Featured Journal

45 years and counting; tips to make a marriage last

Written by Leslie Means

Editor’s Note:  Keith and Linda (aka my parents) are celebrating 48 years today!  Here’s a note she wrote three years ago on her 45th. Sounds like it’s time to update this note, Mom!  Happy Anniversary to two incredible role models.  We love you guys!

To Our Daughters  — 45 years and counting

How do I explain the commitment your father and I feel to each other and this marriage?

First and foremost we love each other more with each passing day.  The love I feel today is so much greater than the mesmerizing love of our wedding day.  I still get a butterfly in my stomach when I hear the click of his boots when he walks up the sidewalk of our home or through the door of my workplace.  Granted the cadence of the step has changed due to the aging process but it still fills my heart.  Even though my hair has lost its color and my body has lost the shape and gait of my youth; I have no doubt that your father loves me as I love him.


How do we maintain this love?  I’m not sure.  We are best friends.  A road trip together helps with the conversation and helps you to concentrate on each other.  The first person I want to share an event with is your father.  I also believe it is very important to pursue the friendship of at least one other couple with whom you can talk things over.  Sometimes the words of a worry or hurt feelings just have to be verbalized to be understood.  If you are so fortunate as to have more than one couple as intimate friends then you are doubly blessed.  (Don’t forget to have a friend, you must be a friend.)  I believe this applies to your mate as well as a good friend.

We have in the past and continue today to “roll with the punches.”  There have been arguments with heated disagreements. (We no longer bring up the subject of my indoor cat AND a dog :).)  We have compromised our own personal wishes to more closely fit with the other.  A marriage is not a 50/50 deal.  Sometimes it is 90/10 in your favor and then again it will turn to 90/10 in your husbands’ favor.  We respect each other’s wishes.  We do not always agree;  but, we work for a compromise.

Finding time for an intimate physical relationship (okay, don’t choke on the word – intimate), whether it be holding hands or dinner out or “other activities” has been a goal worked toward.

For us, God’s Blessings of a family has further cemented our commitment to each other.  And as I began this letter, I end with the single word of commitment. We were young, very young at 18 and 19 years when we said “I do” so we did not have the wisdom of years.  We were not very rich and would get “less rich” before things turned around so money was not the answer. We were a young Christian couple with no money, the Selective Service breathing down your dad’s neck and a heartful of love.  The commitment we made before God on that late afternoon September 3, 1967 is something we have worked at to accomplish. With God as the head of our marriage this union has succeeded.

I’m not sure this fully explains 45 years of marriage in one page.  Yes, I would do it over in a heartbeat.  Yes, I hope God allows us some “golden” years together and Yes, we do love each other!



About the author

Leslie Means

Leslie is the co-founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well.

She is married to a very patient man. Together they have two pretty fantastic little girls ages 8 and 6 and one little dude born March 2017!

When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.


  • My parents, Ron and Linda Bartels, just recently hit the 50 year mark (September 15th, to be exact), and I know my entire family couldn’t be happier for them. We all feel truly blessed to have them in our lives. They have been a wonderful example of love, support and “making it work.” I can only hope for the same for all of us!!

    Your parents are wonderful people, and I want to say congrats to them too. Must be something in the water down there…. 🙂 But, I really think we were blessed to be born into loving families.

    P.S. Leslie—As we were working on a video to play at their party this weekend, I stumbled across some old 4-H videos from 1992-93. Wow….did we all make some questionable sewing choices!! I believe there was a blue sweatshirt with cats on it or something…. Yikes!! Hope all is well!! Take care!!

  • Ah, yes, Erin we too think your parents are mighty special. Did you know that Keith worked for your dad when he was in high school?

    • I didn’t know that!! What a small world we live in!! We’re having a dance for them this Saturday night at the Red Cloud Community Center from 8 – 11 if you guys want to come and kick up your heels to celebrate your anniversary too. 🙂 Congratulations again Linda!! 45 years is quite an accomplishment!!

      And Leslie….yep, it was an actual video of a couple of style revues. Pretty entertaining to say the least!

  • Linda, this was sooo sweet. Congratulations on your anniversary! I loved reading what you had to share about the challenges and excitements of marriage. Thank you!

  • Rachel, it just seems like yesterday that your Aunt Kathy was participating in our wedding. (Oops,Kathy I might have given a hint of your age) The years just fly by. Enjoy each moment!

    • Well, I’m pretty sure my age is no secret – actually the older I get, the more I look at it as an accomplishment! 🙂 However, I was young enough that I don’t really remember it – just through pictures. (Although not remembering could be taken as a sign of old age!) Congratulations to a wonderful couple that allowed me to babysit all of their children at one time or another! Lots of stories about those experiences…

    • Tina, no matter how heated the argument just both of you step away to a quiet spot and remember how much you love each other and be prepared to apologize or make some compromises if necessary. Believe me, Tina, when I tell you we’ve had some doozies!! It takes a real commitment to make a marriage work. Linda