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John and Sandra Thompson will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary April 20. The couple credits flexiblity and compromise with their marriage success. | Submitted

Archived Story

Couple shares secrets of successful marriage

Published 11:40am Thursday, February 14, 2013

John and Sandra Thompson don’t make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, but they do make a celebration out of every day together.

“We eat dinner together every night and we talk,” John said. “Valentine’s Day isn’t a particularly big day for us. It’s just another day we continue to express our feelings for each other.”

Sandra said their nightly dinner dates are a way to stay connected to each other amid hectic schedules and time commitments.

“We like to spend that quality time together,” Sandra said. “We try to make it a point to just sit and have dinner together. We don’t turn the TV on, we just sit and talk about our days.”

The couple, who will celebrate 50 years of marriage April 20, said Valentine’s Day for them isn’t about lavish gifts or chocolates – it’s more of a reminder of how much they enjoy being together.

“We just genuinely like each other,” John said. “We just started liking each other before we fell in love, before we got married, before we had children. Our personalities match rather than clash. We complement each other.”

Sandra said even after almost 50 years, she still loves spending time with her husband.

“We just enjoy each other’s company,” Sandra said. “John is such a gentle person. He’s such a

good man. I feel very blessed to be his wife of 50 years.”

John and Sandra were married in 1963 at the age of 20, but have been dating since high school.

“We were high school sweethearts,” John said. “We started dating when we were sophomores and we got married at 20.”

“I think we had a strong bond when we first met,” Sandra said. “We had similar backgrounds, and we just clicked. I think we basically just grew up together.”

John said the secret to the success of a long happy marriage is flexibility.

“You have to be flexible,” John said. “You have to give and take. You’ve got to be willing to give on some things.”

The couple said they also try to talk through their differences.

“We never go to bed angry,” Sandra said. “You do go through ups and downs, but you just have to work through them. Just take a deep breath and work through them.”

Sandra said a happy marriage is simply about finding the person but also about working on yourself.

“You’ve got to find the right person, and you have to be the right person,” Sandra said. “We are very blessed that we found each other.”

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