- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - For some families, the word divorce isn’t even in their vocabulary. It doesn’t exist. And for the Hudson family’s six siblings, a combined 338 years of marriage and the tan lines from their wedding bands speak for themselves.

Every member of the Hudson family has been married for at least 50 years as of June 2017. Jack Hudson, 72, and his wife, Kaye, were the last to celebrate their 50th anniversary, this month.

The support of their family and their faith have been tremendous influences on their marriage and their lives.

“They’re a good role model to know that people stay together,” Kaye Hudson said of Jack’s siblings and their spouses.

Jack and Kaye were married in 1967, while Jack Hudson was still going through college at Indiana University. Kaye Hudson had to be the breadwinner of the family. The first years of marriage were a struggle.

“We started with nothing,” Jack Hudson said.

But even with the struggles, and even after moving seven times in the first five years of their marriage due to money issues, divorce didn’t happen. There were annoyances and buttons pushed, but they “take their vows seriously,” Jack said.

“If God can forgive us, we can forgive each other,” he said.

Jack and Kaye Hudson aren’t alone, either. Delores Schweer, formerly Delores Hudson, and her son Clifford Schweer Jr., spoke about their husband and father, Clifford Schweer.

Delores Schweer struggles to remember things sometimes because of dementia. But her voice choked a little and the lines of her face softened as she remembered her husband, who died in 2006 after 56 years of marriage.

“He was a good and honest man,” Delores whispered.

For her, marriage was simple. You made a promise to someone you loved and you kept it. She remembers her years with Clifford as a “common, everyday” marriage.

Soon after, she and her son laughed and said that if she had wanted to leave her husband, Delores Schweer would have found trouble at her parents’ home.

“If I went home, my mother would’ve spanked me,” Delores Schweer joked.

Besides, she said, she always knew “tomorrow would be a better day,” a thought easily relatable to her siblings.

Nelda Porter, formerly Nelda Hudson, and her husband, Bernard, are both 69 years old, and they know exactly what Delores means.

“You just know you’re committed, and know it’ll get better,” Nelda Porter said.

None of the couples had any mystical advice on how to form a good marriage. Their words were simple and few in describing their own.

Commitment. Devotion. Sacrifice. Good humor.

“After 50 years, we’ve almost started to think alike,” Bernard Porter said.

After 59 years of marriage, Kenny and Rotha Hudson pointed to their Christian faith as a major “foundation” in their marriage, citing numerous biblical examples in explaining why divorce was not even a consideration for them.

“The Bible says they shall be one,” Kenny Hudson said. “That’s forever.”

They, too, described their lives as simple. They try to take care of each other and the people around them. They own several rental properties, and said they try to help the people renting from them whenever they can.

They remember what it was like to have very little. They remember struggling to provide for their own children. They want to help others, and they want to do it as a couple and have a few laughs along the way

Kenny Hudson joked and quoted a family friend of his, saying while he’s never considered divorce, he may have thought about murder once or twice.

While many of the other siblings cite faith in their marriage memories, Margie Ness, a self-described “black sheep” of the family, said it had “no impact on me whatsoever.”

She was married to her husband, Carmen, in 1957, and they were married for 58 years until he died in 2015.

Immediately after marrying, the couple moved to California, and to this day, Margie stays out there.

Friday was the first time in 11 years she and all of her siblings were in the same room again.

“I knew immediately I could only rely on Carmen,” Margie Ness said, thinking back. “It was just the two of us.”

Devotion is the recurring theme within their family, according to Rex and Shirley Hudson, married 65 years.

To them, it’s all just a part of God’s plan, and it’s worked out. Their methods to keep a healthy marriage are as simple as their lives as retirees and churchgoers.

Don’t go to bed angry. Avoid pushing buttons. Remember the next day will be better. And put God and others first.

“She’s pretty easy to get along with,” Rex Hudson said. “I don’t know if God brought us together, but it’s lasted. We’ve been pretty blessed.”

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Source: The (Bloomington) Herald Times, https://bit.ly/2tMJ0kO

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Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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