Couple offers advice after 70 years of marriage
PELLA, Iowa -- As Valentine's Day approaches, we often look to experienced couples for words of wisdom.
Talk to Elfrieda and Kermit DeHaai and you could learn about life and love. Mr. DeHaai said, "I've always loved her, and I still do." His bride replied, "Oh, Kermit is kind of a romantic, but that's O.K. I like it that way."
Their love story started on a blind date in the fall of 1943. Mr. DeHaai said, "I thought she was very attractive. I loved her voice. And, she seemed pretty sweet to me. Sweet enough I wanted to know more about her."
They married in 1945 while Mr. DeHaai was on leave from the service. They had two kids, four grandkids and eight great grandkids. This month, they celebrated 70 years as husband and wife. Mrs. DeHaai offered this advice: "I'm afraid some people think when they get married they're joined at the hip, you know you've got to be together. That's not true. You've got to have separate interests. You have to interests of the same. He's an Indian arrow head collector. I read."
Mrs. DeHaai said there are two big keys to making marriage last. "The main thing you have to have in a marriage is respect for each other. Respect and trust, and think we've both had that."
The DeHaais moved to Vriendschap Village in Pella from their farm in Monroe a year and a half ago. They say friends, family and a support system helped their relationship go the distance, along with practicing patience. Mrs. DeHaai said, "Pick your battles, pick your battles. Some of them just aren't worth it." Her husband went on, "The nice thing about a little scrap is kissing and making up."
The couple celebrated with a party at Vriendschap Village this week. They'll have another party later this month.
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