Friday, August 12, 2005

Couple Celebrates 81st Wedding Anniversary

From Associated Press:

CHATEAUROUX, France - A French couple who celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary Friday offered this advice on love and longevity: Keep arguments to a minimum, eat well and wash it down with a glass of wine.

Andre and Marguerite Debray met shortly after the end of World War I, in which he served, and got married on Aug. 12, 1924.

Mr. Debray is now 107 years old and his wife is a few years younger at 101. Retired for several decades, the Debrays spent their careers as teachers.

To celebrate the anniversary, the couple planned a family lunch with a champagne toast at their home in the village of Chateauroux, in central France, Mrs. Debray said in a telephone interview.
The couple has two children, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Asked for the secret to staying together so long, Mrs. Debray replied: "Love and respect for the other person."

Their fondness for each other has grown over time.

"Life trained us. We never fought. We lived together so long that we have the same tastes, the same habits," Mrs. Debray told Le Parisien newspaper, adding that her husband might not be perfect but his faults lessened over time. "It's been so long, I got used to them."

Mr. Debray still enjoys a glass of wine with lunch.

"I also like a good wine," said Mrs. Debray, adding that she never followed a diet. "I don't know what that is. I eat everything that is edible."

I once asked a couple who had been married over 40 years, and who were clearly very happy with each other (they had a big, beautiful family of ten kids, and countless grandchildren), what the secret to marriage was. This is what they told me:

"You know how people always say a relationship is where people share, and meet each other half way? Well, that's not it. Don't go half way. Each of you give the other 100%. When you can't get your way, give. Give 100%. And keep being willing to give 100%. You have to trust that the person you married is also willing to give 100%."

If you are married to the wrong person this is a recipe for a life of martyrdom. However, I am blessed to be married to a great woman, and this wisdom has worked out very well for us.