Long-married couples share their secrets to love

What do couples who have been married for half a century or more know about making marriage work?

NEW YORK — More than 300 couples who have been married for half a century or more are gathering in Brooklyn to celebrate their love in a special Valentine's Day ceremony.

The special celebration will be held in the El Caribe Country Club in Mill Basin on Thursday.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz has thrown the party every year since taking office in 2002.

Related: Valentine's Day celebration to honor couples married more than 50 years

Couples will dance, eat cake, drink champagne and then kiss as Markowitz officially declares them married forever more.

Some of those in attendance will include long-married couples like Fortuno and Maddalena Corso of Bensonhurst who were married as teenagers in Italy 72 years ago.

Murray and Esther Redlitz of Mill Basin are also attending the celebration. They've been married for 66 years and are both Holocaust survivors.

Here are their and other couples' tips for staying together:

COMPROMISE:

Murray and Esther Redlitz, married 66 years

"You've got to know each other for a while and then compromise," says Murray. "Think what the other thinks. Don't be selfish."

SHARE INTERESTS:

David and Faina Shamrakov, married 58 years

"We have the same interests - we worked together, we both like to read books, we go to the library, the cinema, the theater," says Faina. "We do everything together."

RESOLVE DISPUTES:

Fortunato and Maddalena Corso, married 72 years

"You don't go to bed mad," says the couple's daughter, Madeline Corso, recalling her father's advice. "That's what he believes in."

SPREAD HAPPINESS:

Marty and Jamie Markowitz, organizers of the party, married 13 years

"Here's the secret: Happy wife, happy life. It's as simple as that. That's it," says Marty. "There's nothing more. ... It's as simple as that. It makes your life so much better if they're happy."

 

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