by Tiffiny Ruegner | February 10, 2015 6:17 pm
A Kansas couple who have lived a ‘wonderful life’ together through eight decades of marriage now hold the record for the longest-running married couple in the United States.
The couple’s secret to their 81-year-long run, at least according to Alice Rockey, is that at the end of the day ‘I always let him have my way.’ Alice and her husband Dale, both 99, say their romance began by chance one evening. They had planned to go on a double date, but each with another person. Dale pulled up to Alice’s house early, while his date was still at work, and found her sitting along on the porch, the Kansas City Star reports.
‘He came by and says, “You want to go for a ride?”‘ Alice told the paper. ‘So we went for a ride, and that was our first date.’
Alice married Dale, ‘one of the handsomest guys in town,’ in Nebraska, paying $2 for a marriage license on December 29, 1933. The pair skipped off to Hot Springs, South Dakota, before making their home in a two-room apartment. Dale worked in a garage that once belonged to his dad while Alice had a job with Iron Man early into the bodybuilding magazine’s circulation, and eventually added five sons to the family.
The husband and wife from Olathe, Nebraska, beat out 375 other lovebirds to be awarded the prize as the longest-married couple in the United States. Worldwide Marriage Encounter presented the Rockeys with the award at a ceremony Saturday, capping off the 2015 Longest Married Couple Project. Their children may one day have a chance at the prize themselves, as their children are still together with their spouses as well. ‘That’s probably the good example set by our parents,’ said 79-year-old son Tom Rockey.
Dick and Diane Baumbach, of the faith-based marriage-enrichment organization Worldwide Marriage Encounter, say the project only amazes outsiders. ‘When we meet with these people and honor them,’ explains Dick Baumbach, ‘they look at us like, “What’s the big deal?”‘
My parents have been married over 40 years and I can vouch for this secret. I have watched as my dad has backed down every time conceding to my mom. It’s the most amazing thing. He’s not saying he’s wrong… he’s just telling her she won. And to be honest that kind of brilliant move from a man would disarm a woman EVERY time. Funny this simple technique is such a secret.
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