Mike and Janet LaReau: Making Marriage Work
“I asked Janet for a date, and we’re still dating,” says Mike LaReau about the beginning of what became more than 50 years the couple has shared as husband and wife.
“On our first date, we went to see the movie ‘April Love,’” Janet adds. “I was a junior in high school, and he was a freshman in college. We dated four years before we got married.”
On September 5, 1964, with 200 guests witnessing their vows, the couple married at St. Patrick’s Church in Kankakee. “We started out in a one-bedroom, furnished apartment and worked toward our goals,” Janet says. “When you work together, you grow closer.”
One of their greatest joys as a couple is the blessing of their families of origin. Their parents were in a card club together, and Mike’s sister was one of Janet’s friends. “We’re blessed with good families on both sides,” Janet says. “My parents loved and accepted Mike, and his family loved and accepted me. We enjoyed getting together on holidays. They always got along with one another.”
Those models of love and support taught Mike and Janet the importance of commitment in a marriage.
“Marriage won’t last without a commitment,” Mike says. “You can’t give up on the other person because you don’t agree with him or her.”
“Divorce was never an option for us,” adds Janet. “You work out your relationship how it works for you. Don’t think you’re going to change your spouse. Don’t give up on your spouse or your marriage. Make your marriage important.”