They have warmed my heart and offered some great advice to this newly wed. These are just a few of my favourites...
Realize early on that each member of the union will have strengths, and that it is good to accept this. The ideal marriage will have complementary strengths, and the ideal couple will be glad to offload what he or she can’t do to the one who can.
For instance, my wife will approach a problem with great attention to practical details, but I will go at it on the basis of abstract theory, of intellectual considerations which will include, but will not be limited to ethics, morality, political science, economic efficiency and so on.
We are best at planning trips: I have my eyes on the horizon, if not the stars, and she will worry about the bathtubs and the food.
Fight hard, laugh harder. This is what works for us. Mr. French and I are ridiculously passionate (emotional) people.
If we keep things inside, our relationship suffers. We argue and fight, but always in a respectful way. More importantly, we laugh. I married Mr. French because he was the first man I evermet that made me laugh until I cried...and he still does.
Traci French, Bliss
In my opinion, a happy marriage comes down to two things: 1)Talk it out, and 2) Do what you’ve been doing...
Talk. Talk. Talk. Whether it's a debate over what to eat for dinner, deciding where to go on vacation, or just talking about work, talk about it all. Practice makes perfect, so get good. Eventually every marriage hits a rough spot, and if you can’t talk about bacon for breakfast, how are you ever going to talk about bigger issues like money, kids and your sex life? If you can’t talk about everything, you won't make it to 85, grey-haired and wrinkled.
Do what you've been doing, as in, be the person you were before marriage. People sometimes think marriage is a green light to change. You think, 'Now I should buy a house, have babies, cook more at home, let myself go...' But you got married because you liked each other. So if you went out before, go out now. There's no rule that says married folks can’t drink too much on a Friday night. If you had “ladies” night and “boys” night before, have it now. And take care of yourself! You want to be a woman your husband can brag about, and more importantly, you want to be a woman *you* can brag about.
Stacy Lucier, La Boudoir
Take a mini-moon. Frequently. Mini-moons originated with my parents who were married between the fall and winter break in college, and so didn't have time for a proper honeymoon. To make up for it, they took little vacations they called "mini-moons," where they would leave their six kids in the hands of a capable babysitter and spend a weekend away.
Following in my parents' footsteps, my husband John and I have recently begun taking mini-moons of our own. We actually have to force ourselves to plan a few days where we can ditch work, leave the kids and spend the weekend however we'd like.
Visit a city you've never been to before, check out that B&B you saw online, drive to the next town up the road and pretend you're far from home. It needn't be expensive or elaborate, just a few days to refocus and reconnect.
Brooke Reynolds, Inchmark
Brooke Reynolds, Inchmark
What are your secrets to a happy marriage?