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7 Little Tips for a Happy Marriage

2012 January 24

So skater hubs and I have been dating since 1995. If my math is correct, that’s a hard-to-believe 17 years coming up. Been married for almost eight.

During that time, we have seen lots of our friends’ marriages thrive, a handful of them fail and many, many go through ups and downs, as the early years of wedded “bliss,” children and mortgages test us to no end.

But through it all, somehow, we have managed to maintain that relationship that most of our loved ones hold up as an example. And though not every moment is perfect, here are seven little things that have certainly helped us along:

1) Listen to your wedding song every once in a while. Dust off that vinyl, CD or MP3, crank it up, and transport yourselves back to that day when everything about the other person seemed nothing but perfect. If you’re really feeling up to it, watch the wedding video.

2) Eat dinner together by candelight. Not on your anniversary or Valentine’s Day. Tonight. Tomorrow night. A week from Thursday. Even if it’s at home and it’s leftover meatloaf and you’re discussing the bills, eat by candlelight. Don’t rely on “date night” to light that spark.

3) Follow each other on social media. Not just to make sure that ex from high school isn’t rearing his/her ugly head, but because the persona your partner puts out there to the rest of the world may not always be the one you get at home…it’s probably a little more fun.

4) Always pick up beer for him at the store. And make sure he picks up a bottle of wine for you. Do not run out.

5) Contrary to popular belief, it’s ok to go to bed mad. Sometimes you need that extra 10 hours to fume and you will likely make more progress in the morning.

6) It’s not always easy, but don’t fight in front of your kids. Not only is it bad for them, it’s bad for your relationship and shows a lack of respect for your partner.

7) Tell him all your friends’ secrets. Most everything you tell me, I tell skater hubs. Not to gossip, but because talking through some of our friends’ biggest dilemmas, heartaches and worries has somehow brought us even closer — using their experiences as opportunities to see how we would react/think/feel is the best therapy I have found. And it’s free. And don’t worry, your secrets are safe with him.

So there you have it. Seven friendly tips from a very happily married woman.

Take ’em or leave ’em.

Whatever you choose to do, just do not rely on “’til death do us part.”

14 Responses
  1. January 24, 2012

    This might be my favorite post so far. I love that you have been together since you were in high school. I think. Right? You are a special family and I think a huge part of that is because your tips for a happy marriage transcend your marriage and somehow cross over into your family life. I think the biggest thing here is R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Happy marriage = happy kids = happy life!

  2. January 24, 2012

    Love, love, love this! I nodded my head frantically at each one. I am also very happily married and couldn’t agree more.

  3. August 1, 2012

    I love this post! I found your blog via The Conversation (I also love that show!) and your “I Don’t Believe In Date Night” post totally resonates. I’ve been with my guy since I was 14. I’m 34. We are happy, in love and still get excited when we see each other. We laugh and talk a lot. Friends and family often ask us our secret. Many of your tips are definitely part of them – thanks for sharing. We hear and read so much about relationships failing that it’s so refreshing to hear from someone who is in a thriving and healthy relationship!

    • WWGD permalink*
      August 1, 2012

      Thanks so much, happy you found me! And agree, marriage is tough and a) focusing on it is important and b) it’s really nice when it works… 😉

  4. Kassie permalink
    August 10, 2012

    Hi There–
    I just happened to run across your articles on the internet and it caught my attention! I think that your insight on Marriage, family, kids etc is very interesting and right my alley! It just makes sense!! You always hear …..”go on date night once a week” or don’t ever go to bed mad, bla bla bla……….I like your take on life much better! It’s way more real!

    • Earl permalink
      August 10, 2012

      Most of the advise folk have no real concept of what constitutes ‘happiness’ –it certainly is not contained in ‘skinny pants’ and once a week fancy dinner!– it’s the every day little curtesies that add up to total love,–and who has never gone to bed mad?–all that is just BS– my wife and I were together for 18 years and never had a serious argument, quiet amazing

  5. stacy permalink
    August 10, 2012

    I agree with most of your posting except for the pick up some beer for him and he some wine for you and never run out. This implies alcohol is needed to tolerate one another and that you are alcoholics. I am happy for you and your family, it is so great to see couples go through ups and downs, but continue to know that you and your partner committed to the relationship so long as you respect eachother. My husband and I have been through many good and many bad times and days, but there is no one I would rather share life with. August the 8th was our 14th wedding anniversary, and Sept. 27 will be our 19th year together, we met when I was only 15 years old, a lifetime ago, but yet it doesn’t feel like so. We’ve seen friends get together and break-up, and we always think-we are so lucky to have found eachother. Let’s face it the day to day struggle of keeping up with bills, chores, school events, a career, and experiencing illnesses and/or deaths can be challenging and having a partner that will be by your side through all this makes it easier. I only wish that more people would be so lucky.

    • WWGD permalink*
      August 10, 2012

      Thanks, Stacy. It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship, so happy to hear about it. I do, however, have to disagree with your implication that we are “alcoholics.” I do believe in a glass of wine with dinner and in responsibility and in having a light-hearted tone to my writing, but I do not believe it is fair to jump to a conclusion as serious as that one based on what you have read here. I do hope you understand my point of view, and thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • Amanda permalink
      August 10, 2012

      I do believe that your comment about alcohol is a little out of line. I think the reference to beer and wine was more of a metaphor. You don’t have to be an alcoholic just because you like to have a glass of wine a couple times a week.
      I loved the article and agree with every point made. Make every day special for the one you love, not just on ‘date night’. Keeping the love alive is a very common issue with couples, more people should focus on this vs divorce. Especially when divorce is made so easy and has been glamorized in the hollywood.

  6. Earl permalink
    August 10, 2012

    This happy couple will stay this way, the base of their relationship is ‘honesty’, -I resently lost my wife, we had a marriage much like this, no hidden agendas, no secrets, always kind and respectful to one another in privat and in public,– my memories are wonderful and full of happines.

  7. August 21, 2013

    This post brought a smile to my face. My husband and I just entered year 4 of marriage and are still learning as we go. I love #7 about dishing friends news/troubles/issues. I think you can certainly learn from others and sharing always helps create a united front -no one likes to be in the dark!

    Happy Anniversary! And ps. my husband always remembers to buy me wine and it’s delightful. =)

    • WWGD permalink*
      August 21, 2013

      Ha, love it. Thanks for reading, Jess!

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