• Susan Pattis

Is Growing Old Together A Myth or Reality?

Updated: Jul 20

Happiness is to find true love and grow old together. Unfortunately, in today's material-driven world, most married people give up hope of growing old together even though they promise to do so during their wedding ceremony. Finding love and getting married is much more straightforward than keeping a loving relationship for life. Managing a long-lasting marriage takes more than just love but more effort from both, to make the relationship work. Although getting married has little to do with growing old together, there are still some good ways to increase the chance of being together forever.


In the beginning, almost all newly married couples commit themselves to give time, energy, trust, and faith towards growing old together. After a few years of marriage, many couples feel the "forever" word has become a heavy burden. Both parties realize that they have overestimated the power of love and underestimated the logistics of married life. "I still love my husband, but he is too sloppy and disorganized," a divorced friend said. "I cannot tolerate my wife anymore because she is outrageous and selfish," an angry man complained. Couples get married too fast before they learn enough about each other, such as living habits, views about the world, lifestyle, and other personal traits.

Growing old together can be a myth for those who rush to get married after falling in love without careful preparation. Loving each other forever can be a reality for couples who know how to manage their relationship as a lifetime project without taking each other for granted. Married couples who can not give up their selfish needs and personal demands, never understand the meaning of being together forever. Unfortunately, divorce is sometimes a good choice for some couples when they get married for the wrong reasons. It can be better to end a relationship if staying together has become a torturous task. I have nine suggestions for married couples in their search for the opportunity of growing old together.


1. Lower the expectation of marriage.

It is alright to have a dream and high expectations about married life. It is essential to be more realistic after getting married because retaining high expectations can lead to disappointment and resentment or even divorce. Accepting your spouse as an average person with strengths and weaknesses is the first step after becoming a husband and wife. Respecting and listening to each other can overcome many differences between married couples. Happy couples should complement each other once in a while to reduce the possible feeling of insecurity, doubt, fear, anger, or anxiety.


2. Become a fan of each other.

Most couples will go through some tough times after getting married. During those hard times, a loving couple will still feel passion and commitment to each other no matter what has happened. It is vital to becoming a fan of your partner if you want to grow old together because a long-lasting relationship needs an inspirational light to clear the darkness during difficult times. A rock-solid marriage will last forever because the couple sets growing old together as their #1 goal based on mutual respect, honor, team effort, and commitment.


3. Make your sex life a priority.

“My husband has no more interest in making love to me,” a very successful singer from China told me. “My wife cares more about the kids than our sex life,” a lawyer in America complained. Of course, sex is not everything, but sex is the most significant part of married life. Couples with a good sex life stay together much longer. Married couples should retain their sexual interest in each other, even during tough times.


4. Never play the blame game.

Blaming your partner can make you feel better in the moment but will eventually destroy the relationship. Taking ownership of your feelings without accusing others is the most crucial trait in making the marriage last. No matter what happens, couples should discuss issues without attacking each other. Most resentment and hate comes from the blame game.


5. Show the total commitment.

Couples should show their partners that they are committed and dedicated to a long-lasting marriage by expressing romance, passion, and love regularly through small, meaningful, considerate, and consistent surprises. Being present and available is not enough to ensure that you grow old together. Never underestimate the magical power of a note by the bed, a small gift delivered to her or his office desk, a sexy gesture, or some creative, loving idea to help the happy marriage. Women feel vulnerable when their men flirt with other women because they consider this behavior to be a silly betrayal of the relationship.


6. Enjoy and honor each other wholeheartedly.

"I was attracted to my handsome husband but ignored his behavioral traits before we got married, now I am sick of his bad temper and selfishness," an unhappy business executive told me. "My wife has nothing but a beautiful face; I cannot tolerate her low-class manners any longer," a humble IT manager complained. Many people get married for superficial attraction reasons without knowing their partners ' characters and personalities. If two people decide to get married, they should accept and honor each other for who they are, not for who they want them to be. Trying to change your partners is the most foolish idea for a married couple. Learning to like your partner is the best recipe for a happy relationship. A committed couple works together and inspires each other to become better people.


7. Communicate with passion all the time.

Many couples stop chatting passionately with each other a couple of years into their marriage. The only sign that a married couple has a chance to grow old together is when the husband and wife engage responsively and passionately with each other at least once or twice a day without exceptions and without excuses. Loving couples count on each other for comfort and support under all circumstances. I know an old couple who were married for over 60 years in Hualian, Taiwan. They touched each other all the time even when the husband could not walk anymore. A long-lasting marriage has one thing in common: both partners take time to express their feelings towards each other via phone calls, text messages, or other ways of staying connected and engaged throughout the day.


8. Trust each other with heart and soul.

Most marriages fail because of trust issues. Long-lasting marriages require 100% trust in each other. A trusting relationship needs open communication about each other's feelings and doubts. Talking over trust issues frankly can eliminate fears and helps to build confidence in a relationship. Couples who want to grow old together are willing to be vulnerable sometimes.


9. Help each other to grow and evolve.

Loving couples are more aware and sensitive to each other’s feelings and concerns, consciously and mindfully in their daily activities. They see the value and potential in each other without jumping to make a quick judgment or criticism. They encourage each other all the time without pointing fingers when the family meets a crisis. They know how to dissolve internal blocks to love and intimacy without complaining to their partner. They learn together to find ways to solve problems without putting the other down. They do fight sometimes but in a compromising and honorable way.