Of course, there's no way to know for sure you're picking the right partner. But I gained a key insight from our interviews over the past several years with around 800 of the oldest Americans -- a group that if you add it all up had over 25,000 years of experience in marriage.
When is a piece of advice about marriage an empty cliché, and when is it profound -- and practical -- wisdom? In interviews with hundreds of long-married older people, one prescription for a happy marriage was offered by almost everyone.
In our interviews with hundreds of long-married couples about what works and what doesn't for a long and satisfying relationship... it turns out that our elders believe there's something close to a 'magic bullet' when it comes to deciding in a relationship: 'Should I stay or should I go?'
In our surveys of the life wisdom of the oldest Americans, I was particularly interested in their advice about finding a life partner and staying married. Many of the elders we talked with in the Legacy Project had been married for 30, 40, 50 or more years. Here are their three top lessons.
The first few years of our marriage I REFUSED to be a called a wife. A wife was a secondary complement to the man. A wife had no other identity. I mean what happened to my name... now I am just wife. I don't think so.