Do My Parents Have a Relationship Secret?

By Dr. Robert Wallace

February 20, 2021 4 min read

DR. WALLACE: My parents have been happily married for 16 years. I am an only child and have had a wonderful 15 years of life so far. My parents are always good to me, and I have no complaints at all about how I've been treated. Yes, they have rules, like almost every parent does, but they are fair and reasonable, and they do allow a few exceptions every once in a while, when there is a good reason.

But I must admit I am kind of worried, since I have pretty big expectations for my own love life based on my parent's relationship and what I see with them. There is so much love and trust between them, and they stick together like glue. Yes, they're human and will get a bit grouchy with each other once in a while, but it never lasts long, and they both are willing to step up to apologize. I've seen them both do it!

I hope and pray that someday I can find someone to have a relationship with built on those strengths. What makes me worry is that a lot of my friends come from homes with divorced parents and broken relationships. I've asked my parents what their secret is, but I really don't get a straight answer, other than they both really value each other and couldn't ever think about being separated. Do you know what their secret might be? — Impressed Daughter, via email

IMPRESSED DAUGHTER: You are indeed blessed to be part of a loving, caring family. The secret, from my point of view, is to truly listen to each other and to compromise whenever possible.

I've been married many, many decades and can say that a good marriage definitely takes two people who love and care for each other and are willing to put the union ahead of solely personal interests or desires. The funny thing we've discovered over the years is that the more we compromise, the more we enjoy doing so, because we can sense in advance that our interpersonal harmony is sacrosanct.


DR. WALLACE: I've heard that an American citizen can get a personal letter from the president of the United States upon turning 100 years old. Is this true? I ask because my grandma's 99 years old, and it would be great to receive a letter from the president as part of her centennial celebration.

She's really old-school, so I think she would be wildly impressed if I could score her a letter from the White House! Is it possible? — Proud Granddaughter, via email

PROUD GRANDDAUGHTER: According to the finance website The Balance Everyday, "Free White House greetings will be sent to U.S. citizens celebrating the following milestones:

" — Birthday: U.S. citizens who are celebrating their 80th birthday and above, or veterans celebrating a birthday 70 and above are eligible for a free birthday White House greeting.

" — Anniversary: Couples celebrating a 50th, 60th, 70th, and up anniversary can get a free anniversary White House greeting.

"You can also receive a free White House greeting for the following events. Send in these requests after the event has already happened: birth or adoption, wedding and civil unions, Eagle Scout award, Girl Scout gold award, bar/bat mitzvah or equivalent occasion."

You can send your request to:

The White House

Attn: Greetings Office

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Your request will take approximately eight to 12 weeks to be processed. Tell Grandma that I send her my congratulations and best wishes as well!

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: Free-Photos at Pixabay

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