“婚姻就得互相迁就。” 亚利桑那州图桑市(Tucson)一位退休的医院院长玛琳•克里奇(Marlene Critch)说。1959年，她经人介绍认识了自己未来的丈夫比尔(Bill)。比尔带了一水壶的酒，邀她一起外出野餐，两个月后两人就结为伉俪。
-- Find the middle ground. 'It's all give and take,' says Marlene Critch, a retired hospital director in Tucson. She met her husband Bill on a blind date in 1959. He took her on a picnic with a thermos of gin and tonics; they married two months later.
Flash ahead 50 years. The Critches have raised two daughters in Seattle and weathered his severe heart condition. They swim together each morning, and he reads her children's books when she has trouble falling asleep at night.
Compromise, they say, got them through the good and bad times. Mr. Critch, 75, says he compromised by quitting the Air Force early in their marriage, because it bothered her that he was away from home so much. (Press him for more concessions, and he says, 'Miso soup.')
Ms. Critch, 74, says she made her own compromise by agreeing to retire to Arizona, where her husband preferred the climate. (She wanted to stay in Seattle to be close to their daughters.)
'If each person can give 75 percent, you've got 150 percent,' says Ms. Critch. Her husband agrees. 'Many men would call that wussy,' he says. 'But I don't because I value her more than anything else in the world.'
与此相似，简•康科尔(Jan Konkel)和兰恩•康科尔(Len Konkel)已经结婚62年。他们很久以前就彼此说好，永远不为小事而争吵，这让他们在如何养育自己三个孩子等方面少了很多争吵。“除了婚姻，其他的都是小事，都可以商量着解决。”84岁的简说道。
Similarly, Jan and Len Konkel, who have been married for 62 years, long ago made a pact to never argue over anything that wasn't very important, saving their battles for things like how to raise their three children. 'Everything else is minor and can be settled in a discussion,' says Ms. Konkel, 84.
Her husband, well, agrees. 'I say 'Yes ma'am' and 'No ma'am' a lot,' says Mr. Konkel, 88.
2. 要有幽默感。1967年的一个晚上，杰琪•伊根(Jackie Egan)和肯•伊根(Ken Egan)在马萨诸塞州Newton市一家舞蹈俱乐部相识。肯向杰琪索吻，但遭到拒绝。“我还不了解你，” 杰琪对他说，“而且我的吻就像‘乐事薯片’一样，你不可能只想吃一片。”
-- Be funny. On the night in 1967 that Jackie and Ken Egan met at a dance club in Newton, Mass., he asked her for a kiss. She declined: 'I don't know you,' she told him. 'And my kisses are like Lay's potato chips -- you wouldn't want just one.'
The Egans, who live in Marshfield, Mass., and have four children, just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on Monday. Ms. Egan says laughter helps them deal with issues that would otherwise drive them nuts -- such as Mr. Egan's fussy eating habits and forgetfulness about putting the toilet seat down. Or Ms. Egan's inability to let her husband finish a story without interrupting him, or her many knickknacks.
'You need to learn to find the humor in each other's annoying habits. It helps you keep the affection,' says Ms. Egan, 69.
-- Keep (some) secrets. When poker legend Doyle Brunson met his wife Louise at a country-and-western club in Texas in 1961, he told her he gambled for a living. And she accepted him for who he is. 'Love is the most important thing,' says Louise Brunson, 78. 'You have to love your spouse more than life itself.'
The Brunsons, who live in Las Vegas, have stood by each other through some serious trials in their 47 years of marriage, including the death of a daughter and an armed robbery of their home, during which they were tied up at gunpoint.
'You have to go forward, you can't go back,' says Mr. Brunson, 76. Even so, the Brunsons don't share everything. He does not discuss his business with her. 'I have won and lost millions of dollars without her knowing,' he says. Ms. Brunson says that's just fine with her. 'I have my own bank account,' she says.
-- Never, ever give up. This tip is really important, so pay attention. Sharon Osbourne says it is how she stayed with husband Ozzy for 28 years and counting. And she's married to the Prince of Darkness. He bit the head off of a live bat, for God's sake. (Ditto a dove.)
He also spent years strung out on drugs and alcohol. Never mind the groupies and the near-fatal overdoses. This man set fire to his house, passed out on a freeway median, and once tried to strangle his wife.
Ms. Osbourne, for her part, tried to run him over with a car, smashing his gold records with a hammer and taking out a restraining order. 'We became like a soap opera,' says Ms. Osbourne, 57, who is her husband's manager.
And yet she stuck by her man. Why? Because she felt he was a good person when sober and that he would kick his addictions one day. And she still believes he is her soul mate. ('Twice recently we've had the same dream on the same night,' she says.)
'I went into marriage thinking it was forever. So I was stubborn,' says Ms. Osbourne who has three children with her husband.
Mr. Osbourne, who had been married once before, finally did sober up 'six or seven years' ago, he says. He says he is very glad his wife stuck it out. 'You don't throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble,' he says.
And so Mr. Osbourne says he has made a point of telling his wife he loved her every single day -- no matter where he was in the world, no matter how drunk or high. 'She sometimes said 'Drop dead' or 'F -- off,'' he says. 'But at least if you are arguing, you are talking. If you stop talking, it's time to call it a day.'
-- Stay alive. My sister, a doctor, told me about one of her patients, a 92-year-old woman who showed up for her appointment with her husband, who is 94. They said they have been married for almost 70 years.
My sister, highly impressed, asked the couple the secret to their union's longevity. And they looked at each other for a long moment. Then the wife spoke: 'Eh, neither of us died.'
The average woman cannot keep a secret for longer than 47 hours, a new study suggests. Researchers found that women are overcome by a burning desire to share gossip as soon as the
Elizabeth H. Blackburn (mentioned below), Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak have just won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their breakthrough work on telomerase, wh