ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – This Valentine’s Day, an Albuquerque couple married for more than 50 years is sharing their secret to lifelong love. It was in Tucumcari in 1967 when then-19-year-old Lena met 21-year-old Glenn Braithwaite.

“It was at a drive-in, we were circling [and] almost hit head-on,” said Lena. “He was smoking a cigar, I said, ‘if I found out who that old man is with that cigar, I’m going to cram it down his throat.’ Years later, look what I got.”

Some could argue the near-crash was meant to be. The two got married a year later in 1968.

“Well…the Lord told me that was the man, just don’t let him get away,” said Lena. Never having kids, the two spent the next five decades adventuring.

“We did a lot of traveling,” said Glenn.

“We’ve traveled to 25 different states in a car. Some, we’ve been to two or three times,” said Lena. “Let’s just load the car and see where we go.”

Pictures in their home at Brookdale Valencia Senior Assisted Living Home in Albuquerque shows some of their adventures in Jemez and with a camper. But the highs did not come without a few lows.

“Lots of ups and downs with health and finances,” said Glenn. He noted his stroke back in 2013. “I couldn’t walk or talk for two years,” he said.

The Braithwaites, now in their 70s, leaned into their faith during the tough times. “Talk things out, pray things out, and listen,” said Lena. “If one of you is sick, the other one is feeling the trauma also, regardless of what it is…prayers is [sic] the number one answer…He never puts more than you can bare.”

They offer this advice to any new couples hoping to keep the love alive. “Don’t go to bed mad at each other. Talk things out,” said Glenn.

“And trust. I can’t stress trust enough. because if you can’t have trust, your marriage starts falling,” said Lena. And never stop doing the sweet gestures, like the couple buying each other roses for their 55th Valentine’s Day together.