Fifty Years of Marriage—Worth Every Moment

 

My husband and I still can’t believe we’ve been married 50 years as of today. And we spent three days in Boca Raton to celebrate. We went to the beautiful Morikami Museum and Gardens, and simmered in the heat, but we couldn’t pass up seeing the beautiful bonsai trees, some of them 50-60 years old. The next day we went on the Old Fort Lauderdale tour, and were blown away by the history of the town; we also enjoyed talking with an artist whose colorful art was quirky and moving at the same time. And we also went out for an incredible dinner, taking our time and relishing a 10-year-old wine we had saved for this occasion.

But on reflection, the best part for me was realizing where we have arrived in this moment. First, we kept saying to each other, can you believe it’s 50 years? When you only treat this occasion as one event, it doesn’t seem to account for all the years that we struggled and celebrated. There’s Jerry studying for his B.S. while working full time, and we rarely saw each other during those four years. I felt very lonely, but did my best to be patient (which was not my strongest attribute). Then Jerry taught me to drive his ’64 Corvette (when I’d never driven a racing clutch) and showed enormous patience. (Rather than get angry when I got stuck trying to get up a driveway to exit a parking lot, he tried not to giggle. We finally switched places.)

There was the time he was betrayed by a business partner, and it was a tough recovery; we almost moved to Massachusetts, thinking the deal was set. Or the time I decided to seriously pursue Buddhism, and then returned to Judaism after 20 years. Or when Jerry suggested we move to Florida, which we had never discussed and wasn’t on my wish list. But instead of rejecting the idea, we wrote down the pros and cons; as some “doors” for staying continued to close, new “doors” for moving opened up. And we moved.

But most memorable to me is the intimacy and knowledge of each other that 50 years brings. There is reading each other’s thoughts. Or when I tease Jerry and I carry on a conversation and speak for both sides—my thought, then his, then mine, then his. It’s hysterical, and he loves it. The arguments we have are usually trying to convince the other person it’s his or her time to pick the restaurant on a Saturday night. We’re determined to let the other choose their preference. There are the patterns that have changed over time: Jerry almost always cooks dinner and does the laundry. I make out the menus and the shopping list for each week. We each tend to sense when the other person isn’t doing well, either emotionally or physically. Jerry was my hero in taking care of me through breast cancer; I have tried to be loving and supportive as his bronchiectasis (which he has struggled with for 25 years) has worsened.

Maybe the best part of all is that we are partners. We consult each other when anything we do will have an impact on the other one. We make each other laugh, and better yet, have learned to laugh at ourselves. We have drawn out the best part of each other: Jerry loves to help out our friends and neighbors when they need an extra hand; I have been present for friends when they have had losses. We remind each other about how proud we are of the generosity and kindness we see in the other.

So, 50 years gets you a lot. And we’ve both agreed to renew our contract!

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  1. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Congratulations! 50 years is quite an accomplishment.

    I’ve heard the measure of a good marriage is if you both end up better people than when you started. I think/hope that’s true for Mr. C and me after 40 years together this September.

    • #1
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Congratulations!  So, so wonderful…

    • #2
  3. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    Congratulations!

    • #3
  4. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Love the picture.

    • #4
  5. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Handsome couple !

    Congratulations !

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Congratulations! 50 years is quite an accomplishment.

    I’ve heard the measure of a good marriage is if you both end up better people than when you started. I think/hope that’s true for Mr. C and me after 40 years together this September.

    Gosh, I think that is true for us, and hope it’s true for others. And best wishes in advance for 40!

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Love the picture.

    I couldn’t find the one of us in our wedding togs, but I’m glad you liked the one I posted! 

    • #7
  8. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Congratulations! My wife and I hit that number in 2023, and I remember thinking that it’s kind of amazing to last that long with a partner. I think when you hit the 50th, you can probably count on it as being lifetime.

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Congratulations! My wife and I hit that number in 2023, and I remember thinking that it’s kind of amazing to last that long with a partner. I think when you hit the 50th, you can probably count on it as being lifetime.

    I sure hope so! I don’t think either of us would have the patience to break in somebody new!!

    Edit: And belated congratulations to you and your wife!

    • #9
  10. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Love the picture.

    I couldn’t find the one of us in our wedding togs, but I’m glad you liked the one I posted!

    George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

    Gorgeous.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Love the picture.

    I couldn’t find the one of us in our wedding togs, but I’m glad you liked the one I posted!

    George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

    Gorgeous.

    I consider that high praise! He really did wear his hair like George.

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    We hit 30 years this year . I pray for 50. Congratulations to you both.

    • #12
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Congratulations Susan and Jerry!

    • #13
  14. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Congrats on 50 and counting Susan!

    • #14
  15. Andrew Troutman Coolidge
    Andrew Troutman
    @Dotorimuk

    Congratulations! And many more.

    My parents just hit their 61st. Unbelievable and great.

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Andrew Troutman (View Comment):

    Congratulations! And many more.

    My parents just hit their 61st. Unbelievable and great.

    How exciting! Something for you to aspire to!

    • #16
  17. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Love the picture.

    I couldn’t find the one of us in our wedding togs, but I’m glad you liked the one I posted!

    George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

    Gorgeous.

    I consider that high praise! He really did wear his hair like George.

    I was thinking Susan looks more like Lorraine Newman from her SNL days.

    Congratulations to you both.

     

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):
    I was thinking Susan looks more like Lorraine Newman from her SNL days.

    Thanks, Jerry. Yes, I can see that resemblance. When I was a teen-ager, I was told I resembled Leslie Gore. Remember her? In my day-to-day life, I’m often told that I look like someone else. Oh well.

    • #18
  19. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):
    I was thinking Susan looks more like Lorraine Newman from her SNL days.

    Thanks, Jerry. Yes, I can see that resemblance. When I was a teen-ager, I was told I resembled Leslie Gore. Remember her? In my day-to-day life, I’m often told that I look like someone else. Oh well.

    Since I am retire and no long worried about be recognized by the thought police, it’s George, Jerry (Gerard) is my brother.

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):
    Since I am retire and no long worried about be recognized by the thought police, it’s George, Jerry (Gerard) is my brother.

    Sorry. I’ll play it safe and stick w/ GLD.

    • #20
  21. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Congratulations!

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Congratulations!

    Ah, yes. Thank you.

    • #22
  23. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Congratulations, Susan!  You don’t have a picture of that 1964 Corvette, do you?

    • #23
  24. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Hoowhee! Fifty years. That is an amazing and wonderful accomplishment.

    • #24
  25. MoFarmer Coolidge
    MoFarmer
    @mofarmer

    wonderful post. congrats!

    • #25
  26. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Congrats!  We lived in Boca for 11 or 12 years, visited Morikami Gardens frequently – but its been a very long time.  (Sue remembers the big spiders, which I really really don’t like but maybe they’re gone.)

    FWIW Sue celebrated her 80th just last month – been married for going on 58 years! 

    • #26
  27. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Congratulations!

    • #27
  28. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Congratulations! 50 years is quite an accomplishment.

    I’ve heard the measure of a good marriage is if you both end up better people than when you started. I think/hope that’s true for Mr. C and me after 40 years together this September.

    Amen. Husband and I will be 40 years this November. Congratulations Susan and Mr. Susan on 50. Each year is a treasure.

     

    • #28
  29. She Member
    She
    @She

    Happy anniversary, Susan and Jerry!!

    • #29
  30. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Congratulations and God bless you both.

    • #30
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