ALWAYS SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’
Euclid couple married for 70-plus years share tips for a long and happy marriage
“Always tell each other the truth, no matter what is going on in your life, tell your partner the truth.” — Robert Hancovsky
Robert Hancovsky knew he was going to marry his wife after their first date.
Robert was just out of the service in 1946 when he first met Eileen on a blind date. He recalls that it was the Saturday after Christmas and it had been arranged by his cousin whose girlfriend worked with Eileen.
“I came out of the service and one month after I was out, the first and only date I had was her (Eileen), and after I went with out her, when I come home that night my oldest brother said how was your date,” Robert said. “I said, ‘I’m going to marry that girl.’ And he said, ‘You’re full of crap’.”
Robert, now 91, then described how excited he was and that he couldn’t wait for the next
day to give her a call.
Their first date, the now 93-year-old Eileen recalled, was to a hockey game and dinner. Eileen, who had never been to a hockey game, decided she didn’t like the sport.
In June 1947, Robert asked her to marry him. She didn’t answer him right away. She recalls she thought it over and three weeks later agree to marry him.
“I went out the following week and got an engagement ring and we became engaged. Then I said we should start making plans,” Robert said. “She’s a beautiful, beautiful girl and I didn’t want to lose her. I didn’t want nobody to steal her from me.”
Robert then looked toward Eileen and told her she is still beautiful.
The couple married Nov. 29, 1947, at St. Wendelin Catholic Church on Cleveland’s west side.
The first of their four children was born in 1950 and in 1951 they moved to Euclid and bought a home where they still reside.
After 70 years of marriage they have seen plenty of good and bad times.
According to Robert, when Eileen got pregnant with their first child and quit her job he told her she would never work again.
“I told her I’m your husband, the children are both of ours, I will support you,” he said. “I worked two and three jobs many times because, some times were hard... She stayed home and took care of the kids. We have four children and she had five miscarriages.”
When asked to share some things they did to stay married for over 70 years, Robert laughed and responded “Well, the first thing is living that long.”
Eileen said although they often disagree they never had a major argument.
“We always tell each other those three famous little words many times during the day — ‘I love you,’ ” Robert said.
Eileen lovingly described how the couple walks around with the help of their walkers through the house and kiss each other in passing.
“It’s those little things, like his bare head,” she said. “I’m always kissing it, I don’t know why.”
Robert responded by saying “we just love each other.”
When asked about resolving disagreements, they both agreed the simplest solution for them is to not stay mad about it.
“My thing is if we are arguing and I think I’m right about everything, it doesn’t make any difference whether I’m right or not,” Robert said. “In our lifetime, it just don’t make no difference, just forget about it and just don’t continue to argue.”
“I know with me, if we have a disagreement or an argument I can’t stay mad,” Eileen said. “I get upset, I get mad and don’t talk to him for a while but, then after a while I forget all about it.”
“It’s a lot of fun making up,” Robert said laughing.
When asked what advice they had to give to other couples, Eileen advises that when “you have a disagreement, you have to try to talk it out to make sure it doesn’t fester.
“I think if you don’t talk it out or forget about it, it will fester and be even worse and then sometimes it can cause a real big argument and that is what you don’t want,” she said.
Robert believes that since you are making a commitment for life when you marry, to make sure you mean it.
Robert who was a manager at a tool and die shop for 30 years also hinted work should be left at work and not brought home.
They agreed to always be kind and care for each other. A daughter lives with them, and Eileen said if it wasn’t for her they would probably be in a nursing home by now.
“We have our ups and downs and have both fallen,” she said.
Robert laughed and interrupted Eileen to tell her no matter how old he gets he still keeps falling for her.
Eileen recently had a heart valve replacement and Robert endured 42 radiation treatments for prostrate cancer.
“We never had anyone in to take care of us when we were sick, other than our daughter,” Eileen said. “We just took care of each other.”
Robert said some of the best advice he can give is to never keep secrets from each other.
“Always tell each other the truth, no matter what is going on in your life, tell your partner the truth.”
Eileen advises never go to bed angry and always be sure to kiss good each other good night.
“Always say ‘I love you,’ ” Robert and Eileen said.
Robert, 91, and Eileen, 93, Hancovsky of Euclid, have been married for over 70 years.