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Marriage Advice: How To Have A Long Happy Marriage

Updated on December 9, 2015
Royal Wedding Happily Ever-after?
Royal Wedding Happily Ever-after? | Source


It seems as though having a fancy wedding is more important than having a long marriage these days. Look at Kim Kardashian, her wedding was on the front page of every magazine as the wedding to be envied. Now she has been married and divorced and is interestingly attached to the father of her baby. Her wedding pictures were gorgeous, but you don't have to have a glamor wedding to have a happy marriage.

In more than 39 years of marriage I have been to wedding at court houses, in homes, at beachs, overlooking cliffs, at country clubs, fancy churches, plain churches, restaurants, and wineries. In the last 6 years I have been to 20 weddings. Believe me, the wedding isn't the marriage. The cost of the wedding almost indicates the likelihood of how long a marriage last.

Weddings and funerals are the two social events certain to gather the clan. Much preparation is put into the wedding, but many couples don't put much thought into the marriage. They wake up the next morning find the new spouse has left the cap off the toothpaste,or mascara marks on the counter and think, "On No What Have I Done", What I am trying to do here is encourage and equip couples after the wedding.

The weddings I have enjoyed most are wedding where people intermingle and generally enjoy being together. This could be an indication of what the marriage is going to be like. The kind of people a couple surrounds themselves with indicates the kind of support friends and family will give to the couple later. Of course, this isn't always true. You can choose your friends but relatives are what you have. Though, if a hundred or two people come together and get along it certainly makes a nice party.

One of the most amazingly wonderful weddings I have been invited to cost very little. The couple had spent much time thinking about the marriage and didn't want to stress anyone over the cost. The invitation said,"Bring play clothes for after the wedding". Everyone changed to play clothes for the picnic reception. You could play horse shoes or volleyball. You could dance or jump in bounce houses. There was lots of good food and delightful people. Around sunset a trumpet sounded. A guy blowing a horn was leading a Percheron horse across the field. He stopped in front of the bride and groom. He helped them mount the horse. Breathlessly everyone watched as the couple rode off into the sunset. Everyone was so stunned, the bride and groom were in the car and on their way to their honeymoon before anyone gathered their wits. This was a very inexpensive wedding.

Some kids that I dearly love had the best rehearsal and following dinner. There was a pall over the groom because his brother-in-law / best friend couldn't come. He couldn't get leave. Just before the groom got to the church his sister said to me. We have a surprise. Since she was 8 months pregnant I was clueless. Well her husband had gotten leave at the last minute, he had flown in from Hawaii and was waiting inside. This set the scene for great festivity. The rehearsal dinner was at Mountain Mikes Pizza. Very fun affordable and casual. I have been to weddings at a country clubs that were equally as fun and formal as the other wedding was casual.

If you keep in mind the wedding is not the marriage then how you get married isn't so important. The main point is to celebrate two people coming together for a life together.

What does the engagement ring mean?
What does the engagement ring mean? | Source

Do You Really Know Who You Are Marrying

According to statistics New York Times 2010 living together before you are married actually increases your odds of getting divorced. People who have doubts about getting married and are less emotionally stable tend to cohabit. Living together indicates that one person or the other may not be fully committed to the relationship.

Couples put a lot into their appearance before going on a date. They do their hair, put on make-up, find just the right outfit. Guys go places with girls that they wouldn't be caught dead otherwise. Until you get passed the superficial, couples don't know much about each other. Becoming intimate on the first or second date doesn't help you get to know a person. Having sex with someone complicates the situation. You may learn more about a person than you really wanted to know. Like she has an STD. Getting to know someone requires purposeful time together. Going to a movie is not a team building exercise. Going out to dinner or to coffee on the other hand is a good place to start. Discovering all the likes and dislikes of the person you are going to marry is impossible. My mother-in-law cooked Brussels Sprouts the five or six times I flew across the country to her house. My husband always ate them. I assumed he liked them. He suffered for 15 years before I realized he didn't like them.

Relationships take time to develop and sex too soon is a conversation killer. In this instant of internet age people forget that time together reveals much about the other person. Instead of living together take time to find out what your guy or gal likes. Do you both like something in common?. If you are an avid hiker, take that girl hiking for a couple of days with a group. You will find out really fast if she really likes hiking. The criteria one of my sons set when he was in high school for a wife was that she be a good snow boarder. He ended up with a fabulous girl who doesn't snowboard. Being flexible is helpful too. What are your ideas about money? Is debt OK ? College debt? Do you want children? You are 19 and your boyfriend is 30? Is it reasonable to believe you can agree never to have kids? Is this really a deal you can keep as a 19 year old girl? For a marriage to work well you must graciously tell the truth. Always! Truth frequently hurts and not telling it can result in a terrible nightmare. Telling the truth gently has better results than lying. Lying requires intelligence most of us don't possess.

Do you know your beau's love language, Do you know yours?

Love Languages

You may look like a wonderful spouse to your friends. You may do everything your husband or wife could imagine. But if they really want you to sit down with them for a chat and some quality time, which you don't have time for, they are not feeling loved. If your beau is a touch person and you just wave from your computer when they get home, their spirit will be crushed. They will feel so loved if you get up and give them a kiss and a hug. A person who lives for words of affirmation is crushed when called names or told they are stupid. Straightening the living room for someone whose love language is acts of service can make them feel liked the most loved person in the world. Gifts, If your love language is gifts it may not be what you get as much as the thought behind the gift. One friend's husband was reading the book Five Love Languages. He is in no way a gifts person, but she is. He was in the grocery store while they were on vacation. He saw a dress that he thought she might like. He bought it. She was thrilled. It was just the thing. The dress didn't cost much, was colorful, one size fit all, which was perfectly fine since she was pregnant. Most of all it was completely out of character for her husband. Get familiar with your all your peoples love languages. So much of what is important for marriage works on children as well.

Marriage Quiz

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Commitment, is what holds a marriage together on the days when you just aren't feeling the love.Commitment is what keeps you together when the guy down the street looks really hot. Commitment kicks in when the gal on your route is giving you the come on. By the way if the grass looks better in your neighbors yard maybe you should be fertilizing your own grass. Marriage is not a fifty-fifty proposition. It has got to be 100% effort on both sides. One of the best things I ever did was readSide Tracked Home Executives.


Do you believe the same things? Your background matters. If people are telling you this girl is too different from you, they may be correct. If you go into marriage knowing about the difference and will to live with them instead of trying to change them you have a great possibility of success. Have a strategy. Love doesn't keep people together on the days when everything goes wrong.

One dating couple I know has eating issues. She has been a vegetarian since she was little and eats lots of fish and vegetables. He loves steak, eats few vegetables and can't stand fish. There could be a problem here in marriage.

It was very important to me that the man I married believed the same way about God I did. I had been in relationship with a guy who didn't believe the same way I did. He let me do my thing, but there was always a wall between us. I couldn't talk to him about things that were important to me.

Does the person you are dating constantly disappoint you by showing up late? Is that all right with you? Habits a person developed before you met him don't suddenly disappear when you get married.

You can't learn everything about a person before marriage, but knowing about the big things will help. What will you do for Thanksgiving and Christmas? If you are like we were, you may have three or four sets of parental units. Just how many turkey dinners do you need to eat to make everyone happy? Our first Christmas we had three dinners.

Do you really have to make everyone happy? No, setting boundaries would be better.

Staying married has to have two people committed to staying together. Being healthy improves marriages, but the inevitable eventually happens and illness comes into any relationship. Look at those times as opportunities to learn more about marriage. Draw from the experience from people who have overcome difficulties. If you don't know anyone search until you find someone who can help. Marriage is hard work, but one of the most rewarding relationships you will ever experience.


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    • profile image

      prophet okpobo 

      4 years ago







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      Most of the families are facing one marital problem or the

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      daily guides and protection.

    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      5 years ago from California

      CrisSp link away. Thanks for voting.

    • CrisSp profile image


      5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      What a delightful read! And, if I may brag about my marriage...celebrating our 25th this summer.

      You covered all the valid points in this hub. May I please link your hub to mine "Marriage: 24 years and still juicy", which I plan to soon update.

      Thank you. You have my votes and all.

    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Vinaya, Thanks for stopping. Reading about what to do in advance of marriage is always wise.

      Jo, Thank you for visiting.

      It wasn't until we read "Love and Respect" that my husband and I finally discovered why his parents divorced. Others may have believed it was the death of one of their children, family, etc... The real problem was lack of respect by mom that made dad respond un-lovingly.

      I have discovered that the respect works for my sons as well. Rolling my eyes at them will start a world war.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      6 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading this. My sweetie and I have been married for four years this December. We lived together for two and a half before we tied the not. I think marriage is about mutual Respect for each other and if one doesn't love themselves first then it is difficult to to love someone else. My parents were divorced too. it was a good thing, I think. There wasn't any respect for each other and it showed in how they treated each other. I voted this up and shared. Wishing you much happiness! :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Maybe I will get married in couple of years time. You have mentioned some good points here. Thanks for your wonderful advice.

    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      moonlake- Thank you for visiting. I have never had to watch soap operas. Truth is stranger than fiction. Divorce comes back and kicks adult kids even. Dad our wonderful,"wicked stepmother" divorced after 26 years it was just like the day mom and dad got divorced.

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      Sometimes all a girl is thinking about is the beautiful wedding she will have, never what the marriage will be like. Suddenly she's married to someone she doesn't really know. We knew each other 3 months, married in a small military chapel. It will be 50 years in the fall. Has not always been easy but we knew from the beginning we never wanted to divorce, we worked things out. I have seen first hand what divorce does to kids.

      Great Hub voted up.

    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Congratulations on your marriage status. Love to hear success stories. Our 36th anniversary is next week. I can't believe it. When I met the man he had 5 years left in the Navy and we thought that was forever.

      Thanks also for following me.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Great job on this!

      As a man who has been happily married for almost 29 years...I say you give excellent advice and share some wonderful wisdom.

      It truly is a commitment....I think there are so many today that does not understand this...and like you said, it is a 100% commitment...not a 50/50.

      I know for me, Love is WANTING to be there for the other, and willing to endure at all cost.

      Good to meet you!


    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      6 years ago from home


      i knew on the second date i would marry my wife our first meeting was a job interview that lasted 2 hours- she was interviewing me!! Early on I prolly did everything wrong BUT I let her know who i was and where I stood where I was from and where I was at- she is 9 years older than me but does not look it....even now as we have 2 kids ... She brought me out of a coma - 3 part hubb series on that whole i dont know what i would do without her....Who knew...


    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      sfshine- so happy you stopped thanks for your comments. I agree with you

    • sfshine profile image


      6 years ago from Michigan

      Very practical. I believe also love and respect for each other in a marriage. Communication is another important factor in saving a marriage.

    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Thanks ASB and TM BB and Leann, for stopping by. Strong marriages make for strong societies and broken marriages leave a legacy of broken hearts and floundering children. 47 years after the divorce of my in-laws the fruit of their actions still guide and direct their children's lives. I tried and tried to figure out what went wrong therefore avoiding their mistakes. Until the Love and Respect seminar nothing was ever revealed. Men aren't wrong they are just different. Women aren't crazy they are just different.


    • TroyM profile image


      6 years ago

      Really good advice on enhancing relationships in Marriage life. Great!

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image


      6 years ago

      I loved how you said its not 50/50, you have to give 100% on both sides. So true!

    • bangingbeauty profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi tirelesstravler, this is a wonderful article for those in a relationship or in a marriage. I believe respect and commitment are two of the most important factors to maintain a good relationship. Cheers, BB

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful advice.

    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      glassvisage, Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. Glad to be helpful.

    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Green Lotus, Over the hill just leads to more interesting hills. Best Wishes to you and yours for a long and happy marriage.

    • glassvisage profile image


      6 years ago from Northern California

      Very good read. I am getting married next year and have no qualms about it. I feel like he is the one because I feel like I know him and I don't think he is putting up a front or giving appearances.

    • Green Lotus profile image


      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Very good advice. I feel I was searching for my husband all my life. When I saw him I knew the right man had arrived. I was already "over the hill" at age 28 so I guess my search allowed me to mature and learn some of the important reasons for getting married. Cheers!

    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Cathleena Beams delighted you read my hub and went through the course. Such a simple concept and so misunderstood.

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Wonderful advice! I also recommend the Love and Respect book. My husband and I took the video courses at church and it helped us to reconsile. Love your hub! Voted up!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm pretty sure, whoever read this one. Their marriage will only ends on death.

      Wonderful hub! This is outstandingly appreciated.

    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Charlotte B Plumb and greengrama1967 thank you for your encouragement. There will be resources connected to this hub later this evening. The longer I am married the more I see that you never totally figure out the marriage thing, but it is very worthwhile.

    • greengrama1967 profile image


      6 years ago

      This all makes so much sense. After 2 very hard years where my husband and I almost split permanently we finally figured out that we had to be partners, friends and lovers and that we really needed to communicate and listen to each other. Anyone can get married but like being a parent not every one can make a marriage work

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 

      6 years ago

      This is really good advice, and I especially second you on the last point, about the importance of sharing the same beliefs.

      Rated up and useful!


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