Successful relationships that stand the test of time may seem elusive but here are some insights gleaned from talks and observations with people who were young in the 1940s or thereabouts.
There were no government benefits available to single parent families at that time - so sometimes people felt 'stuck' for economic reasons.
That forced some people to try and work their relationships out. There was also a negative stigma about divorce. So the 'shame' factor helped too, in that sense.
One woman took off from her husband and went home to Mother. Mother told her to go home - 'You made your bed - you lie in it'. She went home and they had a long and loving marriage until death.
Others took 'shame' head on anyway and left.
Others had a 'pretend' marriage. This was a 'loyalty' marriage. For all outward appearances they seemed happy, but in private they had other long term partners that were never known about until after death - not even by their children.
Common Factors for Couples in Long Relationships
From the talks, the following concepts came from the 'successful' long term relationships:
Being kind to one another.
Fell out of love at times but always it was only one at a time.
These are timeless gems of wisdom and are just as true now as they were then.