Secrets to a Happy (and LONG LASTING) Marriage

Secrets to a happy and long lasting marriage!

I’ve been married to my husband for 16 years, we JUST celebrated that milestone on June 30th. We met when we were in college and just fell head over heels for each other, I was 19 years old, he was 22. I knew the minute I met Matt that this was the man I was supposed to be with forever, I just didn’t tell him that for a few months! I didn’t want to scare him away – LOL! But I definitely knew… there were absolutely sparks for me from the beginning!

As we JUST celebrated 16 years together, our sons suddenly became fascinated about our love story. Truthfully – I’ve been waiting forever for the kids to ask and show interest in it, glad the time finally came! The questions began… “How did you know Dad was the one?” … “How did you meet?” … “Dad – did you know right away you wanted to marry mom?” … “How did you propose to mom?” … “Did she say YES right away?” … “Were you nervous when you got married?” … “Have you always loved mom?” … the questions, the questions, the questions!

We’re also getting to the point in our life where our kids understand what a divorce is and have seen many of their friends go through this with their own parents. It’s a conversation that has taken place more time than not over the last few years. As these questions come pouring in, it’s important for me to show and share with our children what love is all about. My hope is that they are able to see a happy marriage right at home every single day.

Do we fight? Yes.
Do we get on each other’s nerves from time to time? Yes.

But do we love each other more than anything in the world? YES.

So what are the secrets to a happy marriage? How can you wake up every morning still feeling those crazy butterflies for the person laying next to you?

First off… you gotta be in love! You can’t make up those feelings and those butterflies. You need to be crazy – head over heels – can’t imagine my life without you in LOVE!

Do you feel that about someone?

If you do – that’s the FIRST SECRET! You really gotta feel it and know that your happily ever after is – indeed – right in front of you.

Beyond that… here are some other secrets we’ve learned throughout the years:

Never hit below the belt. We ALL know that one thing that will really hit below the belt to the one we love. It’s different for everyone, but we all know that zinger that will upset our partner. Don’t go there. Don’t hit below the belt. Talk it out. Work it out. Don’t get dirty.

Never go to bed angry. It’s just not worth it. Whatever it is you’re upset about, talk it out before you shut your eyes. You don’t want to go to bed mad and then wake up even angrier! Stay up till 2AM if you have to, but try to make it work.

Always say “I Love You” – 3 little words that have the greatest impact. If I go to the grocery store, I say I Love You before I leave! I always have people making fun of me, but it’s something that we’ve always done. One thing I’ve learned throughout the years – you can never, ever say I Love You enough.

Hold hands. This little gesture feeds the soul. We hold hands all the time – on the couch, in the car, at restaurants. Touching is always a good thing!

Keep Sharing Your Goals and Dreams in Life – Never lose touch with each other of who you are, this is so important. I’ve really grown up with my husband. I was a teenager when we met and now I’m an adult woman! I’ve changed throughout the years, as he has, too! You need to always make sure you’re talking and sharing your goals and dreams and what’s inside. As you grow, you want to grow together – not separately.

Date Nights – TRY TO MAKE THEM WORK! They are vital! We are so crazy in our life, so we make home date nights… we literally put the kids up to bed early and have a date night right here at home! Is it the same as going out? NO. But does it do the job? Yes. We’re together!

Check In – We check in with each other ALL the time through texting, calling, FaceTime.. you name it, we do! I love seeing my husband. I love talking to my husband. I love checking in with him. I little text saying, “I miss you!” can really bring a smile to your partner’s face because you know that they actually DO miss you!

Mix It Up – You gotta keep your partner on his/her toes, right!? I love to dress up sometimes for my husband… hair all wavy, makeup on, pretty dress and heels! There’s something special about seeing his eyes light up! Go that extra mile sometimes!

Compromise – There, I said it. Believe me… there are things we both love that the other one just can’t stand. My husband HATES reality TV and shopping. I HATE camping and fishing. But guess what? We cave and do the things that they other one loves sometimes because – well, we love each other and we know it makes the other one happy. In life it’s all about compromising… so be open to what will make the other one happy and peaceful in life.

So there are some of my secrets to a happy marriage! Not crazy and over the top, right? We never, ever get away from the kids because it’s tough getting ANYONE to watch 5 kids… but we did on the night of the 29th and it was beautiful! It was perfection! We were able to get silly and crazy “kids” in love! We celebrated in Chatham, MA at the gorgeous Chatham Bars Inn… it was spectacular!

Some photos…

Fall in crazy love!

It’s worth it!

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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