Love Lessons, in Their Own Words

We learn from our patients and caregivers every day in clinic, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. In preparation for my son’s upcoming wedding, I decided to tap into this treasure trove of experience and ask for the advice they would give to a soon-to-be bride and groom. The responses were full of humor, love and loyalty – and taught me more than I expected.

I asked: “What is the secret to a long and happy marriage?

“There isn’t one – there are a hundred – but there is one word – us!” – F; age 84

“Always hold her hand.” – R; age 88

“The other person has to be more important than yourself.” – H; age 92

“You’ll do dumb things. Admit it and change it!” – W; age 93

“Share your love with each other.  My girl waited for me for five years while I was in Germany.  We wrote letters back and forth and I’d take pictures with my little camera to send.  In one picture, I had a partially written letter with a beer in my hand. Her mom told her she couldn’t marry me because I was a drunk!  I bought a ring there and as soon as I returned to the states I drove to our hometown and gave it to her. We have been married over 50 years.” – H; age 88

“Be understanding.  You both bring your stories to the marriage.” – B; age 80

“Always do what she says!” – T; age 88. In response, “Always have a good sense of humor! And forgiveness – even now after 60 years together. And forget it!” – R; age 87

“You have to start with a positive attitude within yourself.  When I have a coffee bean with chocolate stuck on my tooth, I don’t think ‘I look bad to others’.  I think how good that coffee and chocolate taste. And when I am positive with me I can handle behaviors in others because I know I can’t change them anyways!” – B; age 86

“Marriage is work and you have to like the pay.” – B; age 83

One of my favorite stories is from a woman who has been a longtime patient and is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s.  She no longer remembers many details of her life. When I asked her the secret to a happy marriage, without hesitation and with a look of pure love in her eyes, she said, “Be best friends, first and always.”

On behalf of Memory Center Charlotte, thank you for sharing your love lessons with us.


  1. Don Burton on February 7, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Wonderful. Fun,practical thoughts to carry around day in and day out. Thanks

  2. Lisa Craig on February 8, 2019 at 12:47 am

    What a beautiful post, this made my heart smile. I always enjoy blogs with useful information for caregivers but this was unexpectedly lovely and much appreciated.

  3. Pat Chadick on February 9, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Lovely and touching