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Advice from the long-wedded: How to make a marriage last

Brenda Dawson, celebrating her 52nd anniversary with husband Deacon Thomas Dawson, said she wished more couples would join marriage ministries.

Photographer: JIM DAVIS | FC

Brenda Dawson, celebrating her 52nd anniversary with husband Deacon Thomas Dawson, said she wished more couples would join marriage ministries.

Photographer: JIM DAVIS | FC

"Fight for what you love," said Anthony Meloro, marking his 25th wedding anniversary with wife Bobbi at St. Mary Cathedral.

MIAMI | How to keep a marriage going after a quarter-century or more? Some of the couples attending the recent anniversary Mass at St. Mary Cathedral shared what they’ve learned.

"You need to give yourself to the other person, and forgive always," said Margaret LeGrande of Annunciation Church in West Hollywood

"And never go to bed mad," husband Paul chimed in.

Pierre Andre Denis of St. Maurice at Resurrection Church, Dania Beach, said he has often reflected on his 35 years with wife Pierrette. He decided that it comes down to: "Be happy and confident. And respect. And show admiration."

For Anthony and Bobbi Meloro, at the cathedral for their 25th anniversary, persistence and determination were vital.

"Marriage is tough you’ve got to fight for what you love," said Anthony, a member of St. Gregory parish in Plantation. "But when you wake up next to the person who has been with you through the good and the bad someone you trust not only with your life but with random things during the day life is good. We look forward to our next 25 years."

Eneida Sanchez of Miami Gardens had several tips, drawn from her 51 years with husband Fernando: "Love each other; comprehend each other; share your emotions; love and assist your children regardless of the circumstances. But before everything else, trust and love God. And pass those values on to your children."

Eneida, who attends St. Monica Church in Carol City, offered a final nugget: "At dinnertime, bring the family together. No phones or TV."

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