Love Lessons from the Elderly
My 90 year-old father lives at an assisted living facility. Yesterday, as I sat with him while he ate lunch, I introduced myself to his new table-mates, Gil, Morris, and Lou. I asked them where they were from, what they did before they retired, and a few other questions. I don’t think my father has ever asked them anything at all, except maybe, “Pass the salt”! “My, what a friendly daughter you have, Mr. Rosenblatt”, they said. They loved the attention, and flirted shamelessly with me. Soon, I had them talking about the secrets of their happy marriages. I just had to share their wisdom with you.
The most verbose, outspoken and wise of the three was Gil, a tall, freckle-faced, white-haired 80- or 90-something year old man. The irony is that Gil doesn’t usually say much, according to Morris. Gil’s response to Morris? “I never talk unless I have something interesting to say!” I told you he was wise!
Gil told me had two happy marriages. Both wives passed away, and he has fond memories of their lives together. Gil wasn’t just lucky in love; he is a happy man for a number of reasons.
Gil is a perennial student. Just recently, he took a course in Russian History at the Baruch College in New York City. He told me he is always learning. This is definitely a key to a happy, fulfilled life!
He also said that he’s grateful for what he has.
He is a person who likes to give. He offered me half of his two scoops of vanilla ice cream. I was full from a delicious breakfast and turned him down with a “No, thank you”. Gil was a little insulted. He said, “I offered you a gift! It makes me happy to share my ice cream with you.” I am certain that this giving nature was a big plus in his successful marriages.
What are Gil’s secrets to a happy marriage (s)?
Seven keys to a happy marriage according to Gil
1. Marry someone who has similar values. Those are the glue to keep you together.
2. Marry someone whom you appreciate. Show your appreciation on a regular basis (ie., share your ice cream!).
3. Do whatever you can to make her happy. This will ensure that you’re both happy.
4. Enjoy doing the same kinds of things.
5. Don’t make a big deal of the things that don’t matter.
6. Believe that your wife is beautiful. And tell her on a regular basis.
7. Talk ~ about the good and the bad ~ on a regular basis.
What do you think of Gil’s 7 tips? I think you’ll agree that Gil was lucky and smart in love. He knew the keys to a happy marriage and was able to enjoy two wonderful women. What about you?