Secrets for a Long Happy Marriage

How to Have a Happy Marriage—That Lasts

Close your eyes and think back to your first days of married life. For most of us, those days are filled with excitement, wonder, and hope! In the beginning, we looked forward to a happy marriage with our spouse, we had goals and dreams. Every experience was a brand new adventure and the romance probably came pretty easy! All we wanted to do was hold hands, cuddle and talk for hours on end! Over time, we settled into routines and our marriage started to take more effort!

So how do you continually keep the romance in your marriage as fun and as loving as it was when you were first married? Here are a few marriage tips to create the happy marriage of your dreams and keep the love alive throughout the years.

The Secret to a Happy Marriage That Lasts #MarriageTips #HappyMarriage #TheDatingDivas

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A Marriage Myth

I taught elementary school in my previous life and I remember having a conversation with some other teachers that rather stuck with me… JUST because it made me so sad! I thought I would share the experience as well as my personal thoughts on it. 

We were all sitting in the teacher’s lounge eating our lunches. When asked about my weekend plans, I shared a little about the date I was planning for my husband. A few of the teachers exclaimed things like, “That sounds like so much fun!” and “He’s going to LOVE it!”
 
A few others mentioned that they wish they had the time or desire to plan a fun date OR they wished HE would plan a creative date. Then came the comment that stuck with me: “Ahhhh… you’re still a newlywed! You’ll learn!”
 
She laughed as she said it, but I noticed that another teacher nodded in agreement. Yes, it was a joke but they were serious. They continued on jokingly complaining about their husbands.
 
At first, this made me sad… and then I realized I was also a little frustrated! How is it that people don’t know that you can stay in the “newlywed” phase your entire life? Or that as you continue to work on your marriage it gets even BETTER than the newlywed phase?

Happy Marriage Goals

I know you have all seen them – the sweet little old couples that shuffle along, still holding hands, both semi-blind and pretty darn deaf and looking as in love as the day they were married. That’s how I want Jamie and I to be! Did those couples fight? Of course! But, they also had the desire to work things out, communicate, and then work even harder at their marriage!
Knowing that you are going to have to make an effort to have the happy marriage of your dreams is the first step to creating a happy marriage for you and your spouse.
Happy Marriage Goals

The Number 1 Marriage Tip 

I recently read an AMAZING book called, “Love As a Way of Life“. The author, Gary Chapman (who also wrote “The Five Love Languages“), described his wife in the most loving terms and then revealed his marriage secret. Every day he would ask his wife, “What can I do for you today?” He said that at first his wife was surprised at the question but would let him know how he could help her out. Eventually, she started asking him the same thing!
They began to take pleasure in serving one another. You can’t help but love those that you serve! They quit looking out for #1 and shifted the focus to their spouse. It worked WONDERS in their marriage and after reading that book you can’t help but be a believer in the power of service! (P.S. I TOTALLY recommend that book!!!)
I know we are all SUPER busy and when you have children, life only gets crazier! Add in all the other commitments – jobs, household duties, church responsibilities… You can see how our marriages easily get pushed to the back burner. That is why we started this site, so we could slow down a little and remember to focus on the one we started it all with! You truly have to make the time!
Tips for a Happy Marriage That Lasts
Since starting this site and reading that awesome book, I have made a special effort to serve Jamie. Just last night, I knew he would be getting home late and might want to catch up on some of our FAV recorded TV shows. I quickly popped some homemade cheesy popcorn so he could also have his favorite treat. It took me less than ten minutes. We both laughed when he arrived home… armed with a half gallon of MY favorite treat – ice cream!
It was something SO simple, getting a treat for each other, but it made me realize how lucky I am to be married to such a guy AND that my efforts are paying off! I think we are BOTH making a special effort to try to put the other FIRST! Two days ago I send him a “love text” and he wrote back truly touched by my message. His message BACK to me basically put me on cloud nine for the rest of the day! Such a small thing can leave such a BIG impact! I am currently trying to make a special effort to leave him some kind of a CUTE love note each week, something simple, that lets him know how much he means to me!
The Secret to a Happy Marriage
I will be the first to admit that my marriage isn’t perfect but that will be quickly followed by saying that it’s perfect for ME! Why? That’s too hard to answer in just one sentence, but I can start by saying that my husband and I work hard at our marriage and we are definitely reaping the rewards of doing so!

What a difference it makes to actually ENJOY your journey with the one you chose to spend the rest of your life with instead of just ENDURING it!

Marriage Tips

I am sure hoping that I get to be one of those lil ole grannies who can’t hear a dang thing and who STILL insist on holding her husband’s hand! I want to be a “newlywed” for the rest of my life. 🙂

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About the Author: Tara

I am an outgoing and fun-lovin’ gal who was lucky enough to marry the man of my dreams! You could probably say I am an “extreme extrovert” as I LOVE to talk and be around people! I love ANYTHING creative and am not a fan of the “norm.” My favorite things in life are my family… especially my HOT husband, my friends, and my faith! We recently had a miracle baby boy after years of struggling with infertility. I have a passion for life and I am having a BLAST running this website with some of my closest friends. Life just keeps getting better and better!

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17 Responses to Secrets for a Long Happy Marriage

  1. Awww! I love this post! I couldn't agree more. What better way could you reflect on your life as a "granny" with more satisfaction than to know that you made the very most of the years with your spouse. I'm motivated!

  2. I love that you posted this. Adam and I have been striving for this as well. Mainly because my parents and grandparents have this kind of marriage so we have good examples to pattern our marriage after. But I never want to lose that feeling for him and when I hear other women complain about their husbands, it only makes me try all the harder at making my marriage above par.

  3. Beautiful thoughts. Just another idea along the lines of love notes: After reading the book "The Wednesday Letters" I decided to send my hubby a love email every week, trying each time to tell him one reason I love him. He has mentioned several times how helpful this is during a stressful day to get a loving email and it helps me focus on the positive even when things are rough.

  4. Thank you! And I can tell you from experience that the 'newlywed' phrase really can last. Me and my husband have been married 15 years and still adore each other. He still makes me laugh almost every day and I love to be there for him. Great post!

  5. Tara – I love hearing your desire to be "newlyweds" for the rest of your lives! I remember when Tom and I were first married (31 years ago) people would give me the same look – "oh just wait until…" – and I was sad too! We determined at the very outset of our marriage to purposely pursue each other, and now I can tell you as one of the "oldies" it has paid off! Continue to pray and ask God to help you, because there will be times when it isn't fun or easy, but He will help you. I love your blog!!! I'm going to add you to our blogroll on The Romantic Vineyard! Have a wonderful day!!
    Debi

  6. I realize that this article is over a year old, but I’m still hoping someone reads the comments! I absolutely love this article. Whenever I would see older couples still holding hands I would gaze wistfully at them and wish my marriage could be so intimate. We have been married for over 30 years now and become way too complacent about our marriage. This winter we purposed to change that. We attended a “Weekend to Remember” Conference, started praying together every night and began “dating” each other again. I am thrilled with how quickly God has honored our obedience to cherish our marriage and each other. I am even (very much a beginner) blogging about our dates because our children encouraged me too! I love it that they can see the progress! Just another blessing!

    1. What an amazing example to all of us! It has never been TOO long to start working on your marriage. I’m glad things have gone so well for you. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Another comment that is a year late…I just have to say how much I LOVE your blog! You gals are awesome! I hate it when people throw you the newlywed line, like its something to be ashamed of. My parents are in there 70’s and 60’s and after almost 40 years of marriage and raising 15 kids, they are still so in love. They are a huge example to me of making your marriage not only work, but making it fun! Whenever they are together and hear a song they like, no matter where they are, they will stop and dance. I’ve seen them dance in the middle of grocery stores, restaurants, parking lots and even pulling over on the side of the road just to share a dance. It used to really embarrass me as a kid but now I’m grateful for their example of taking those small opportunities to express their love for each other. Newlyweds ROCK!

  8. I have to tell you how much I have enjoyed finding this blog. It’s so encouraging to find other couples who are striving to keep their marriages happy and loving. I can so identify with your sentiments and corresponding frustration/sadness. My hubby and I just celebrated 12 years this Oct (with 7 little ones and 1 on the way =) and may I say, it has been wonderful. Not only are we still in the “honeymoon”, but I feel we have way surpassed the honeymoon. It just gets better all the time! Thank you for taking the time to share on this blog. I just love all your great ideas and have enjoyed planning some fun stuff for Christmas. Thank you for what you do here!!!

  9. This is my second marriage and we have been at it for just over 3 months.
    You just inspired me to send my groom a sweet thank you text for working so hard to have a beautiful home for us and thanking him for doing the little surprises for me, which in turn has inspired me to do the same.
    I just came across this blog and will continue to read up on how to make your marriage last.
    Thank you