Relationships • Article

6 Fun Tips to Make It to Your 50th Wedding Anniversary

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Chicago love birds Judi and Jack Schindler have a rule: They never offer one another unsolicited advice. Even if Jack looks like he has a headache coming on, Judi won't dare offer an aspirin because it may come off as criticism in disguise.


For this Midwest couple, it's an approach that works. The evidence? The Schindlers celebrate 55 years of marriage on November 1, 2019.


Over the years, Judi has noted multiple strategies that keep disputes to a minimum and happiness flowing far beyond the newlywed years. She's transformed her tips into a public performance for luncheons, couples programs and fundraisers, in addition to a comical book titled Husbands: An Owner's Manual, published in 2017.


Schindler shares how to realistically maintain a relationship and use humor to reach a 50-year anniversary milestone.


Keep Your Mouth Shut

Yes, really. When in doubt, don't blurt it out. All too often we feel we can dump our every thought and issue on our better half, but that's not the best idea.


“I always say that the secret of our marriage is that in 54 years, my husband and I have never had a single meaningful conversation. So, no, we do not air our differences before falling asleep," Schindler shares.


Choose a comfortable bed

Stay cuddly with the one you love, even into your senior years. Skip the separate bedrooms and invest in a mattress that keeps you close AND comfortable.


The Schindlers prefer a queen-size bed because that size doesn't take up as much room as a king, for example, which makes them friendly for getting cozy.


Just give up on the remote debate

At the Schindlers' home, a wall-mounted television graces their bedroom wall, blaring Jack's favorite cable news reports every morning and evening. Judi's learned to accept it. (See tip #1.)


“I don't fight it because when a woman gets married, she gains a life partner but loses all rights to the remote control," Schindler jokes.


share the bed-making chore

The Schindlers have a rule that the last one out of the bed has to make it. Pressing the snooze button in the Schindler household is code for volunteering to straighten the sheets and comforter after a night's rest.


have your own finances

It's common for couples to have arguments over spending, saving, and sharing money. Instead of scrutinizing every transaction, allow each spouse to have their own checking account and credit card to manage.


“Even people without independent incomes should have some financial autonomy," Schindler advises.


Learn to laugh at life

If an issue isn't going to matter in a week or two, why give any negative energy to it? This goes for discovering empty toilet paper tubes in the middle of the night or disagreeing over dinner plans.


“Men and women are very different. We've been told we're from different planets. Men are hunters. Women are gatherers," Schindler says. “The truth is we're genetically unsuited to live with each other, and you need a little laughter to bridge the gap."


For the Schindlers, many laughs have guided them along their marriage journey. To reach that 50-year mark, keep life light — and a little silly.

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