Marriage is a struggle.
But it's also a commitment that is worth fighting for and working on.
That's what Yorktown's Karl and Mariana Ehrmann said as they reflected on their 53-year-long marriage.
The two met in 1958 in New York City where they were living. He was 23 and she was 21. The following year, they were married on July 12, 1959.
They still remember the day they met – Karl was sitting on the stairs of an apartment building and was chatting with a friend – and their first date – that same day when Karl asked Mariana to take a stroll through Central Park.
"I had seen her in the neighborhood and I thought she was an attractive woman," Karl, now 78, said.
Karl, who was a civil engineer at the time, and Mariana, now 76, who worked as a file clerk when they met, found out they had a lot of things in common. Karl described his wife as a beautiful, intelligent person who loved to be outdoors. Mariana described her husband as a clean-cut young man, who eyes and voice she liked.
Even though, the couple has been through "severe storms," as they descibed it, in their 53-year-long marriage, including the loss of their son Thomas to a car accident, it was the power of their family and committment that helped them get through the hardships and stay together.
"We were meant to be together," Mariana said. "There was always a connection even when things weren't good."
Karl said even though he might get upset at his wife, she always knew he had a strong love for her.
By all means, their marriage is not perfect, they said, but it was one worth working on.
And the secret to their long marriage?
"Faithfulness," Karl said.
"No matter what," Mariana added right away.
The couple has two children – Pettina, who lives in Ithaca, and Peter, who lives in Somers – as well as six grandchildren.
Karl said he has not given any marriage advice to his two children, but he hopes that though example, his children see how important marriage is and that they should put every effort to maintain that unit.
"Marriage is a struggle," Karl said. "You have to work on it."