Gerry and Frank DeMaria have been together for nearly four decades and they say they are still very much in love with each other.
The two met through friends one summer while they were living in the Bronx. Gerry was 14 and Frank was 16.
"It was really love at first sight," Frank said of his wife, whose eyes, smile and hair he first noticed. "I always considered being lucky that she went out with me."
Once he got his driver's license he said he would pick her up and drive her to school.
"I always called her my girl," Frank said. "What I loved about her was that she was smart, always in a great mood, and very personable."
Gerry, 51, describes her husband, 53, as someone who is easy going, nice, laid back, generous, funny and he gets along with everybody.
The high school sweethearts started going out in November 1978 and the two have been together ever since. They were married nine years after they officially started dating and have three beautiful daughters, Nicole, Laura and Caitlin. Their girls grew up in Yorktown and graduated from Yorktown High School.
Gerry said they waited for a few years before they got married because Frank had started a glass and mirror business along with a friend at age 21, so they waited until he "got on his feet." Frank now works for his grandfather's business, which was started in the 1940s.
"The most important thing is you have to respect the person you are with," Gerry said. "I've always trusted him. He is very respectful."
Frank also agreed that respecting the other person's opinions and views is important in a relationship. He said they genuinely enjoy each other's company and they do "little things" for each other to make the other person happy – including him doing the dishes at night, so when Gerry wakes up in the morning there isn't a pile of dirty dishes, or she would pick up something he likes.
To celebrate Valentine's Day, the couple will go out to dinner at 12 Grapes in Peekskill. But even if it's not Valentine's Day, Gerry said her husband always does "nice things."
Every year, the father of three would buy gifts for his daughters, which Gerry calls "sweet." She describes him as a great father and husband.
"People say it's a cheesy holiday, but it's nice to get a card," Gerry said of Valentine's Day. "Or [my husband] would buy flowers or a gift, nothing too crazy."
She said it's about spending the holiday with your significant other.
Of being high school sweethearts, Gerry said she knows her husband "really well."
"A lot of people get married so quickly and they don't get to know someone for who they really are," Gerry said.
Her advice for a long marriage is to trust and respect your significant other.
"You treat your significant other the way you want to be treated," she said. "And you also make them feel good about themselves. When you're happy, they're happy."
Gerry calls herself the "luckiest person in the world" to have met her husband Frank.
"I met him when I was young and got to spend so much time with him and we have three beautiful girls, who are now women," she said. "We met at the right time. We knew we wanted the same things in life."
The couple enjoys going out with friends, taking trips to the city and going to the beach. Although Frank works long hours, his wife said, he likes to golf and his new passion is to get a motorcycle. Gerry said she is starting to learn ballroom dancing.
"Everybody has their ups and downs in marriage," Gerry said. "But [Frank] is a great guy and we have a really nice life together. I don't see myself being with anyone else...."
"I was lucky to have met him. We love each other."
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