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Couple Celebrates 81st Anniversary, Shares Tips

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old couple
The UK's longest living married couple shares insights on how they've made it last.

They met at a YMCA dance in the St. Bordeaux area of Plymouth, England in 1926. They were teenagers at the time. Two years later, on May 26, 1928, they tied the knot at a nearby registry office. It was the same year penicillin was invented. 

Since then, Frank and Anita Milford have survived the Blitz (with one bomb even landing on their house), separation from their two children during the WWII evacuation, and 81 years of ups and downs.

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Now living together in a nursing home in Plymouth, Frank, 101, and Anita, 100, will soon be the longest married couple in Britain. And while they say there is no "magic secret" to a happy marriage, they do have some wise insights that they've shared with the BBC over the years. Among them:

1. Be affectionate on a daily basis. Everyone from anthropoligist Helen Fisher (with her arguments about chemistry) to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (with his teachings about spirituality) have told us that consistent affection goes a long way in building and maintaing a strong relationship. Clearly, this is stuff that Anita and Frank already know. In their words, they: "Always have a kiss and cuddle at night."

2. Don't hold a grudge. The Milfords try to: "Never go to bed with any bad feelings." This can be hard for any couple. But we imagine that all the kissing and cuddling happening between Anita and Frank makes it a little bit easier.

3. That being said, remember that some arguing here and there is normal. Anita says: "Everyone does [it] and it clears the air. I don't believe people who say they've never had an angry word." Neither do we, Anita. And frankly, we can't help but think that's one reason the Milfords have lived so long. As a University of Michigan study found: "When both spouses suppress their anger...eariler death was twice as likely."

4. Be happy with what you have. Frank and Anita's son, also named Frank, says of his parents: "They've enjoyed themselves, enjoyed their lives very much, but they've been always very much comfortable with their lot." Love Advice From Mom

5. Remember that the intensity of your feelings for each other will ebb and flow over the years, and that a spell of boredom is no reason to end things. As Frank says: "You fall out and you fall in, but you keep going."

They met at a YMCA dance in the St. Bordeaux area of Plymouth, England in 1926. They were teenagers at the time. Two years later, on May 26, 1928, they tied the knot at a nearby registry office. It was the same year penicillin was invented. 

More from YourTango: It's Science: 7 Ways To Get Happier — Together

Since then, Frank and Anita Milford have survived the Blitz (with one bomb even landing on their house), separation from their two children during the WWII evacuation, and 81 years of ups and downs.

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