A Burning Question


Our annual Bridal Section is all about weddings – rings, gowns, parties – as well as taking some important first steps together such as buying a first home. But after the vows are spoken and married life begins, what is the key to success down the road? You could Google “How to be a good spouse” but why not ask some experts the burning question:

What is the secret to making a marriage last?

These local couples shared some words of wisdom.

Chris Swanson

“Jamie opened the door of her apartment to me on July 2, 1993 wearing a waist-length white shirt and tight blue jeans. Her beautiful blonde hair was complemented by her even brighter smile. That was our “first date” – we have never stopped dating! After 28 years of marriage, two adult boys educated and on their own, 30 years of policing, the pain of loss and unimaginable pressure, we’re still on our “first date.” You want to make it last? NEVER stop dating the one you love. We got married on 7.23.94 and we’ve celebrated the 23rd of EVERY month since then – a small gift, dinner or maybe just a note.”

Chris & Jamie – Married July 23, 1994

Rosanne Heddy

“We believe the secret to making it last is to be a team. We enjoy doing things together. We work together, volunteer together, travel together and share the same interests. We are best friends and truly enjoy each other’s company.”

Steve & Rosanne – Married December 3, 1966

Leslie Toldo

“Talk! Talk about any problems for sure but talk about everything. The deepest friendships are based on good communication. Be honest, be kind, and do something unexpectedly wonderful for your spouse every now and then, too. I learned all of this from one of the smartest people I know: my husband.”

Rick & Leslie – Married March 10, 2008

Patt Spangler

“We’ve found the formula to be pretty simple: Be kind, be forgiving, be a good listener, and be best friends.”

Jim & Patt – Married August 25, 1962

Lennetta Coney

“Craig and I both agree that it first takes a commitment to WANT to make it last, while realizing that it will take work to honor your commitment/vow. There is no easy way to blend two independent lives into one. Very important to this mix is to really like and respect your partner as you lace these feelings with love. Additionally, it is imperative to have a forgiving spirit while picking your disagreements and battles, and knowing when to step away. Finally for us: we have always approached our marriage with a spirit of teamwork. Success for one is overall success for ‘Team Us’.”

Craig & Lennetta – Married July 5, 1986

Jackie Jablonski

“The secret is communication. It sounds so cheesy, but is one of the most important elements of a relationship. Don’t wait to discover that they actually can’t read your mind (even though you believe they should be able to). Communicate your dreams, your desires and your feelings along the way. This will serve you well through the years.”

Michael & Jackie – Married August 8, 1981

Bernie McAra

“Love, like life, is not always simple or easy. When there are challenges, remember why you married each other and be kind.”

Bernie & Louise – Married January 3, 1970

David Donahue

“1. Respect! My wife and I don’t always agree. When we don’t, we do so respectfully. We don’t curse at each other; we discuss the issue and stay on topic.

2. Our children have always been a priority. We both came from challenging upbringings and knew that we only got one shot to raise our family; so we did it to the best of our ability.

3. We take time to process our thoughts before we react. It is NOT EASY, but we are proof that it can be done.”

David & Alicia – Married October 5, 1996

David Forsmark

“Remember, some very smart people prominently included the words ‘or worse’ in your vows on your happiest, most hopeful day for a very good reason. You are pledging to be a TEAM against all life will throw at you – and somewhere along the line, it will. Facing challenges together is the point; treating them like an individual problem will divide you.”

David & Julie – Married December 12, 2014

Genie Plucer

“Wow! So many factors go into working at a relationship. You have to pick your battles – most things are not worth arguing about! No one is perfect – you have to overlook faults and accept the other person for who they are. You cannot change someone or mold them to your expectations. Give when you don’t want to. Be loving and supportive. Put your mate first.”

Mark & Genie – Married May 12, 1976

David Goldstein

“So now, after 40 years of being together, you ask ‘What does it take?’ It’s about understanding the needs of one another, and then making compromises when those needs differ. In other words, there are two ways of doing things: Her way or the wrong way – it always works better that way.”

David & Denise – Married February 10, 1991

Tiffany Stolzenfeld

“For me, the secret is marrying your best friend; someone you enjoy spending every day with, whether it’s the mundane activities of life or the most amazing moments. I also view us as a united front – we always talk through issues and decisions. We make an effort to value each other’s opinions and suggestions. We may not always agree, but respect and love each other to work toward a compromise.”

George & Tiffany – Married October 11, 2008

Shannon White

“Keep life fun! Apologize when you are wrong and even if you are a planner, be spontaneous to keep life interesting!”

Ridgway & Shannon – Married July 6, 2007

Shane Adams

“After 37 years together and 30 years of marriage, I would say our success is based on a foundation of faith, family, love and loyalty. Anyone who knows us will tell you how committed we are to each other and our family.

I am so grateful for Liz and the family she has given me. She is an amazing mother and a very understanding and patient wife. Happy Valentine’s Day to my beautiful bride and the love of my life!”

Liz Adams also shares her “Top 10” list:

  1. Marriage is work, so work hard at it.
  2. God brought us together, let no one break us apart.
  3. Don’t compare your relationship to others – live “your” story.
  4. Don’t make assumptions; communication is very important.
  5. Laugh, have fun, be spontaneous.
  6. Pray together.
  7. Date nights are a must!
  8. Enjoy life and make every day important.
  9. Enjoy quiet time together.
  10. Your spouse is your partner; respect, honor and love them. Marriage is not 50/50 it is 100/100.

Shane & Liz – Married November 28, 1992


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