Finding someone to love and stay with for the rest of your life is something many of us aspire to.

Here, couples who have been married for 30 years or more talk about their relationships:

‘I can’t imagine not having him there. And this doesn’t mean that we do everything together… I would drive him crazy and he would drive me crazy. But we always know the other one is there and that we have this relationship and that makes us both very content… We’re very different. We’re not different in what we like in life. We’re very, very close in what we like in life.’

Catherine, married 60 years

‘I want it to stay like it is. Period. It can’t get better.’

Jim, married 50 years

‘Really just being together. Share each other’s lives and our children’s lives. Snuggle on cold nights.’

Charles, married 30 years

‘There’s a physical relationship, if not quite what it was when we were young. But the main thing is: I adore him. More than I ever did. We laugh a lot. We laugh at ourselves…You can’t take yourself too seriously… I don’t know how we got here, but it’s wonderful. We hold each other loosely.’

Julia, married 50 years


Case studies taken from Professor George E. Vaillant’s  Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study, a book containing interviews with the men (and their wives) who participated in The Study of Adult Development at Harvard University.