Two months is ideal. Why? Planning a vacation can give you just as much joy as going on one. In fact, one study …We asked Boomers who have celebrated many wedding anniversaries to let us in on what has kept them together over the years. Here's sage advice from some seasoned experts on avoiding Splitsville:
"Grow in careers and intellectual interests and hobbies, supporting each other in new endeavors, but BOTH spouses need to continue to grow their interests. If one remains stagnant, the marriage stagnates."
Barbara Levenson, Miami Florida, 76, married 56 years. She is a retired judge, now a mystery novelist. Her husband, a retired financial consultant, is 77.This is their first marriage. They have two sons and two grandchildren.
"Have a sense of humor, and commitment to marriage. Don't look to your spouse to make you happy. Ride out the bad times. You have to want to be married to stay married."
Wesley Davidson, Vero Beach, Florida, 64, married 37 years. She is a writer and her 67-year-oldhusband is a retired institutional block trader. This is their first marriage. They have two adopted children.
"Be friends first and don't rush to have children. Doing things together bonds the friendship and strengthens the love between you and your spouse. Work on the house together. Work on the taxes together. Work on building your lives together, and, yes, have fun together. Enjoy each other physically. A healthy sex life is the sustenance to your marriage."
Eileen Albrizio, Wethersfield, Connecticut,48, married 23 years, lived together 6 years before the wedding. She is a creative writing teacher and comic book store owner. Her husband is a 49-year-old realtor. This is their first marriage.They have no children but his single sister and her six-year-old son live with them.
"Many people are competitive so we play, 'I can be nicer to you than you are to me!' If you lose - you win! At the moment he is winning by being nicer to me (and I get points for saying so!) It's easy to focus on what is wrong with people. Look for the good. Notice it. Comment on it. He will call me from work just to say he loves me!"
Wendy Stout, Sand Springs, Oklahoma, 59, married 42 years. She was a stay-at-home-mom. Her 61-year-old husband is a retired factory worker who currently works for Habitat for Humanity. This is their first marriage. They have 3 children, 10 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.
"In February my parents celebrated 69 years of marriage. But, as much as I admire their marriage - and their commitment to their vows - the marriages of that era were very different from the marriages of baby boomers. We struggled with a lot more social issues. Having experienced divorce, what I think is most important is regard for what your spouse wants and needs in his or her career. I also believe that you either have a mutual spiritual life or you have a volunteer organization that you do together. And I believe that women, especially, need to keep their girlfriends. I do not believe that anyone exists happily in a 24/7 relationship."
Patricia Bubash, St. Louis, Illinois, 68, married 24 years. She is the author of "Successful Second Marriages"and a continuing education teacher. Her husband, Jim, is a 66-year-old engineer whom she says "delights in sharing whenever he can that I am the 'older' woman." This is her third marriage and his first. She has three daughters from her earlier marriages and one grandchild.
"A partnership is grounded on common goals and mutual understanding. Being sensitive to your partner's wants and interests tells him or her that you're committed to maintaining the connection between you -- one that allows you both to communicate freely and lovingly. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to have separate bathrooms."
Michael Jonas, Scottsdale, Arizona, 70, married for 48 years. He is a former marketing director for Wells Fargo and a co-founder with his wife, Barbara, 69, of Time for Two, Inc., a romantic games company. They are the authors of "The Book of Love, Laughter & Romance." This is their first marriage. They don't have children.