The Secret to a Long, Happy Marriage

The First Years are the Hardest

They've been married happily for over 25 years. It can be done!
They've been married happily for over 25 years. It can be done! | Source
Source
The ladies of the Clan. Family gatherings are important, have lots of them.
The ladies of the Clan. Family gatherings are important, have lots of them. | Source
Good food keeps everyone happy.
Good food keeps everyone happy. | Source

Staying Married; It's Not Rocket Science

Why do some marriages fail after a couple has been together over two or three decades? To begin, the first year is the hardest to get through, and then we’re all familiar with the dreaded “Seven Year Itch.”


It amounts to the point where the honeymoon is over and life is hardest because the kids are small, the financial needs are many, and the intimacy and closeness that a lifetime together brings, is immature because it‘s only been seven years.


The excitement and newness of someone else can be so enticing, and the mate at home doesn’t even know this is lacking in their relationship, because nobody realized it, until one spouse finds someone else who now excites the person. But, don’t get a divorce just yet.


Affairs are usually never planned, and they are never easy. It can be very difficult to patch together a marriage in crisis that’s been shattered by infidelity. Trust is tough, and so is fidelity, and that‘s just the first seven years.


Got the 7 Year Itch? Why Stay Married?

Those who really want to stay married through the “itch” end those affairs eventually, and learn to appreciate the mate they already have - if a mate hasn’t found out or ditched the adulterer altogether. Others allow themselves to feel as if they ‘love’ the new person, and divorce options begin to become reality.


You’ve heard of ‘rebound relationships?’ It’s a relationship formed right after a break-up (or during the old relationship) that starts out hot and heavy, and the two are so in love, until one of them realizes they aren’t really in love at all.


One day they wake up or see something the new mate does that turns them off completely, or they just realize the new person isn’t the “one.“ Rebound relationships work rarely for more than a few years, and it’s wisely recommended to stay single for at least a year after a break-up.


When you do date, don‘t date looking for your next spouse. Just date. Forget about potential spouses, just date for fun, not marriage, and love will find you.

Grandkids are the Best Entertainment!

Breaking up is Hard to Do

It’s known from studies that jilted men often take the relationship endings harder than a woman does. It takes men longer to heal and begin to be able to really love again. The pain lasts longer, may be more intense, and they don’t tend to date seriously for some time after a break-up.


I wish I could remember where I got that information, and it’s where I also got this: Women, on the other hand, are often asked out by men whether single or not. Women have 10-fold the opportunities to date over men‘s opportunities to date, but the statistics go down with age.


So, if someone makes it to 20 or 25 years and is still going strong, what keeps them staying together? Many things, and often, it’s not sex. In fact, most people’s sex lives slow down and/or become routine over the years (and it‘s normal), but it doesn’t die. The trick now is to keep it alive so it doesn’t die.


Doing activities that require leaving the house once in a while is highly recommended. Or, gardening, cooking, ceramics, travel, reading, golf, fishing; whatever the two of you like to do together, do it a lot. If you’re happiest doing different things in the same space together, that still counts. That’s one way of how to not get a divorce.


Staying in a Marriage; Don’t Forget the Animal in You


Remember when you were dating and you learned to tune-up a Chevy just so you could be with that guy? Remember when you used to dress or wear your hair a certain way because your love liked it that way?


Remember when you’d stay up late and maybe even be late to work in the morning because your love was there? Remember? That’s what you have to do now, after 25 years, only it isn’t as hard now. You already have the man, you’re just making your marriage work.


The kids are gone and you have more opportunity to pay attention to each other. After 50 the television has a lot of attractions but don’t let that be “the usual” activity. It’s good to set aside one night a week for going out to a restaurant, or go dancing, or even go to the movies. Sex doesn’t have to be a part of the night, unless you want it to.


Sex will/should come naturally as you spend time together, but, there are times when it needs a little push, too. But if you plan to have sex on every date night (or whatever your once-a-week activity is called) it just isn’t as good. It begins to feel like you have to have sex, and it can become a chore.

No matter the age, a man with toys is happier than a man with no toys. Encourage a hobby or activity that can be done together. Or, apart.
No matter the age, a man with toys is happier than a man with no toys. Encourage a hobby or activity that can be done together. Or, apart. | Source
A long-term project can keep a man happy - and out of your hair - for a long time.
A long-term project can keep a man happy - and out of your hair - for a long time. | Source
Go out and have fun at least once a month.
Go out and have fun at least once a month. | Source
Photography is something that can be done and enjoyed together on daily walks.
Photography is something that can be done and enjoyed together on daily walks. | Source
Get close, try new skills. Always be learning, it just makes life better.
Get close, try new skills. Always be learning, it just makes life better. | Source

Marriage Guidance; Turn 25 Years Into 50

Here, the trick is to use your imagination and your wealth of knowledge about your partner. After all that time together, who knows what your mate likes better than you? A man’s sexuality is very visual-oriented, and wearing a new sexy dress or lingerie can turn his head from the television - unless sports are on, and in that case, wait until the game is over.


Seriously, the game has always taken precedence over everything else and the kids being gone isn’t going to change that. Let the man have his game, then, nail him. During the game you could be doing your own thing, or walking around naked, bringing him food while you’re naked, or shake the dust off that garter-belt and stockings with spike heels and a sexy bra - and grab a bag of chips. Studies show that most men like long hair, but they like it when it’s put up, too; it’s sexier; even short hair can be done up.


A good back massage is a great way to get things started, as well. Let your imagination run wild, try something new. If you don’t know anything new, then learn, it’s not hard. Get a magazine or book, Google it, or talk to a friend.


Go shopping, buy something he hasn’t seen before. Or, revamp something you already have in your closet; bling it up or add some ribbon in a seductive place, cut off the sleeves and cut the neckline on an old sweatshirt so it slips over one shoulder and shows off your décolletage. Small earrings show off your décolletage, too; sometimes less can be more.


Stay Together Forever, and Have Secrets Together


While shopping, don’t forget to take a look at some of the new sex toys they have out, now. In fact, just going to the store together can be a turn on, so take advantage! They even have sex toys at some malls around the US.


It could be a new adventure, especially if you role play and meet inside the store in disguise. Fun suggestion: Put on big Hollywood sunglasses, a good wide-brimmed hat, stark red lipstick and a coat that’s just long enough that others can’t tell if you’re really dressed underneath it, with black pumps. Be in complete spy mode. You know what I mean, meet in a bar as strangers with new names, or something.


Smell nice, too. I don’t mean to just be clean, but use a shampoo or lotion that you know he favors, put on just a dab of perfume here and there, and down there, too. Don’t use too much, you want to smell nice when he‘s close to you, not smell like you just walked out of the mall after testing colognes.

Family Means A Lot - So Does Fun, Don't be so Serious

Allow yourself to be silly at times. Find your silly side and explore it with the grand kids..
Allow yourself to be silly at times. Find your silly side and explore it with the grand kids.. | Source
Don't bombard your man with toils of the day as soon as he gets home from work. Let him relax a little bit first.
Don't bombard your man with toils of the day as soon as he gets home from work. Let him relax a little bit first. | Source
A daily walk around the 'hood can be a very pleasing activity to do together.
A daily walk around the 'hood can be a very pleasing activity to do together. | Source

Stay Married Without Sex, Too

Many times, the reason sex levels take deathly dives late in a marriage could be the result of the medication one or both people take regularly. There are some antidepressants, blood pressure medicines and other medicines that deactivate your libido, and some make you crave sweets, too. Talk to your doctor about it.


Otherwise, take joy in trying new candies, sugarless sweets, flourless cakes, and everything else. There’s so much dietary specialty food available these days, even those with strict diets can find a good selection of sweets. Then, in the morning go jogging to burn off the calories you consumed and then shower together.


How to Have a Happy Marriage


You really have to pick your battles when you‘re married or with someone. If you let it fly about all your pet peeves, everything that makes you angry and you’re disrespectful to each other, then you’ll eventually be fighting all the time.


Nobody likes to be picked apart; we’re all human (mostly) and we all make mistakes and act like asses at times. Only make a stink about things that really matter, like things that can/will change something about normal life. Like, if he gambles his check away before he even gets home with it. Or, he waxes the car when the grass is knee-high; you know, stuff that really matters.


Don’t point out his flaws in front of anyone, ever, and hope to get that trust returned. You don’t have to agree with him, but wait until you’re alone together to discuss it. Don’t yell at him where the neighbors can hear and always get a kiss good-bye, even if you’re just going to the store.


Simply, leaving the marriage or divorce is not an option; don‘t even consider it, you took vows. So many people use that threat, and eventually one of them has to act on it. A lot of families are broken up over things that could have been worked out, and being unfaithful just ruins everything. Just don’t do it; don‘t cheat.



Live together until a ripe old age. It takes love, patience and guts and it goes slowly.
Live together until a ripe old age. It takes love, patience and guts and it goes slowly. | Source
Your best years aren't behind you; they're right here, right now. Enjoy life as best you can.
Your best years aren't behind you; they're right here, right now. Enjoy life as best you can. | Source

The Secret to a Long Marriage

I’m far from the submissive, servant kind of woman. I’m only part that and the rest is capable bitch; but I do have my loving side. I raised up 5 children who became good people, who are loved and productive citizens. I keep a nice home and love to cook for others. Otherwise, I am flawed as God made me, and a work in progress, to boot. I cannot ask for respect or forgiveness if I am not respectable or a forgiver, and a forgiver can stay married for lifetime(s).


That’s the secret to staying together forever: Forgiveness. There, now that you have the knowledge, you also have the responsibility to get some of that forgiveness for yourself, so you must forgive your mate and someone else, too. It’s only fair, all in all. And, it’s only forever.


Source

More by this Author


What is YOUR Secret to a Long, Happy Marriage? 3 comments

Rusti Mccollum profile image

Rusti Mccollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

Sandy, you nailed it! Great job. You're right on every point. Marc my husband, (the man in the chair photo) and I are renewing our vows after 30 years of marriage. We've been thru it all.We came out on the right side. Marriage isn't a word it's a promise you make to eachother. Marriage is hard work, but isn't anything worth having and cherishing,accomplished thru hard work. Great Hub voted up!


SandyMcCollum profile image

SandyMcCollum 4 years ago Author

Thank you, Rusti, congrats on 30 years together!


Pamela Mills 3 years ago

As much as I loved reading what you have written...... it takes two.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working