Love

Love Ever After

I recently came across a photographic series of love letters titled “Love Ever After,” and was so inspired by the love stories. Photographer Lauren Fleishman started the project after she found the love letters her late grandfather had written to her grandmother over the 50 years they’d been married.

The series includes photographs, quotes and recordings from New York Couples who have been together for more than 50 years. Here are some of my favorites:

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You really don’t think about getting older. First of all, you’re aging together and when you see a person constantly you don’t notice big changes. Like you don’t notice, oh you’re getting a little wrinkle here and tomorrow you say oh it’s a little deeper. No those are things that just happen. You dont pay attention to those things. You dont realize it.. really . You dont realize that you’re.. I mean I’m not thinking everyday, oh my husbands 83 years old he’s gonna be 84. Oh my goodness, I’m married to an old man. And I hope he feels that way too.

–Angie Terranova, Staten Island, New York.

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I was the kind of girl that fell in love right away. So the next day I would tell my friend, terrific, I’m in love already! But after my first date with Sol I did not feel that way. I think it only proved to this day that you can’t judge right away. It may not work out but as you get to know a person love comes.

–Gloria Holtzman, Midwood, Brooklyn.

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What is the secret to love? A secret is a secret and I don’t reveal my secrets!

–Ykov Shapirshteyn, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.

You can check out the full Love Ever After series on Lauren’s site.

What’s your secret for staying in love over the years? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Related Stories:
He Said, She Said: Bedroom Boundaries
Bring it Back: Handwritten Letters
A Love Letter to My Soul Mate
‘Til Death Do Us Part: Elderly Couple Passes While Holding Hands

  • GabiGirl

    Oh, I really miss my grandparents……..

  • stacy wilson

    very sweet read, thanks tori!

  • Nikki Rogalski

    …. Now thats romantic and inspiring! Thanks for sharing this with us. :)

  • Tammie D

    When my daddy passed away in 2009, my parents had just celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary. I told my husband that I hope we can celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, but I would be 78 and he would be 73. I can only pray I live that long. This is my 2nd marriage and we have been together for 11 yrs, married for 10 of them. I actually had dreams of my husband before I ever met him. When we met, it was like we had known each other our whole lives. We balance each other out. He is more like my father: quiet, reserved, quirky sense of humor, had working, a man of honor who stands up for his family. I am more like my mother: a worrier who loves to talk to anyone whether they are a stranger or a long time friend, I stay at home to take care of our children, my husband, our home. We never fight, which a lot of our friends and family thinks is very strange. We know everything about each other from our past to our likes and our dislikes. We finish each other’s sentences and sometimes before we even voice what we are thinking, the other already knows what we are about to say. My husband is my very best friend. We love being in the same room together even if we are doing different things. He is allergic to latex and artifical sweetners. I had never had a problem with either of those things until he deployed to Iraq for the 1st time in 2007. We had never been away from each other for this long before, so it was hard for both of us. He had been deployed for 3 months, and I started having migraines and feeling off, but I thought it was stress and depression. It finally got bad enough that I went to the dr and he said it was a mild allergic reaction to something in my diet. With trials and errors, we figured out it was the artificial sweetner I was using. Then my husband had been deployed for 8 months and I had to have my wisdom teeth removed. During the operation, my mouth and tongue started swelling and the dentist was using latex gloves, so I found out I was allergic to latex. I joke now and tell my husband that I am so in love with him that while he was gone I “contracted” his allergies just to have him closer to me!!!

  • Amy Dowell

    I love the last quote “a secret is a secret and I don’t reveal my secrets!” I think that gets to the heart of the matter, because, really, we all have to figure love out on our own. My definition of ‘love’ is always changing. When I was little love was a fairytale. As a teenager ‘lust’ and ‘love’ were interchangeable. Now love is harder for me to define. Sometimes, it’s learning to adapt together. Othertimes it’s simply being caring and thoughtful. Most importantly, it’s raising children that feel loved and see love when their parents are together. That’s my answer after 5 years of marriage, but I bet it will be a lot different in fifty.

    Great post :)

  • Kristin Lindberg

    Beautiful romantic theme! I want to contribute with this fantastic song…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=9V9gdWqeF7M&NR=1

  • Kathleen Orland

    Our secret through the years (we’ve been together over 15 years now) is to roll with the punches, trust each other, and take the relationship for what it is – real. It ebbs and flows. It’s good and sometimes not so good. It’s challenging and occasionally boring.

    What works is communicating about everything, having a sense of humour, not trying to change the other person, being KIND (why would I treat a stranger with better manners than my husband!), treating each other with respect, making sure we each have time to do our own thing.

    We also treat our marriage as a partnership, almost like a business. We set common goals, we work as a team, we exploit each other’s strengths and help each other to strengthen our respective weaknesses, and we never take each other for granted.

    I made sure to marry a man I trust implicitly. I don’t own him, I don’t change him, I don’t make him do all the things I want to do and I certainly don’t want to do all the things he likes to do! I married a man I admire for his honesty, integrity, compassion. He is also my best friend and we always can find something to laugh about.

    We share our common interests but make sure to have our own interests as well.

    I think the bottom line is respect, don’t change each other, don’t have unrealistic expectations, don’t sweat the ups and downs, keep your sense of humour, make time for each other, and make time for yourself.

  • Jackie C

    My grandparents have been married for 65+ years, my parents say they are soulmates and have been married for 35+ years. As for me, I derailed somewhere so I don’t have any advice. Well, actually I think I do, never let your soulmate go!! :)

  • Lisa R.

    So Cute. I can only hope that would be me someday.

  • erika schmidt

    My husband and I have been together for 10 years, and married for 2 years (in July). My husband told me the night he met me that “I was girlfriend material”. Two nights later, on our second date he told me “I was wrong, you’re not girlfriend material… you’re marriage material!” I guess he knew a good thing when he saw it! LOL

    If there is one thing that I have learned about life and love, it’s to not be in such a rush. Everything that is meant to be will all happen in due time. I think a lot of people out there are in such a hurry to meet the right person, get married and start a family, as soon as they start dating someone. Love is kind of like a garden, it needs time to grow. My best friend’s joked in their speech’s at my wedding, about how I love to cook and compared my relationship to a good recipe (it takes time time prepare and bake in the oven). They said that the recipe for my realtionsip with my husband had to bake in the over for 8 LONG YEARS! It sounds funny, and has become a big joke now amongst our family and friends, but there’s a lot of truth to it!

  • Suzanne Brown

    Never. Give. Up.

  • Libbi Shorts

    Be generous. With compliments, with listening, with small little gestures of kindness.

  • Jeanne Tutt

    Ya know Tori, yours and deans relationship is very much like mine with my hubby. I pop off at him or snipe all the time and he’s the cool one. So when he snipes at me I know somethings up and it really hurts.

    We have learned communication is key. We have made the agreement that it’s best not to try and discuss things during a hot topic talk but to just stop and seperate into different rooms for a few minutes to cool down and be able to talk calmly so we don’t say things in the heat of the moment that we don’t mean and can’t take back.

    also if someone has something to say listen intently with no distractions as you can watch that show at a different time, etc. You have a limited time to hear what your loved one has to say.

    It frustrates me how most hollywood couples go through relationships like they do changing clothes! Marriage is work, if it weren’t it wouldn’t be worth all the easy times! I’m so happy you and Dean work everything out when there is tention etc.

    Peace n love

    Jeanne

  • Violet Huizenga

    Very cute! This is what I read a while back and I agree:

    Love is not a feeling, love is a decision you make and continue to make in order to create an experience that is described as love. Love is an action that if you don’t use it you lose it. Love is like any communication, if you never send it out, you won’t get a return. Love is something you give to others not something you feel because something happens to you.

    My husband and I have been married 18 years (with 6 kids!) and yes, sometimes you don’t feel love, but you decide to love your spouse. Even when he/she is not very lovable at the moment! Love is an action.

  • Colleen Johnson

    My husband and I have been together for 20 years and the “rule” we live by is respect. Some things that are said cannot be taken back, so respect the one you love and don’t say them. Also be friends first, never lose your passion and celebrate the simple things!

  • Shaey A

    When it ‘feels’ broke fix it.

    When it is light, enjoy it.

    When you are sad, cherish it.

    Always be patient and kind.

    Always recognize it as a treasure, never to be taken for granted!

  • Kelly Bridgeman

    My husband and I have been together 16 years. We have had a lot of ups and downs and somethings we thought we’d never overcome. The twist is we have loved each other from the beginning and love each other still. Our children bring us closer. Any outside influences are simply that OUTSIDE! They dont know what’s between the two of us and they can’t. We have learned to keep things new. I mean go on dates, spend time together, learn who that person is today and don’t just focus on who they were all those years before when we first fell in love. It took us some time to learn that but I guess that comes with the age of a relationship. You gain wisdom in life, parenting and loving.

  • Jennifer K

    Oh my, what a sweet pictorial. Just the type of thing to get me crying. My maternal grandparents just celebrated 60 years, my paternal grandparents reached 50 before cancer took my Grandpa, and my parents have been married nearly 40 years. I admire couples who make it. We will be married 8 years this November. I do not think there is a secret honestly. I just think it takes love and HARD work. We have literally been through almost everything a couple can go through in our years together, and most people would have split up at some point, according to statistcs. Perhaps it is just that I love to beat the odds! Seriosuly, though, we just committed to stayingthe course. You know that good times and bad times will come, so hang on through the bad times and savor the good times, and build a life together.

  • Hope Aguirre

    So beautiful….LOVE is such a wonderful feeling!

  • Carol Lafferty – Durfee

    My Husband and I have been married for 36 Years and I love him more today than the day I married him. And he loves me too!! We have always respected each other. We really don’t fight, but if and when we do we never bring up past things and throw them in the other’s face. We kiss each other goodnight every night. We say I love you everyday to one another. We are really each other’s best friend. Love is amazing!

  • Emily Bennett

    My advise and comment will be a little different. My boyfriend and myself have been together for 4 years on June 2nd of this year. On October 5th our lives changed forever. He woke up with severe chest pains so we rushed him to the hospital. After 2 days of getting more sick and after his kidneys had shut down it was revealed he had an aortic disection. His aorta had completely torn and at this point was completely sedated and wasn’t aware of what was going on. The doctors told us he needed to be flown to Cleveland Clinic for emergency heart surgery because the doctor who was caring for him wasn’t as experienced as the Cleveland surgeons… but we were told to prepare ourselves because he wasn’t going to make it thru the flight. We were told 90% of peole with a discetion as bas as his died instantly and the other 10 didn’t make it through the surgery. During his flight to Cleveland he had multiple strokes on both sides of his brain and the right side herniated. There was so much swelling the surgeons weren’t going to do the surgery becasue he didn’t have a chance to survive. BUT after an hour of debating they did the surgery….. AND he lived through it. After this however, we were told with all the brain damage he would be a vegetable the rest of his life and would have no chance of coming back….. Almost 6 months later he is walking with his walker, talking just fine, laughing, and smiling and has the same personality I fell in love with those 4 years ago. The point of my story is to tell that you never know how much things can change in the blink of an eye. I am more in love with that boy now than I ever was. He keeps me going. I think the success to having a successful relationship like every one is honestly and respect but I also think that it’s more simple and believe that enjoying every single day and being thankful for it is the most important. Sometimes we take things for granted in life that is just a common thing and now that in my life we can’t do those things, we are realizing how important the “little things” truly are. Love your significant other more each and every day, love them even when you’re angry with them and realize the little things are the best! :)

  • Jean Varga

    I have been married 9 years. I am so very blessed. I have the sweetest husband, great Father, and my Best Friend. I still get excited when I see his truck pulling up to the house after work. When I find out recent gossip he is the first one I want to call and tell. I think we are very lucky because we grew up together and have the same values and morals. I know we will be married forever and I am greatful every day for him. I can’t even be away from him for more than a night because I will miss him so much I will cry. Im so very greatful every day for the life we share together and my beautiful daughter.

  • Karen Driscoll

    My Husband and I will be married 25 years on April 25th. He was my High School Sweetheart!! We got married when he was 22 and I was 10 (lol 21) and we have been together ever since we worked at the same job in High School, and my sister met her husband, and my husbands good childhood friend and neighbor at the same job!! I am the luckiest girl in the world!! He has taken care of me from the first day I met him!! He does laundry, dishes, vacuumes, and windows, yes windows!! He is a keeper!! Plus he gave me 2 beautiful sons, and my beautiful girl who is 21, and I can’t believe it, but she is my best friend, and there is nothing that we don’t talk about, Tori , you and Stella, and Hattie have such wonderful years ahead of you, and my youngest is 16 and he is the sweetest boy I could have ever asked for. My 18 yr old 1st boy, worries about me all the time when I am sick, i really lucked out in the family dept!!

  • lea cape

    My husband and I have been married for 11 years and have 3 kids. With a family there’s not much alone time, so to keep things going I put little love notes in his lunch everyday.

  • Mistymars

    We have been together since we were 16 and have been married for 32 years. The most important thing is to spend time together. It keeps the love alive and keeps you connected. You don’t need to spend a lot of money (we had none to spare), just start. Even just showing up at his work with a sandwich, or taking a walk after dinner while the kids do the dishes, you are taking the time to say “I like spending time with you”. We discovered the importance when our children were young, and it was a struggle at first to fit it all in, but as the children grew and saw us happy together, we know we got it right! Now that they are grown, we are more in love than ever.

  • Phyllis ;-)

    We have been together since we were 19. Married when we were 23. We will celebrate our 38th Wedding Anniversary on Feb 10. Marriage is about love, compromise, sharing & melding the traditions of 2 different families into one. We have 3 children & 6 grandies! Family is the most important thing to us. When the family is not going so well….Mama(that’s me) has a get to gether & soon all is forgotten & forgiven. Faith in God to keep us close & safe. So many things are needed to keep the couple together, but the most important is forgiveness. Don’t hold grudges, because those will just fester. Love, Family, Faith & Forgiveness are some of the most important ingredients to keep a marriage alive. Thank you Tori for giving me this voice. Love you & your family.

  • Missy

    I got married really young, just about two years ago. People say I’m too young, but I love life as it is. Sure, it was a risk I took, but I took it because it felt right. I love how I am given challenges to balance my marriage, college, and career. I love tackling that challenge too! I love this blog post because it provides different perspectives on successful recipes for a lasting companionship. There is no secret. Every relationship is different. One thing I always find useful is to not have expectations because I realize how happy I get with tiniest things that my husband does for me. To me, that is what successful marriage is…little things that make us love each other more and more everyday. These moments are what I remember at times of disagreements, which we don’t have many of but which are inevitable between two people.

  • Melody Marlay Brugioni

    I married the love of my life 8 years ago. He had been married before and so had I, but his wife had died and so had my husband. They both died young. My husband, Dave and I found each other by chance on the Internet while posting on a UFO site…of all places. When we first began to chat on the net, neither of us knew if the other was a guy or girl. We chatted for hours and finally after chatting for 2 years decided to start phoning. We did that for another 2 years and then finally decided to meet in person. When I saw him, I knew he was the one for me. Our eyes met and I knew it would last the rest of our life. We married after knowing each other for 5 years and have been married for 8 years. It has been a beautiful ride of life’s up and downs and we are still in love like teenagers, even though we are in our 50’s now. You never know when love will come your way. You just have to be open to it and work around the challenges. Nothing in life is easy and the best things are worth waiting and working for.