Category Archives: Elements of a Happy Marriage

Tips On How To Stay In Love For 35 Years

Tips On How To Stay In Love For 35 Years
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Thoughts on Loving for a Lifetime

In the blink of an eye, I stand on the verge of 35 years of marriage and somehow I can’t quite believe it. It all went by so quickly and even though I’m happy to have shared so much time with Bob, I’m also sad because too much time has passed too quickly. Yet I think that is a good thing after all because if I did not feel badly, I would not feel that I had loved. Every moment of it was precious and even though some of it was a mix of good and bad, I wouldn’t trade a second of it.

Reflecting on these past 35+ years, what is the secret of staying not only married but in love all that time?

I gave it some thought and here are a few of the ‘necessary ingredients’ to staying in love for 35 years though they apply every day. I’ve found them to be true in my own relationship though as in all things, it takes time to ‘grow into’ who you eventually become.

Communication/Talking. Being able to discuss absolutely anything
and everything with Bob has made our marriage work and vice versa. No
matter how unpleasant a subject might be, our ability to consistently be
able to hash things out without fear of judgment or grudge has been
vital to our marriage. Don’t get me wrong – we sometimes and often
disagree on how we see things or what we think should happen. We are
completely different people and our pasts are about as different as they
get. However, usually in talking about things and going over them
together, even heatedly if we feel strongly about something, we somehow
always manage to come to a mutually agreeable decision. I don’t ever
feel like anyone wins or anyone loses this way because at least we agree
in the end. It is beyond comforting, however, to know that anything I
want to discuss with this man, I can!

A Perfectly Funny Marriage: A Humorous View of Creating a Successful Marriage
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Laughter.  If you can laugh at yourself and you can laugh at each other – and most
importantly, if you can laugh together I think you have a shot at it. They weren’t kidding when they said laughter is the best medicine. The sexiest thing I found in Bob from the beginning was his sense of humor. It helps that both parties have the ability to be funny and see a humorous turn to things. In our case, if one isn’t able to see the lighter side of it, usually the other can convince their counterpart to get a giggle out of it. Laughing together at whatever it is bonds us together and makes us closer as a couple. Our sense of humor is something we have shared from the moment we met and I think it has been one of our best gifts to our children.

Communication: Key to Your Marriage: A Practical Guide to Creating a Happy, Fulfilling Relationship
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Communication/Talking. Being able to discuss absolutely anything and everything with Bob has made our marriage work and vice versa. No matter how unpleasant a subject might be, our ability to consistently be able to hash things out without fear of judgment or grudge has been vital to our marriage. Don’t get me wrong – we sometimes and often disagree on how we see things or what we think should happen. We are completely different people and our pasts are about as different as they get. However, usually in talking about things and going over them together, even heatedly if we feel strongly about something, we somehow always manage to come to a mutually agreeable decision. I don’t ever feel like anyone wins or anyone loses this way because at least we agree in the end. It is beyond comforting, however, to know that anything I want to discuss with this man, I can!

Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships
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Romance.  A huge part of marriage or a loving relationship includes a healthy dose of intimacy but it isn’t just about the sex.  It is about the whole package and if you have the right mix between you, intimacy only gets better.  Especially in today’s fast-paced world, it is vital to a marriage to make sure that you set aside time for each other and that you speak to not only your needs but also those of your partner.  Scheduling dates together keeps the romance alive or coming up with a surprise rendevous – even if it’s in your own house – is magical because it means the other person cares enough to set aside special, quality time for you.  No matter if you have kids, no matter if you are 21 or 61, don’t buy into the thought that the honeymoon is over! It never is if you take the time to nurture that vital part of your relationship and keep it alive.

The Power of Touch
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Touch and be touched often. The simple act of holding hands is such a wonderful gesture and something I never get tired of. A stroke on an arm or a brush on the cheek for just an instant says in so many ways ‘I love you’ all over again. Sometimes words are insufficient and just a sweet hug from the person you love best in the world can make you feel like a million bucks. I was never a huggy kind of person before I met Bob and I have to say, I love this! I love hugging and I love being hugged – or kissed – or held hands with for no reason whatsoever because it makes me feel young all over again.  It makes me feel that he is there and he cares and I know that likewise, if I just reach out and hold his hand or give him a kiss on the cheek, he feels better knowing I care.


The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society
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Create a family. I realize that having children is not always the right answer for every couple but creating any form of family between people who love each other keeps love alive. The shared memories that Bob and I have of raising our children, experiencing the joys and the disappointments along the way are priceless. No one can take those from us and it is yet another level of intimacy that we share. We have so many common threads in our lives because of the children we created and they have given us so many happy moments that it will last us a lifetime. Sharing it all together has been the greatest gift as well. Now that they are grown, sharing our grown family and extended family keeps us happy and participating – and if we did not have enough there, creating our nuclear family with our dogs and sharing our lives with them on a daily basis has given us a different form of family perhaps but a bond nonetheless.

How to Date Your Spouse
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Play/have fun.  While family is always important and the obligations we all have are usually first and foremost in our lives, taking time out to do things just for the two of you is vital and breathes life into marriage.  Honoring birthdays and holidays is one way Bob and I have always made sure to keep the fun in our relationship.  No matter what else is going on in our lives, we set aside specific time and put combined thought into what we want to do for each other and together for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.  It is our way of not cheating ourselves and at the same time, it keeps some of the spark and happiness in our relationship no matter how many years we have been married.  The key is to play and have fun together – no one should always get their way and we have always found it easy to compromise.  We can be equally happy going to a ball game, watching it on TV, going to a movie, or going to a concert.  We can be happy going to the shore or we can be happy going to the mountains.  It is all about the time we spend together and making the most of it. 

Essential Manners for Couples: From Snoring and Sex to Finances and Fighting Fair-What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why
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Be appreciative/be kind. That may sound totally silly in a marriage but I believe that that is a vital part of our success. It can be as simple as saying ‘thank you’ for a cup of coffee or giving a compliment ‘just because’. After 35 years, I don’t expect Bob to tell me I’m beautiful but when he does, it’s like the sun came out. It is the most flattering and endearing thing to hear someone you’ve been with all those years tell you something so sweet and so surprising. Doing little things for each other because we know the other person would appreciate it is another way that we show each other that we care without words. If I know that Bob is overworked in one area, I pitch in and help him out whether it involves painting, housework, or computer work and he does the same for me. We treat each other as friends – we would do these same kinds of things for a friend so we can easily do them for our best friend.


How To Argue So Your Spouse Will Listen: 6 Principles for Turning Arguments into Conversations
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Don’t be afraid to argue.  Part of marriage is disagreement because any two given people cannot agree on everything all the time.  Remembering marriage is supposed to be about compromise has helped us solve many problems over the years.  However, that said, that doesn’t mean we have not had some major disagreements along the way.  The most important thing to remember in my opinion is this – love means you know how to say you’re sorry.  Sometimes in the heat of arguments or in the emotion of the moment, it is always easy to say things we wish later we had never uttered.  Too late – but the key to a successful marriage is being able to realize that there is a way back and that an apology has to be the fence mender.  Resentment and revenge have no place in a healthy marriage but by the same token, in my experience, duking it out verbally sometimes clears the air and gets things back on track.  It’s not as vital to never argue as it is to argue with a purpose.  If the argument means that you straighten something out between you or make things easier as a couple, then that blowup doesn’t seem so monumental.  Fortunately, Bob and I have always been able to admit to blame where it is due and respect each other enough to want to go on in harmony but for some, it is not always so easy to apologize.  It isn’t for Bob and given the fact that he does apologize when he knows he is wrong, it makes it even more precious.

Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage
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Be spontaneous. Whether it is bringing home a bouquet of flowers for each other or a bottle of wine to suggesting a new way to make love – keep it alive and keep it interesting. The key to not getting stuck in a rut is to create a new road every day – or at least a new path. Recreate who you are by always growing in terms of learning new things and sharing them together or at least with each other. By not buying into the theory that life is over because you turn a certain age or are married a certain number of years, you will always have romance. Just doing something for the joy of doing it for Bob gives me great pleasure and knowing that he did not expect it or that it flabbergasted him to have me do it is all the reward I need. Thinking of what each other would like rather than what we think the other should have is a way that Bob and I have always shared to bring each other contentment. There are things I know he would never do for himself and likewise, he is always thinking outside the box. If he sees that I’m having a terrible month for work and I’m stressed and tense, he surprises me with a massage or a gift certificate. If I see that he is struggling to get something done and needs some piece of equipment that would make it easier for him, I take the initiative to get it for him as a surprise. Or if I think he needs a special pick-me-up, a special dessert or treat gives him the message that I care and I’m thinking about him.


How to Write Love Letters
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Write love letters.  As silly as that sounds, I have boxes of cards and notes that we have written each other over the years that I will never part with.  Last year for our anniversary, I wrote Bob a letter of what I loved about him and another year, I wrote a list of characteristics or memories I held near and dear from our many years together.  I put each one on a tiny slip of paper and had him read every one by candlelight with a bottle of wine.  Bob is famous for the ‘Hallmark moments’ because somehow he finds just the right card for the right moment and then manages to put a personal message in that will either make me laugh or make me cry.  In other busier years, we both adopted the practice of making each other coupon books and always made sure that we honored our coupons with no expiration dates! I think it is important to a marriage to say the vows that we took over and over in big ways and in little ways and writing things to each other is just one more way to say ‘I love you and I always will’. 

More Links on Happy Marriage

Eight Keys to a Happier Marriage
Photo by Dr. Hemmert

Just Say Yes

Nine Steps for a Successful Married Life

Nine Steps for a Successful Married Life

For a successful husband-wife relationship it is imperative that both should behave in a sensible manner. It is important to understand each other and avoid involving in trivial issues. Here are some steps to maintain a healthy and happy relationship:

1. Try to avoid confrontation

If either of the partner is in a mood of confrontation then the other partner should control himself/herself. It is important that both should not loose temper at the same time.

2. Be a good listener

Always try to listen to your partner’s views with patience. Majority of us try to impress upon our own views and when there is turn of the other partner we just try to ignore.

3. Value your partner

Everyone likes to be praised. Do not put forward the mistakes of your partner in front of others. When we praise someone then he/she is encouraged to perform better.

4. Keep your love fresh

It has been found that after some time of marriage, husband and wife start giving less importance to each other. They start taking each other in a casual way. Therefore, for a healthy husband-wife relationship it is essential to maintain warmth in your relationship.

5. Do not over-expect

A single person can not possess all the qualities. The true meaning of marriage is union of two complementary persons. Therefore, we should realize the truth and learn to live with the incapabilities of each other.

6. Have patience

If we learn to control ourselves then we can overcome many problems. We can avoid confrontation through patience. Practically, we can avoid majority of confrontations if we remain calm and cool.

7. Enjoy life

When we have decided to live together then it is necessary that we enjoy life through mutual co-operation. We should learn to laugh. We can make our life more colorful through decent teasing and affection.

8. Learn to forgive

For a successful and happy married life we will have to learn to forgive each other. The practice of forgiving should not be limited to one or two occasions rather it should become a lifelong practice. It is better not to expect any return in lieu of such forgiving

9. Remember happy moments

Have some time, sit together and try to re-live happy moments  of your life. This will recharge your present life. You will feel that it is difficult to live without each other

Maintaining Long Term Relationships

Maintaining Long Term Relationships

Long term relationships are work. There is no doubt about it! Of course, with the right attitude, a willingness to do the work, and a partner who feels the same you can have a great long term relationship that takes you into the future. It isn’t easy and there will be days when quitting seems easier then continuing on, but if you are serious and you want it enough you can work through these times.  


The first key ingredient to maintaining a long term relationship is love. The big problem is that most people can’t define love. They use it regularly and say a wide range of things with it such as, “I love you”, “I am in love with you”, and even “I fell out of love with you”. The problem is that if you can’t really define love then these sentences don’t mean much. So, what is love?

Most people define love as a feeling. This is how they can love someone today and not tomorrow. This really doesn’t work though. Love has to be something deeper then that. Emotions are fickle and can change in a heartbeat according to what is happening right now, but love for one another has to be something steady and strong. According to Paul Carlson (a life couch), “love means unconditional acceptance of that which you love.” With this definition you can place a long term acceptance of your partner.  


The second requirement for a long term relationship to survive is commitment. You have to be committed to your vows, your relationship, and your partner. This is what gets you through on the days you don’t “feel” like you love your partner anymore. These days come, sooner or later as life hits. You have to remain committed in order to make it through.



It has probably been said a million times, but it is really important. Communication is a huge part of a good relationship. I recently read a comment about communication between husbands and wives where a guy said, “All we do is talk, talk, talk. It feels like we are talking our relationship to death.” This is a dangerous place to be, but communication is still the key.

There are things that we have to learn to keep in mind when it comes to people of the opposite gender (or even people in general). Keeping these in mind often makes it easier for us to be patient with each other.

We are all different. We communicate different. We have different strengths and weaknesses as well.  
Men, in general (not all), struggle to communicate verbally. It is hard for them to talk. It is also harder for them to listen.  
Women, in general (not all), like to talk too much. They can babble about things that don’t seem important. They can also fall into habits of nagging about the things they would like to be different.  

We have to find a balance of communication that meets everyone’s needs. Talking isn’t supposed to be nagging and listening is important even if the details don’t seem to be. If you feel you are talking your relationship to death then chances are you aren’t using positive communication methods and it is turning into a blamefest, nagging, or complaining and not actual talking.  


We usually think that dating is how you get into a relationship. But it is also a good way to keep your relationship going strong. As life goes on it is easy to get distracting, caught up in financial issues, work, and if there are kids then it gets really difficult. However, dating can be what keeps the romance alive.

Dating can come in a variety of different styles. You can go to dinner, the movies, or other out and about types of dates that you did when you were getting to know each other. But it can also be cuddling on the couch, eating a romantic dinner together (maybe even cooking one together), or playing card games at home. During this time you can remember the things that attracted you to the person in the first place.

This is also a great way to remind you of the love feelings that you had that made you first say, “I love you” or “I am in love with you”.

These dates don’t have to happen often, but can happen when you can make time for them, get together, and even come up a little money to do something special.  

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
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Fighting for Your Marriage: Positive Steps for Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting Love (New & Revised)
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Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last
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Long term relationships take work. There is no doubt about it. Good times are easy, and bad times are usually hard. But no matter what if you are willing to work at it then you can make it last. You just need to remember some important things. First, love isn’t just an emotion, but a state of being and is deeper then just how you feel. You have to keep that in mind. Second, commitment is one of the most important parts of a long term relationship. You have to stay committed. You also need to work on keeping the lines of communication open. One very helpful way to feel love and to keep communicated is by using dates (just like you did when you were getting to know each other). Long term relationships really can be “till death do us part”!