In our continuing search for great marriages around the world, we journeyed to the beautiful country of New Zealand. Our interviews with happily married couples took us to the cities of Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Wanaka, Arrowtown and Glenorchy. We flew in a twin-engine plane over Milford Sound, rode a boat on gorgeous glacier lakes, drove a Jeep down country roads in search of great marriages throughout New Zealand. This current research excursion of ours will have covered nearly 18,000 miles by the time we arrive home. Does jet-lag come to mind?
While we interviewed a number of long-time couples in New Zealand (both married and unmarried), there are two that stand out the most. Allow us to share the marriage advice we learned from two sets of lovebirds (both married for over 60 years) — Hank and Hanny, and Harold and Dorothy. In interviewing these two couples, we found that their advice for a successful marriage echoed each other! We never cease to be amazed at just how universal marriage advice is, whether from couples in New Zealand or the United States. There is almost a mystical consistency to the messages we hear.
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So, here in a nutshell are the five ingredients of a successful marriage as shared with us by Hank and Hanny, Harold and Dorothy, and all those other couples we interviewed.
1. Trust is at the heart of a great marriage. Trust is built over time. In the best marriages, trust grows and is never diminished. There is no cheating, dishonesty or infidelity in great marriages and relationships. And to those who say that you can repair your loving relationship after one partner violates the most basic trust — all we can say is, you risk joining the ranks of those couples who got divorced!
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2. A successful marriage is easy to understand ... but difficult to put into practice. Marriage is not for the faint of heart. A successful marriage takes hard work: be kind, show respect, engage in simple acts and loving gestures. In the end, a successful marriage is an accumulation of having done the simple things. Never, ever be lulled into thinking you can take your marriage for granted. Work to make it work everyday of your lives together. Keep reading ...
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