Dr. Viviana offers some tips for couples on staying in love.
When Suzette and Kirbyjon Caldwell met, they were simply hoping to be friends. She was a young environmental engineer; he was in his seventh year as pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church.
“My first conversation with him lasted for about three hours,” she said last week. “It was as if I had known him my whole life.”
They now have three kids, ages 12 to 16, and she’s associate pastor at her husband’s 16,000-member Houston megachurch. “I know this sounds clichéd, but he really is my best buddy,” Suzette Caldwell said. “I have really good friends, but he’s No. 1 on the list.”
And that’s the key, they believe, to a marriage that’s lasted nearly 23 years.
“The Bible says laughter is good for the soul,” Kirbyjon Caldwell said. “I think it’s awfully important to be able to laugh with and even at each other.”
And “it really, really helps to like your spouse,” he said. You may love each other, but “if you don’t like a lot of things about your spouse, that ‘like’ list will torpedo your ‘love’ list.”
The flower, card and chocolate sellers want to convince us all that the key to a happy relationship is buying sentimental gifts on Valentine’s Day. But what really makes a marriage last? How do you stay in love and stay together?
We posed that question to several people – and couples – who know a lot about relationships. Not one of them mentioned flowers. But they did say a lot about patience, respect, kindness, listening and honesty. Not that a little chocolate is a bad thing.
“It’s kind of sad to me that people wait until Valentine’s Day to express their love and appreciation,” said Trista Sutter, who, in 2003, was ABC’s first “Bachelorette.” She and Ryan Sutter – who got the final rose – celebrated their 10th anniversary in December and renewed their wedding vows last month.