Couples at senior living facility share how to spend decades in love

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RICHMOND, Ind.—You probably saw the signs of love this Valentine’s Day—the balloons, roses and handwritten cards.

Some are celebrating new love, while others are marking a couple decades of marriage.

Many can only imagine what it would feel like to mark your 61st, 67th and 73rd wedding anniversary. But five couples at Brookdale Senior Living in Richmond know exactly how it feels.

There, Roy and Faye Maddock lead the pack with 73 years of marriage under their belt. John and Betty come pretty close with 71 years. Sue and Clemm and Bob and BJ have 67 years, while John and Hap have been married for 61 years.

“It went fast and I don’t, can’t say how, but it did and it is wonderful,” said Roy.

Most of us can’t compete with marriage records like these, but many would like to, so Roy and Fay have some tips.

“It’s been nice and wonderful,” said Roy. “We never had a fuss.”

Faye clarifies that they might have had a fuss—which she describes as joking—but never had an argument.

John and Agnes—who people call Hap—claim the same.

“We don’t argue or nothing,” said Hap. “We just walk away, so we won’t have an argument.”

All agree that love and respect is vital. So is having few arguments, making a lot of compromises and embracing humor and laughter.

But the most important tip, they all say, is remembering that Valentine’s Day isn’t really that big of a deal, since every day is an opportunity to show someone how much you care.

“How are we going to celebrate Valentine’s Day?” asked Faye before answering herself. “Just being here, I think. We like to be with each other.”

Then Faye paused, before adding with laughter, “We’re too old to do much else!”

But they are old enough to show everyone else a thing or two about making love last.