Ten great tips for a happy married life

by Mary Ann on May 26, 2011

young couple vintage image

Mary Ann, 18 and Don 19. Even then we knew we would be together.

This Saturday is our 40th anniversary. Don and I met when I was a senior and he was a freshman in college. We dated for about a 6 months and knew we were “it”. How can that be? How can you know this is it after such a short amount of time? Well, we knew. We got engaged and then I went to college and Don served a church mission for two years. When he came home we got married not knowing each other much better than we had 2 years earlier. Here we are 40 years and many bumps, bruises and joys later.

I called all my children this weekend to thank them for being part of our family. One of my sons who is engaged asked me how we managed to stay together when the divorce rate is 60% and about  keeping a marriage alive. He and his fiancé are worried about that.

Now I am no expert on marriage. I don’t have a degree in family studies. All I have are 40 years of doing it. Here is what I have learned about making a marriage last.

Ten tips for a happy married life.

1. No one is perfect. Forgive them and yourself.

2. Things change. You need to change too.

3. Anger is always a secondary emotion. What are you really feeling? What is really bothering you?

4. Kindness brings change faster than yelling.

5. Make a commitment and then when things fall apart (and they will) remember the commitment and work at building things back up.

6. Focus on making your weaknesses into strengths and don’t look too closely at your spouses weaknesses. Give your spouse time to do the same.

7. Laugh when it would be easier to get angry. Laughter is a healing balm.

8. Pray together. Serve God and his children together.

9. Learn what says LOVE to your partner. Don’t just do what says love to you.

10. Stay physically connected. Kiss, hug, enjoy being a couple no matter how old you are or how your health changes.

These ten things have helped us to stay happily married and have made our marriage last for forty years.

The operative words in a marriage are “we are working on it”. It takes work but , at least for me, it has been work which has paid many dividends.

Have a wonderful weekend and think of me spending a few carefree days with the love of my life. This is a great accomplishment for us. We are celebrating ourselves. : )

old couple driving picture

40 years together.

Possibly Related Posts:

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jody Jarvis May 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I second the commitment aspect. I have been married twice. First time “til death do us part”, which it did, and the second time “for time and for all eternity”. The level of commitment in my second marriage is what helps us stay together (25 years so far). The first marriage fell apart by 8 months and we were separated when he died. SO I guess it wasn’t even death that had pulled us a apart, but rather the level of commitment we had. When things got really bumpy the commitment wasn’t as strong.

I would add to that, to marry someone who you consider a friend, a good person, someone you like, not just love or are all twitterpated over. If the main attraction is physical, when the first disagreement comes along you will not want to be near the person. But if you value them as a friend, as a human being, not just as a “lover”, there will still be a strong core there as you work through the bumps (which do come to every relationship).


Mary Ann May 30, 2011 at 4:23 am

Right on, Jodie!!! That friend thing is very good advice.


Jenny May 30, 2011 at 9:41 pm

I love my beautiful parents so…..and they are both so very pretty!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: