You’ve probably heard the expression, “With age comes wisdom.” And it makes sense; the longer you’ve been doing something, the more you know. So who better to ask about life, home and love this Valentine’s Day than a couple who has been married over 50 years?
I talked with Vernon and Dorothy Lyle, a happily married couple of 51 years. From buying their first home to raising children to relationship advice, Vernon and Dorothy opened up about what they’ve learned in their marriage.
How long have you been married?
Vernon: 51 years.
Dorothy: 52 years this October.
When did you buy your first house?
Vernon: A few years into our marriage.
Dorothy: On October 12, 1965. It was my 21st birthday!
Vernon: Yeah, how’s that for a birthday present?
What was that process like?
Dorothy: It was exciting!
Vernon: The actual process was much like it is today. We had to qualify for an FHA loan, make a down payment, and sign a lot of papers. But yes, we were very excited. It meant a lot to us to have our own home.
What about decorating a home? How have you dealt with combining both of your tastes?
Dorothy: Oh! The inside of our home has always been up to me to decorate. If I heard him mention something he liked, I always tried to incorporate that with my ideas, but he pretty much left that to me. The outside has always been his project.
Vernon: Yeah, but I know better than to do anything without consulting her. When it came to choosing a paint color or where to plant a bush, I always talked to her first. Saved a lot of headaches.
What has been the most challenging aspect of marriage over the years?
Dorothy: Raising our two children was harder than I expected. My mom raised six of us and made it look pretty easy.
Vernon: Yeah, working long hours and getting home late was difficult too. After 40 years of marriage, my job took me out of town for 10 years. We were apart for our 40th and 50th anniversaries.
Dorothy: Oh yes, having Vernon gone was really rough, but he came home whenever he could, and I would go out to visit him. We just had to keep talking to each other and make seeing each other when we could a priority.
What do you think has made your relationship last this long?
Vernon: We both work very hard at trying to meet the needs of the other.
Dorothy: We’ve learned that to really love the other person, you have to sacrifice what you want sometimes.
What advice do you give to young singles this Valentine’s Day?
Dorothy: Don’t rush into anything! Don’t get married, or into a relationship, just because you’re lonely.
Vernon: If there is anything that bothers you about your potential mate, don’t think he or she will change when you get married. You can’t make a person change.
What advice do you give to newly married couples?
Vernon: Love, trust and communication are the secrets. Realize that your lives will change, and you’ll have ups and downs, but you’re in this together.
Dorothy: I’d say, don’t dwell on things that you don’t like about the other person. It’s hard to do when you’re angry, but you have to think positive about your spouse. Even when you’re upset, there are more things you love about them than you dislike.
Did anything they said stick out to you? Do you agree with their advice for a happy relationship? Let us know in the comments section!