Secrets Of Lasting Marriages

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The federal government says more than two-million people get married every year in the United States and about half that many get divorced. So what’s the secret to a long and happy marriage? The members of the “Golden Pairs” have some theories. Kim Riemland reports.               

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(Locator-Chandler, Texas)

This party isn’t for newlyweds.

“It is wonderful to have you here.”

Every year, First United Methodist Church in the small Texas town of Chandler takes time to honor those who are the most faithful to their church and each other. The “Golden Pairs” are those married 50 years or longer.

Russell Bradford/Married 61 Years: “I grew up in the Depression in the ‘20s and the ‘30s. And things in Chandler were really tough. There was nothing to do here except farm.”

Together, these couples survived hardships and changes and became living lessons for others.

Kenneth Reid/Chandler First United Methodist Church: “Younger couples may discover that it is work and that they have to build that communication and build that relationship.”

Gerry Bradford/Married 61 Years: “Nowadays, people don’t seem to have time to enjoy each other.”

Some of these couples almost missed their lifelong partners.

Bettye Davis/Married 56 Years: “He stood me up on the first date.”

Larry Davis/Married 56 Years: “The fan belt or something broke on the car.”

Juanita and Winston Reagan are the church’s longest-married couple… 71 years. They have a daughter who’s about to celebrate her 50th anniversary.

Juanita Reagan/Married 71 Years: “Winston said he married me because I was a beautician and I made 25 cents for a hairdo.”

Winston Reagan/Married 71 Years: “I don’t think there really is a secret. It’s just the fact that you had more or less give and take.”

And these Golden Pairs say there’s nothing better than enjoying their golden years together.


This is the fifth year the Texas church has honored its Golden Pairs. And members say it’s something they look forward to every year.

You can contact First United Methodist Church in Chandler at 903-849-6839.