Dear Abby: When I was 16 and wanted to get married, my father suggested I write to Dear Abby (your mom was writing the column back then) and ask her opinion. He said he would agree with what she said. I did, and Abby wrote me back. We did get married, and I decided that on our 25th anniversary, I would let you know how we were doing. You printed my letter.

As we celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary year, I want you to know our marriage has only strengthened. A very young couple who began life together with no idea what path we would take has experienced the best that life could offer. We have two beautiful daughters, wonderful grandchildren and a great-grandchild. We’ve had success in our careers, traveled the world, visited every state in our great country and can confidently relate that life has been good.

Commitment through the good and bad times is the key to a lasting marriage. It isn’t always easy, but the rewards far outweigh the problems.

— Took the Advice in Montana

Dear Took The Advice: I’m pleased to know you are as happy on your 50th anniversary as you were on your 25th. It’s interesting you would say that the key to a lasting marriage is commitment. I would offer that it is also mutual respect. (My mother once said that the key to a lasting marriage is a husband who lasts!)

My warmest congratulations to you both, and a very happy Valentine’s Day to you, your husband and to all my readers.