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20 Heartwarming Photographs Of Couple Celebrating 70 Years Of Marriage Make Us Believe In Love Again
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20 Heartwarming Photographs Of Couple Celebrating 70 Years Of Marriage Make Us Believe In Love Again Interview With Artist

A lot of us daydream about finding the perfect person to spend the rest of our lives with. Someone to lean on when the going gets tough, someone to bring a cup of coffee to, to watch the sunrise, a companion to enjoy and get annoyed at when they can’t seem to figure out how to not leave socks on the floor.

I myself am getting more and more used to the idea of spending my life surrounded by at least 5 cats, but stories like this give me hope that there is someone out there who’d like a bazillion felines and who’d continue to like me through thick and thin. I’ll let you know how that goes. But today we celebrate a couple who have been married for 70 years and continue to look into each other’s eyes with awe. Let’s get into it!

More info: Anna Behning | Instagram

Meet Melvin and Nancy Lubbers, two lovebirds who’ve been happily married for 70 years

Image credits: anna.behning

Melvin and Nancy Lubbers have recently celebrated their 70-year marriage anniversary. The pair, 91 and 86 years young, have spent an incredible amount of time together but their love seems to be blossoming as strongly as it first had. Disney, eat your heart out!

The celebratory photographs were the idea of their youngest granddaughter, professional wedding photographer Anna Behning, who decided to share their story with the world.

Their love has been captured in the pictures taken by their youngest granddaughter, wedding photographer Anna

Image credits: anna.behning

The pair met at a local roller skating rink in Mitchell, South Dakota, when they were in their teens. It’s unclear whether they fancied each other immediately, but as Anna described, “they definitely were ‘falling’ for each other that night whether it had to do with the roller blades or not.” The puns are much appreciated!

It seems they decided to give it a roll and soon after their eyes first locked, Melvin got down on one knee and proposed to Nancy at the town’s ballpark, where she happily said ‘yes!’. The family recalls Melvin always joking about getting their wedding rings from a gum-ball machine, though they were truly purchased from Knodel Jewelry.

The pair met at a roller skating rink in Mitchell, South Dakota, and they wasted no time in making it official

Image credits: anna.behning

On January 6, 1952, the young lovebirds married at First Lutheran Church in Mitchell, South Dakota. They had a simple yet beautiful ceremony with a light lunch, cake and ice cream to follow in the church’s reception hall.

Nancy had saved her original wedding dress for all these years, donning it for the first time since she’d taken Melvin as her lawfully wedded husband. She purchased it from Jarold’s Shop for $35 and the veil for $15, finishing the look with a bouquet of red roses.

On January 6, 1952, the pair tied the knot and began their lives together as husband and wife

Image credits: anna.behning

Nancy had kept and taken care of the dress she wore all those years ago, elated to be able to wear it once again

Image credits: anna.behning

The photographs were taken in the family garden and it seemed to bring smiles to everyone involved. Anna told The Daily Mail that her grandparents only had a few photos from their wedding day, thus she “came up with the idea to take photos of Grandma in her dress and then my mom, Melissa found Grandpa’s Korean war army suit for him to wear.”

Even though most donate, sell or otherwise get rid of the white gowns, Nancy thought “it was something special”, saying: “I liked it really well so I just preserved it.” She seemed very excited to be able to wear it again, fitting as well as it did that special day.

She wasn’t the only one overjoyed. As if it was a time machine, the dress brought back many happy memories to the groom

Image credits: anna.behning

Image credits: anna.behning

Nancy stated that “it felt really good to wear [the dress] again and we had fun reminiscing about our wedding day and the photo shoot was a lot of fun.” Melvin couldn’t keep his eyes off her, even after 70 years, stating that “Oh BOY, that brought back memories – they were good memories.”

Bored Panda spoke with Anna, asking her about the fondest memories she holds with her grandparents. “My sister and I were lucky enough to live the closest to my grandparents, so they were able to attend so many extracurricular activities,” she said.

“However, my favorite memories were when they would take us camping with them in the summer. We’d get to sit around a campfire, swim in the pools or lakes, and hang out with each other! There’s some really fond memories from those camping trips!”

Melvin always joked about getting their wedding rings from a gum-ball machine, though, sadly, it’s not true

Image credits: anna.behning

Image credits: anna.behning

Image credits: anna.behning

However, the post-wedding bliss didn’t last long as Melvin, enrolled in the army, was sent to Japan for training

Image credits: anna.behning

Sadly, the newlyweds couldn’t spend too much time together after the wedding, as only three weeks later Melvin, who was enrolled in the army, was to take on basic training for four months.

After returning, the pair had a measly 10 days to enjoy each other’s company before Melvin was sent to Japan for more training, which then turned into eight months of fighting in the Korean War in North and South Korea, taking on roles of Sergeant and tank commander.

Nancy recalled the importance of written letters, that being their only means of communication, as phone calls were not possible. But their separation would not last much longer as Melvin returned from war, their life together finally beginning in the little town they got married in.

The beginning of the Korean War meant that the couple had to spend over a year apart, letters being their only means of communication

Image credits: anna.behning

But as soon as Melvin returned, the couple could begin their life together

Image credits: anna.behning

And oh boy did life begin! The pair had five children, Melvin working as a salesman and taking up sheep farming as a hobby, whilst Nancy worked at a grocery store, also looking after their young.

Jobs, sheep and multiple kids sound like a whole bunch of trouble as everything has its ups and downs. So what’s the secret recipe for a wholesome and strong marriage?

Nancy said that you should “always respect each other even when you don’t agree. Show lots of love and care and forgive and forget. Just make the best of your life.”

Similarly, Melvin added “you won’t always agree, sometimes you have a disagreement, but when you have one of those you sit down and talk about it.” Very important to note – once a solution has been come up with, don’t bring it up again.

The pair had 5 kids together, all whilst Melvin worked as a salesman and herded sheep and Nancy worked at a grocery store

Image credits: anna.behning

Anna believes that “their ability to forgive and forget was the key to their success. They also strived to put God at the center of their relationship and parenting which is something I look up to and hope to practice in my own marriage!”

Working as a wedding photographer, Anna can usually predict by the end of the celebration whether couples will last the trials of time. “The number one indicator is how they treat each other on their wedding day. If they care more about the other person then themselves, their marriage will last forever. If it’s for selfish ambitions, they are doomed to fail.”

Forgiveness, faith, respect, and communication. Potentially the most difficult skills to master in any situation, yet their importance cannot be understated. And of course, the love for one another.

Respect, love, forgiveness and communication seem to be the secret to a happy and long marriage

Image credits: anna.behning

Image credits: anna.behning

Whether it’s luck, hard work and sacrifice, or a shift in society, marriages this strong are a rarity

Image credits: anna.behning

Relationships are like a ship that sails through uncharted waters every day, some bringing calm and sunshine and others – a stormy sea, difficult to navigate. However, a lot of us have heard the saying “love hurts” or that one must sacrifice themselves for love, which, in my opinion, is a thin line between a successful marriage and losing yourself.

Legal Jobs reports that the average length of a marriage in the US is just over eight years. As described by Shauna H Springer, a psychologist and author, marriage is a gamble, not unlike a game of roulette: half the numbers are black, and half are red, whichever the ball lands in is completely luck based.

But rather than luck, Andrew Cherlin argues that it’s more based on the shift in perception of marriage, stating: “A century or two ago, no one expected much personal happiness from marriage and family life; it was just something you did. Now marriage, like other decisions we make, is all about ourselves.” It seems to be the case that nowadays we need a reason to get married, whereas before, you’d be looking for reasons not to.

Of course, these are very general claims, but they are interesting to consider in order to find the differentiating factors.

According to tips from other couples who’ve been together for twenty five and more years, it can be summarized in three points: Keep the peace, keep moving, keep laughing.

Image credits: anna.behning

And even though they disagree and bicker on some days, their love prevails day by day

Image credits: anna.behning

Even after all these years, they still bicker some days, Melvin getting annoyed at Nancy’s soft-spoken manner, as he can’t hear her properly, and Nancy complaining about her husband’s liking to tease her to the point of her getting agitated. But regardless of these things, they clearly still love each other to bits.

Bored Panda asked what Anna’s grandparents are remembered and know for today and she said: “When I think of my grandparents, I think of my grandma being known for her potato salad and her ability to talk to anyone about anything.”

“When I think of my grandpa, I think of his duty to service. Not only did he serve his country, but he has and continues to serve his family, community, and friendships. He’s a bit stubborn, but deep down, a big teddy bear!”

We wish them lots more happy years together and all the sunshine life can offer

Image credits: anna.behning

Anna believes that if Nancy and Melvin could go back anywhere in time, “they would relive the days of having all their children at home. I also think they would’ve traveled more when they were more able.”

The present days are spent with their five children, twelve grandchildren, and twenty one great grandchildren. Now that’s a family! We hope they have a lot of sunny days ahead and continue to share their love with everyone around them.

Let us know what you thought of this story in the comments below and make sure to upvote to show your support! If you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go cry now. This love is simply too pure for me to handle. I wish you all a beautiful day!

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Debb
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Her dress is beautiful. It's coming up to 70 years for my parents and 43 years for my husband and I. My dad's cousin introduced my parents to each other and my husband to me. Nick is responsible for almost 113 years of wedded bliss. ☺️

Mark Richards
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is so much better than all those infinitely tedious "boss did such and such to employee so employee cost company a million dollars" posts.

Eagle Girl
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh So Sweet! they were 16 & 21. Amazes me how adults tell teenagers they can't be in love bc they aren't old enough to know what love is. Melvin & Nancy are proof you can know love & make it last <3

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Debb
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Her dress is beautiful. It's coming up to 70 years for my parents and 43 years for my husband and I. My dad's cousin introduced my parents to each other and my husband to me. Nick is responsible for almost 113 years of wedded bliss. ☺️

Mark Richards
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is so much better than all those infinitely tedious "boss did such and such to employee so employee cost company a million dollars" posts.

Eagle Girl
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh So Sweet! they were 16 & 21. Amazes me how adults tell teenagers they can't be in love bc they aren't old enough to know what love is. Melvin & Nancy are proof you can know love & make it last <3

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