Are Married Couples an Endangered Species?

Did you hear? If you’re a married couple you’re a rare breed. Closer to becoming extinct. A dinosaur. For the first time, married couples have dropped below half of all American households, according to the Census Bureau. Married couples are now the minority. From The New York Times:

 Married couples represented just 48 percent of American households in 2010… This was slightly less than in 2000, but far below the 78 percent of households occupied by married couples in 1950.

Den of “dinosaurs”

Armed with this new information, I jumped right into a den of “dinosaurs”. I was invited to speak to about three dozen couples honored for…. brace yourself… keeping their word. Every year the First Christian Church of Owasso celebrates marriages that have lasted at least 50 years.

Marriage secrets

They didn’t like being called dinosaurs. So I asked them for their secrets to protect their species. Here’s their advice for a long marriage:

Ben & DeLoris Harper (69 years)

Ben and DeLoris Harper have been married the longest in this group. Deloris says, “Keep your mouth shut, and love him anyway.”

Dewey & Betty Daniels (64 years)

Dewey Daniels’ words of wisdom? “Keep your opinion to yourself. You’re not going to win. It took me 55 years to learn this.” His wife Betty wrote, “See Dewey’s.”

Don & Mary Ann Stanton (52 years)

Donald Stanton’s secret is simple: “Respect one another.”

Don & Kay Huggins (55 years)

The marital tidbit from Don Huggins included “Say, yes honey. You’re right.” Kay says “It’s not 50-50. It’s 100-100.”

Rex & Sharon McKee (51 years)

Among Sharon McKee’s secrets? “Don’t have any secrets from each other.”

Jim & Charlene Flickinger (59 years)

The Flickingers say it’s best to “put your spouse first”.

Ray & Janis Riker (61 years)

Ray Riker told me, “Your spouse should be your best friend.”

Temp & Barbara Horry (53 years)

Barb Horry says her secret to a long marriage is “Hang in there.”

Some more advice:

  • “Kiss an angel good morning and love her like the devil when you get back home.” Ben Harper (69 years)
  • “You are right, I was wrong.” Bob Parker (64 years)
  • Being in church and build your life around family and friends.” Linda Driscoll (55 years)
  • “Divorce is too easy for him. Stay and make him miserable (ha).” Nancy Marshall (52 years)
  • “I wear hearing aids.” Larry Rist (56 years)
  • “Don’t die.” Anonymous
  • ?” Robert Miller (56 years)
“Never go to bed angry!”

Dave & Jan Sandell (50 years)

Even though Robert Miller doesn’t have any idea to the secret of a long marriage, whatever he and his wife have done has worked. I remember hearing my grandmother hammer home her advice: “Never, ever go to bed angry.”

My parents-in-law (50 years) and parents

Doug & Sue Bradshaw (66 years)

(66 years) are also members of the exclusive 50+ club. I called them to get their advice. My dad was quick to say, “Commitment.” My mom: Faithfulness.” 

No more Ozzie & Harriet

William Frey, who analyzed the data that shows married couples are now in the minority, told The New York Times, “The Days of Ozzie and Harriet have faded into the past.” 

Maybe if more couples followed the advice of these golden “dinosaurs”,
married couples
can be taken off 
the endangered species list.

10 Comments on “Are Married Couples an Endangered Species?

    • Thanks Amanda. Unfortunately these aren’t the types of stories that lead newscasts, but they are definitely among my favorites. Good to hear from you.

  1. Great post Mark! I second that. Keeping the Lord Jesus Christ first in your marriage is so important, and helps build a strong foundation. Married to Kim for 27 years, we’re youngsters compared to these folks, but we’re on for the journey!

  2. Thanks Mark for coming and sharing our day with us. You made it special! Hang in there, you’ll be in our club before you know it 🙂

    • I got started a little late, so it’s going to be a while before I join your club, but I look forward to it. You have a great group.

  3. I enjoyed your visitiing with us and hearing about your parents and your family. You made a really good day special. Look forward to you coming back again. Love reading your blog.

  4. Pingback: Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad! | JustMyPOV

  5. Pingback: 2011: My Look Back « JustMyPOV

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