How To Spend 50 Years Together: A Lesson In Making Romantic Relationships Work | The Canadian News

Carol and Ed Maggiacomo huddled in front of their computer screen in Gull Lake, Alta, eager to share with Global News what makes their relationship work.

The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary earlier this year.

“May 29, 1971,” recalls Carol.

Ed and Carol Maggiacomo were married on May 29, 1971.


The two were married in Germany, first by the local mayor in one of the cities, then celebrated days later with a church wedding.

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Their first years of marriage began with Ed’s career in the military, followed by a contract to coach professional hockey in Denmark.

A journalist by profession, Carol put her career aspirations to live abroad with her husband on hold, but later found work at a publishing house.

After their stay in Denmark, the Maggiacomos moved to Iceland, where they put down roots for several more years.


Carol and Ed Maggiacomo in Denmark. The couple lived near Copenhagen for seven years.



The Maggiacomos spent three years living in Reykjavik, Iceland.


“The military beginning of our marriage gave us a sense of flexibility in our marriage,” Carol said.

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“He’s always the best side of me and he’s also watched over the years in the number of kids he’s impacted,” are just some of the qualities Carol said that make Ed easy to love.

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During their years in Europe, young people used to stay with them while they played hockey, treating their son, Christopher, like a little brother.

Ed also did not hesitate to say why he is still in love with his wife.

“I respect and love Carol very much for all the things she does,” Ed said.

“I’ve always told people that my wife: ‘You can put my wife in a big box full of rattlesnakes and walk away and they would come back with socks!'”

Ed said Carol “has a great personality.” She is a cancer survivor and her optimistic outlook on life always brings people together.

After spending time apart when Ed first settled in Denmark, Carol joined him and instantly became friends with everyone in the neighborhood.

“’Hello Carol from Canada!’” Ed laughed, is what they often heard walking the streets of a small town near Copenhagen.

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“He knows everyone and he’s a very smart person, he speaks a few languages,” Ed said.

What has kept their relationship so strong is spending time together and apart.

“The great thing about Ed and I,” Carol said, “is that we also have such separate interests, that even though we do a lot of things together, we have these separate interests, so we grow on our own.”

But the couple stressed that making a marriage last takes work.

“You just don’t get together and, ‘Oh, it’s going to be peaches and cream and so forth,’” Ed said, “you have to work on it.

“If they are not willing to work on that as a couple, then they are going to have problems in the future.”

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Dr. Adam Galovan, a family scientist in the department of Human Ecology at the University of AlbertaHe said the key to a happy long-term romantic relationship is to think of “us” instead of “me.”

“A lot of research suggests that having what we call ‘shared meaning’ in our relationship actually leads to greater happiness,” Galovan said.

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“Being very focused on the ‘me’ detracts from the idea that we are building something together, that we are a shared unit. We have an identity as a couple and not just an identity like ourselves ”.

Galovan is one of the authors of a study published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy that looked at relationship satisfaction and moved beyond an individualistic approach.

“When we focus on ‘us’, it helps us pay more attention to our partner and their needs, they respond like this in return, so it is beneficial to all,” said Galovan.

Over time, Galovan added, many people began to shift their focus from romance and relationships to a more “consumer-oriented approach to relationships and what’s in it for me?”

Galovan added that social media has helped accelerate that mindset to constantly thinking, “Am I happy right now? They may be thinking things like, ‘Is my sex life good? Am I getting along with my partner right now? They are not thinking so much about their long-term goals. “

The study showed Galovan that couples who are connected are generally more satisfied. He said that languishing relationships pointed to less positive communication.

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Teamwork can be easier said than done, but Galovan said that simple little gestures will go a long way in a relationship.

She suggested making time each day for a five-minute record with her partner.

Or it could be a little greeting ritual: a goodbye kiss or a hello kiss. That kind of thing over time, ”Galovan said. “It’s those little moments of connection.”

In the age of social media and wearable devices, Galovan said it’s important to recognize your partner when they enter a room. Look up from your phone and smile.

“Those little things really show that you’re putting the ‘we’ in a more relationship focus.”

The Maggiacomos have now settled in Canada for retirement.

Living with her son and family for half the year, much of her time is spent with her grandchildren. The couple said allowing their son and his wife to spend time together is a gift, and that their relationship is one they are proud to see develop.

Carol and Ed with their son, Christopher, daughter-in-law, Tammy and grandchildren, Journey and Beckham.


They passed on their life and love lessons and said their advice to any new couple is to respect each other’s time.

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Carol said that what she loves most about Ed has changed over the years, but she still appreciates his flexibility and willingness to try something new and listen.

“I like the word important darling,” she told Ed, “because you always make me feel what I’m talking about is important.”

Carol laughed and said that she tells people that these past 10 years could be the poorest in retirement.

“But it’s the best”.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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