Today is my wedding anniversary. I have been married to my best friend for 38 years. And, I am so very grateful for every day, every adventure-good and bad- we've shared in those 38 years. So, in honor of our long standing relationship, I thought I would share my 'seven secrets' for a happy marriage.
Any time two individuals live together (especially over 30 years) there are bound to be annoying, irritating, and frustrating experiences. But whether it’s the toothpaste cap, toilet seat, snoring, or the last-minute pull-the-car-over-to-check-the-score-of-the-game-at-the-local-bar move, one thing is for sure: the best marriages are served with an extra helping of acceptance for one another’s trifling faults. (You gotta have a little friction...you can’t get any heat without friction (:
We don't expect perfection; we practice patience and we give the acceptance we want in return. There’s no doubt that this is work, but it’s well worth the effort.
When people ask me the secret to our marriage I tell them we aren’t afraid to say what’s on our minds. We have created and nurtured an environment where open, honest communication is welcomed and treated with diligent respect.
4. Never Stop Dating:
It has been said that it’s the quality of time, not the quantity of time that matters. But I believe it’s the quantity of quality time spent together that leads to a wonderful marriage. Whether it’s a vacation in the Bahamas, or simply getting away together for a night alone here and there, keeping the romance burning is easy: all you have to do is keep stoking the fire.
5. Love is a four-letter word spelled G-I-V-E:
Most people think marriage is 50/50. It’s not. It’s 60/40. You give 60. You take 40. And that goes for both of you.
6. Don't Miss a Thing:
The death rate for human beings hovers right around 100 percent, and is expected to remain there for … well, forever. Consider this: if the average life span is 80 years, then that means we only have 80 summers ... 80 winters ... 80 Christmas mornings ... 80 New Years, and that’s it. It’s easy to get caught in the day-to-day craziness of life and, in the process, take our spouses for granted. This adventure we call life goes by in the blink of an eye; relish your sweetheart’s presence while he or she is still here.
You can have respect without love, but you can’t have love without respect. Maybe the number one secret to a thriving, everlasting marriage is respect. It is the catalyst for all things beautiful in a relationship: trust, connection, authenticity, and love.