old saying goes.
Stella said, “Well, there’s no sense to argue because you’re not going to get anywhere that way.”
“If we have a disagreement, we sit down and we talk it over, find out what the problem is. We never go to bed at night angry,” said Merle.
Nowadays, they enjoy sitting at home, reading together. They’re looking forward to anniversary number 80 — who wouldn’t?
Their last bit of advice to couples is to “keep fighting for their marriage even if it feels like it’s falling apart.” And that’s great advice in a day of quick fixes and instant gratification: the things you work the hardest for often become the most valuable.
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