When it comes to marriage, it seems the over 50s are the generation to watch; with two thirds claiming they are in happy marriages with a third of them being together for a blissful 41-50 years, says a new Barometer Survey of the over 50s community of Silversurfers.com.

Most of them made the right choice first time with 70% married once with just under 1 in 4 proving second time is lucky.

Celebrity couples such as Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, who have been together for 31 years, Sting and Trudie, married 24 years and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, married 28 years, could teach youngsters such as the Beckhams and Gary Barlow a few tricks to keep their already strong marriages going for another 20 years.

So what can they teach the younger generation about a happy marriage? It’s not all a bed of roses and for almost 80% the most important factor in staying together is supporting each other through the tough times. Honesty and trust prove to be the bedrock of a successful partnership (64%) but it’s appreciating the lighter side with lots of laughs and fun together holding 68% together.

1 in 4 married people over 50 keep the flame alive with great sex, but it’s being in love that sustains just under half of the group.

It seems that independence is the key for some, with 10% saying that not spending too much time together and 41% certain that having their own interests different from their partner keeps life interesting.

For those who didn’t last the course a third say that someone in the marriage met someone else while 11% admit to being incompatible from the start.

Top ten secrets of a happy marriage

  1. Support in tough times 79%
  2. Lots of laughs and fun together 68%
  3. Total honesty & trust 64%
  4. Being able to confide in each other 56%
  5. Being in love 47%
  6. Having your own and different interests 41%
  7. Make sure you have lots of variety in life 30%
  8. Shared interests 28%
  9. Great sex 19%
  10. Not spending too much time together 10%

Are “Silverdaters” finding love on line?

Online dating proves a hit with the over 50’s; although only a small proportion have tried it (12%), of those who have 56% met their partner in cyberspace. Unfortunately a third found that it was misleading saying that everyone lied on their profiles.

It’s encouraging to see that the institution of marriage is enduring and that most people of the older generation have long and happy marriages. There’s clearly no one secret to it, a combination of things keep marriages alive, but support, friendship and lots of laughter seem to be the food of love!

Martin Lock – CEO Silversurfers

Silversurfers is the leading independent portal for the over 50’s in the UK; with fantastic articles, regular barometer surveys and exciting promotions and offers.