What is it about the Japanese, good health and long life? Their children have been acclaimed as the healthiest in the world, and they are known for their impressive population of centenarians. Now, they’ve bagged another record – they have the world’s oldest living married couple! Married for 80 years, Masao Matsumoto, 108, and his 100-year-old wife, Miyako, were recently felicitated by Guinness World Records.
Married for 80 years: A Beautiful, Inspirational Story
Masao and Miyako have a combined age of 208 years old. They got married in 1937, and were reportedly introduced to each other by an acquaintance. They are proud parents of five daughters, and have 25 great-grandchildren!
It is believed that Matsumotos never had a proper wedding, as at that time, Japan was heading into war, and Masao had to go overseas to fight as a soldier.
Masao was called to military service three times before the Second World War ended. He had to leave Miyako and his two young daughters behind each time. Miyako, who lived with family at this time, worked very hard to raise her girls.
She didn’t even know if she’d ever see her husband again, claim reports. But in 1946, Masao returned to his wife and daughter, “with only skin and bone left” remembers Miyako. After his return, the couple went on to have three more daughters.
What’s the Secret to Being Married for 80 years… and Surviving?
Miyako and Masao were recently presented with a framed certificate from Guinness World Records officially recognising their incredibly long relationship, at the nursing home where they live.
Posing with the certificate with Masao and other family members, Miyako reveals the one very important secret to being married for 80 years: patience!
“I am so glad. It’s thanks to my patience, really,” explains Miyako with a laugh. “I am so grateful that it brings me tears,” she told Reuters.
Patience… And What Else?
The beautiful story of Masao and Miyako has many valuable lessons for modern-day couples who seemingly think nothing of calling it quits on a marriage when things hit a rough patch.
Of course, there are some things, like marital abuse, that are unforgivable. However, when the going gets tough in a marriage, here are some other things to remind you how to stay happy in your marriage:
- Work-life balance: An addiction to work can cause you to lose out on what is most precious to you – your family. Strike a balance between the two and you’ll see your marriage blossom, too.
- For better or for worse: When Masao was missing from their relationship due to the war, did Miyako give up on him? No. Marriage isn’t a bed of roses. Like everything in life, it will have its ups and downs. Embrace both and support each other through the downs.
- Agree on core parenting rules: Mummy and daddy parenting might be very different. But when you disagree on pretty much everything related to how you raise your child, things can get pretty unpleasant in your marriage. Agree to disagree – and when it comes to core parenting rules, agreeing on them is a must.
- Sex: While finding time for sex might seem like a chore, it’s so important to keep that flame burning bright between the two of you.
- Kiss and make up: We’ve all been there after a fight, so angry with each other that you can’t bear to look at your partner’s face, let alone talk to them. But make it a point to make up after an argument. And if you must sleep on it, then start the next day fresh, and anger-free.