Still in love - KOTA Territory News

KOTA News EXTRA: Still in love

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On this Valentine's Day, we are reminded of a sobering statistic: the probability of a marriage ending in divorce is between 40 and 50 percent.

Two couples from KOTA Territory offer advice on how their relationships have withstood the test of time.

As friends for more than 60 years, Harlan and Hazel Krutsch and Don and Jean McColley all live at Westhills Village Retirement Community in Rapid City.

"They've been good friends to us," said Don about Hazel and Harlan.

"In fact I don't know what I'd do if they didn't live here," said Jean.

But that's not all they have in common; both couples have been married for more than 60 years.

"65 years, 8 months, and four days," said Don.

While Harlan and Hazel Krutsch have been married for 63 years.

And both couples were high school sweethearts.

"He was captain of the football team and I was a cheerleader, so I really pursued him. I chased him," said Hazel of Harlan.

"And I couldn't run fast enough," joked Harlan.

In this day and age their 60 plus years of marriage is rare; as almost 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.

"It's rather sad to hear of so many people divorcing. I don't think they try hard enough. You wouldn't be truthful if you didn't say you wanted to just slam the door and get out of it, but those times pass," said Hazel.

So what's their secret to a happy marriage?

"We laugh a lot at each other," said Harlan.

"It's a give-and-take proposition," said Don.

"There's been some hard times and we argue. But we never go to bed angry," said Harlan.

 "Sometimes we are up until midnight solving it, but that's alright," added Hazel.

"Just keep your mouth shut. No, we really got along just great. We had our ups and downs and our bad times too. But I don't know, I guess we just felt like we were meant to be," said Jean.

 "Put the credit cards away," said Hazel.

"And respect each other," added Harlan.

Respect, love, and a commitment to each other are what both couples say is just part of the secret to a long and happy marriage.

Another key to a successful marriage, both couples say they married their best friends.

And that in turn has kept them together through the years.

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