These days, it’s not uncommon for relationships to peter out relatively soon after they start. Deep respect and love don’t always play as big a role in today’s relationships as they once did. Nonetheless, long-lasting tales of romance never fail to reaffirm our beliefs in loyalty and true love.
At a deeper level, successful, meaningful marriage and love involves things other than mutual attraction or affection.
Certified Counselor Andrea Mathews couldn’t agree more:
“Being in love does not guarantee that a relationship will work. Relationships require also compatibility and relationship skills on the part of both parties. But the “in love” requirement is a must. Relationships are not easy for they bring us to the deepest parts of ourselves. Therefore, being in love must be an aspect of any healthy long-term commitment and being sure that it is love, therefore, is an intensely important first step.”
Couples Psychologist and Doctor of Psychology Meredith Hansen believes similar. Drawing on her extensive experience as a newlywed and premarital therapist, she argues:
“Healthy adult love exists when both partners are emotionally interdependent; meaning that both partners love one another, care for one another, desire physical closeness with one another, but respect each other enough to have their own identities as well.”
A healthy, love-filled relationship requires not only commitment, but effort. To stand the test of time, both involved must be entirely dedicated.
Dr. Rastogi, a certified, Illinois-based family and marriage counselor, states:
“Your interests, opinions, and experiences can change as you grow. But if you share the same core belief systems, you will have a platform from which to build a strong relationship.”
However, don’t forget to give one another the freedom and respect that each partner requires:
“We are all multifaceted, complex creatures. Your partner will never be able to match all your needs and interests. It is OK to pursue some separate activities, either individually, or with friends, apart from your partner.”
Additionally, licensed couples, newlyweds, and premarital therapist Hansen affirms:
“Knowing what you both want out of life and working together to make those dreams a reality will strengthen the bond in your marriage. “
Psychologist and Ph.D Dr Sharp, a relationship professional, believes:
“Long lasting true love is when two people make a commitment to each other and choose to act in ways that sustain their feelings for each other and their connection to each other over time.”
This tale describes love that spanned over seventy years. It’s a story that will bring tears to your eyes:
Isabell Whitney and Preble Staver were students who met while set up as students in Philadelphia—on a blind date. Both were born in the same month in 1921, 2 weeks apart on the 31stand 17threspectively. The pair new from the get-go that they would spend the rest of their days together.
When the USA’s joined WWII, the couple enlisted. Isabell went to Maryland to become a nurse for the US Navy, and Preble became a Marine, later being awarded a Bronze Star. Several months after WWII’s end, the pair got together once again and tied the knot the day after Valentines Day in 1946.
Their shared life was an extremely happy one, with both being set on dealing with everything that came their way. Once WWII had finished, they began to move frequently around the country as Preble found employment as a banker and political lobbyist. Amongst the many places they lived were S. Carolina, Florida, and Virginia.
The couple had 5 kids together during their long, happy relationship. One of them, Laurie Clinton, describes her father as “a tall, outgoing man with a strong, ‘larger than life’ personality”. About his mother, Isabell, he spoke of “[her] heart” and that she was a person who “taught [her] how to be a kind person, how to be a compassionate person.”
Sadly, Peter—one of Isabell and Preble’s sons—passed away in 1975 while his final senior year football game was taking place.
“At that point, we began to really see a softer side of my dad. Parents aren’t supposed to bury their kids and that really took a toll on my folks, but it also brought them together. Something like that can either tear a couple apart, but they made a pact to get through it together. They really were each other’s support team.”
It wasn’t always easy. Isabel began to display symptoms of dementia six years ago in 2013, which meant that the pair had to relocate to a live-in care home in Virginia. The couple remained there together despite sleeping in different rooms. It was a particularly hard period for them, and Preble took it particularly hard as he watched Isabell showing increasingly worse signs of dementia.
In Laurie’s words:
“They just found another way to express their love. Dad, even after he stopped walking and was in a wheelchair, he would wheel himself down to the Memory Care Unit and go visit mom. When I would reunite them, they always, the first thing they’d do was put their hands out and hold each other’s hand and tell each other they loved each other.”
As a last wish prior to turning 96, Preble asked to have a last nap beside Isabell.
The Norfolk facility’s staff arranged for this. Isabell and Preble were given 3 hours to nap side by side, so they could celebrate their genuine love again and the beauty of simply being with the other.
“There was not a single word spoken between the two of them. They held hands and just fell asleep.”
A few days later in 2017, Isabell passed over. It was October 25, and she had Preble by her side to wish her farewell. Only fourteen fours later, he passed away too.
Their beautiful, inspiring life as a couple was finally over, and it had endured for just over seventy long years. Their true love has touched every person they met during the time, touching them deeply.
As Laurie puts it:
“Mom and dad really lived out that, if you make a commitment, and even though life gets rough or life gets in the way, you work through life. And you live your life together.”