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Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls of Wisdom From Couples Married 50 Years or More

Back-Talk! by Sheryl P. Kurland


In this new column – “Back-Talk!” – we go to the real-life relationship experts – couples who have been married 50 years or more.  Husband and wife will each give their experienced answer to a relationship problem.




My wife and I are having a major disagreement over who gets to do what and when.  We live in a two-story condominium.  Upstairs is "her" exercise room -- her pride and joy, and she exercises faithfully every night from 7-8 pm.  During that time, I relax and watch "my" programs on our big screen TV -- my pride and joy, located in the family room downstairs.  Soon, we are going to have major remodeling done downstairs, and all of the furniture has to be moved upstairs.  One area getting a facelift is the kitchen, which is predominantly "her" domain.  The remodeling will take 6-8 weeks.  The only place the big TV will fit is in the exercise room.  My wife is adamant that I cannot watch TV while she exercises.  She tells me to watch the TV in our bedroom, but it's just not the same on a small screen.  I asked her if she would modify her exercise schedule to trade off.  She refuses.  I think she should compromise, especially since the kitchen, "her" area, is where a major part of the remodeling is taking place.  We're at a stalemate.  Can you offer a fair solution?





This problem exposes two stubborn individuals, neither one is willing to compromise for a period of 6-8 weeks.  He says "watching TV in the bedroom" is not the same.  The same as what?  She is doubly stubborn, "no schedule modification" and/or "no TV watching while I exercise."  They are both being immature.  A fair solution would be for the wife to have her way on weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7, and the husband to have his way on weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8 during the reconstruction period.

Compromise.  If people are really committed to their marriage, they want their mate to be happy.  The wife should exercise every other day, and on alternate days, walk.  Walking is a great exercise and she could socialize by doing it with a friend.  The husband could watch his large TV on those days when the wife is walking, and on the days she is exercising, give in and watch a smaller TV.  Or, maybe both should do a little walking together!

Paul and Enid have been married 50 years




Do you have a relationship problem you need help resolving?  Submit questions to Sheryl Kurland, author of Everlasting Matrimony,
at  She’ll have your question answered by a couple married 50-plus years. 
Visit her book web site,

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