More than 50 years ago, six Michigan couples married--and they have been friends ever since. Each couple wed within weeks of the others back in 1963, meaning they have been married for a combined 300 years. The couples have all remained friends over the years, participating first in each other's weddings and eventually each other's children's weddings.
This past Valentine's Day, the couples shared advice for others seeking lasting love:
“You have to be able to joke about the bad times,” said Lorna Roka, 70, of St. Charles. She and Bob Roka, now 72, married June 15, 1963.
“After 50 years, you pretty much say what you want to say. It doesn’t matter,” said Tom Metiva, 73. "You have to remember four words: Yes, dear, you're right. I have a hard time saying all four of them together, sometimes."
Nikki Blakeslee, 70, said she and her husband Gary, 71, have found a way to laugh every day. They live in Hemlock and were the last friends to marry that year, on Nov. 30, 1963...
“It’s just a matter of give and take,” Nikki Blakeslee said. “We’ve kept each other probably on an even keel. It seems to have worked for 50 years.”
She echoed the same advice as the others.
“Gary and I laughed every day, and we never go to bed mad. We have had little major arguments in our lifetime,” she said.
“When one is mad, the other person tries to make them come out of it. We always try to have laughter in our day. We have a lot of things in common. We do things together that we love.”
Before the group's female friends married their now-husbands, some of them graduated from nursing school together in 1962. The women played in a card club together for nearly 30 years. Two of the men, Bob Roka and Jim Mueller, have been friends since elementary school.
In the 2010 U.S. Census, only six percent of couples had been married for 50 years or longer. The story of these friends is stirring and advice from these faithful couples, now in their 70s, is certainly worth heeding!