We Eloped 40 Years Ago

Len and I eloped on St. Patrick’s Day forty years ago. My parents were less than thrilled, but they soon discovered that he’s a terrific guy and ended up loving him as much as they loved me. 

People often ask us the recipe for our success. The secret is in the way we express our love. Here’s a list of our favorite ingredients:

  • Mutual respect
  • Intentional kindness
  • Active listening
  • Forgiveness
  • Quality individual time, balanced with quality together time
  • Personal hobbies, balanced with mutual interests
  • Laughter. Definitely laughter!

What’s your favorite relationship ingredient?

© lauriebuchanan.com

96 thoughts on “We Eloped 40 Years Ago

  1. A good balance between mystery and confidence; never quite knowing what she is going to do, yet confident that it will be in our interests (even if it might not seem so at times).

  2. Love your story! Ed and I celebrated 35 years last year. For us I think at the base level the thing that we’ve always had for each other is respect. For us that’s the most important thing. Yes I love him, there are some days I don’t like him (and vice versa) 😉, but through everything we’ve gone through we have respect for each other.

  3. Happy Anniversary! May you have many more happy years together. Laughter is the big one for us. Also, having some separate interests have worked well. xo

  4. Happy Anniversary to you both, Laurie! The love you have for each other literally shines through your photos!

    One of my favorite relationship ingredients is always being in the other person’s corner, always supportive, and cheerleading whenever they need a boost! Cher xo

  5. I love that you eloped. How sweet–and smart in terms of financial savings, at least today.

    This is perhaps one of the less obvious relationship ingredients, but can be important–maybe not in 100 percent of cases especially those in 2nd or 3rd marriages. Bur we love the common purse. We have always lumped all of our finances together, and even now in retirement, the amounts our separate 401 Ks produced, we lump together as our mutual kitty. We also had/have mad money: $20 or 30 a week ($10 longer ago) that we each have to spend, cash, and not have to ‘splain. We have also had this “policy” of not buying something major the first time a salesperson told us about it–we need to sleep on it. We miss out on some “bargains” that way but also some bad bad expenditures.

    And have a lovely anniversary, if you can!

    • Melodie — We are oh-so-similar. Len and I have always lumped our finances together. We enjoy weekly “grin” money (that’s gone up a bit with inflation), and if there’s a large purchase, it takes two things to qualify: (1) a night to sleep on it, and (2) mutual buy-in. We both have to love it (or in some cases, we’re both going to regret it. After all, misery loves company) 🙂

  6. I’m grinning at the responses to your lovely Anniversary thoughts. Happy Happy Loving Anniversary to you two. My guy and I didn’t elope – but we only had about 35 people at our wedding 35 years ago. My two kids (2 and 4 years old) walked us down the aisle (my guy was able to adopt them a year later). All of us who didn’t go through a “normal” wedding prove that the ceremony doesn’t matter. But the LOVE through thick and thin, the loving and intimacy even in bad times (especially in bad times?), the night-time conversations and day-time “can I bring you a cup of tea?” kindnesses – that’s what counts. ❤

  7. I like your list of ingredients. They encompass everything I can think of in one way or another. And I agree, definitely laughter!
    I also like that something your parents weren’t thrilled about turned out for the best. A reminder to us as parents that sometimes we DON’T know what’s best for our kids.

  8. My husband could tell the most absurd story and have people believing it until he came up with a final tidbit which couldn’t possibly be true. I knew then I’d been had, we’d break into laughter and I’d vow to “get him back.” We had fifty-nine years of love, fun, and joy with one another.

  9. Good morning Laurie,

    Congratulations to you and Len.

    What an accomplishment and an example of continued love, respect and kindness. (Such a seemingly simple recipe but yet so difficult for so many.)

    Have a Wonderful 40th Anniversary (and Happy St. Patrick’s Day too)!

    I miss you Laurie.

  10. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband,Laurie.
    I liked that part about Intentional kindness.That is easily forgotten and not practised enough.I have been guilty

  11. Laurie, Mike and I eloped as well and we have made it through 60, almost 61 years. I agree mutual respect is so important, and as I have often told my children, “Don’t expect marriage to be 50/50. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it’s 90/10 or 60/40. Be ready for the ups and downs.”

    • Rose — How fortunate that you had so much time with Mike. What you shared here is soooooo important. Sometimes in a marriage we pick up the other person’s slack, yet others, that person picks up ours. A great reminder. Thank you! 🙂

  12. We eloped 40 years ago last month! Happy Anniversary to you, Laurie. We were so opposite that no one thought we would last. Surprise! We did. And we have learned so much along the way. Ups and downs, but all in all, a great journey about how we are not so much ‘opposite’ as a ‘complement’ to each other.

  13. I’ve always gotten a good smile out of the idea of you and a very happy sailor cruising off into the green tropical sunset, oblivious to all the world – parents included. I think of the window being raised in the middle of the night, the daughter of the house slipping quietly over the sill and down the ladder to her Romeo’s arms and shelter, leprechauns cheering in the background! I know it wasn’t like that but it’s still a fun story! Happy Anniversary to you both and may I say, you look to be sublimely happy!

  14. Wishing you and Len and Len a Healthy and Happy Anniversary. Next month, Jordan and I will be celebrating our 53rd wedding anniversary. I think our success has been enhanced by consistently thinking about how the other person would feel or react to a situation. That thoughtfulness is the bonus to our love, respect, integrity, trust, compassion, blessings, sadness, tragedy, joyfulness, empathy, and fun that we have experienced throughout the 55 years we know one another!

  15. Eloped , how romantic , you wild things you . Happy Anniversary to such a happy looking couple . To always be the best of friends ….laughter is definitely the key .

  16. Happy Anniversary!
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day
    34 years ago our youngest daughter arrived on St. Patrick’s Day – Lucky day!
    Ingredient: LISTENING

  17. Happy anniversary! We eloped 33 years ago and didn’t tell anyone for a year! 🙂 We were in cahoots together from the start.
    All the things listed with an emphasis on intentional kindness and humor. Flexibility. Not being scared to rediscover each other as we change and grow (in so many ways 🤣) Enjoying each other. Acknowledging that it’s not always easy. The work is worth it! We’re a partnership, in it together. 😊

    • JamieLou — That’s a big secret to keep for a year. Wow, I love it! I love that you’ve added flexibility and rediscovery to the list. Along with acknowledging that it’s not (by any means) always easy. Here’s to long-term partnerships. Cheers!

  18. Happy anniversary. Ours is coming up shortly. My favorite ingredient is spending more years together, as I hope for you and yours.

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