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Watch Closely…Or You May Miss the Best Marriage Advice Never Told

The Best Marriage Advice Never Told

I often ask friends, family and members of the Happy Wives Community this one question:

“What is the best marriage advice you’ve ever received?”  

When I posed this question to marriage and mommy blogger, Paula Rollo, it took her the shortest amount of time to write this response.

After I finished reading Paula’s post on the best marriage advice never told, I emailed her and said, “Your post just gave me Goosebumps!”  Because it did.  You’ll see why…just scroll down.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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My husband and I received a bit more than our fair share of strange advice when we got married. It wasn’t all negative, but when you get married 35 days after you meet there are definitely more than a few naysayers. 

We did, however, have many supporters and received lots of sweet cards with wonderful words of encouragement and advice. 

I can tell you verbatim some of the bad advice we got, simply because it struck me, even at age 18, that “this would never work!” Strangely, I can’t recall much of the positive advice we received.

Looking back, the most important guidance we received for our marriage, was not found in a witty one liner, or an inspirational quote about love. Nope, the advice that remains firm in my mind was found elsewhere. 

It’s the way my great grandmother would smile fondly (and roll her eyes) as my great grandfather told a corny joke that she had probably already heard a couple thousand times. 

The advice I cherish is found in the way he’d grin at her and say “Oh, but this is the way we like dinner tonight dear” when she would fret over slightly burned bread or meat that was just a hint too dry. 

The most important lessons I’ve ever learned about marriage came from watching our loved ones love each other.

From my in-laws who are two of the most loving and understanding people around, to our young friends who steal glances at each other with so much meaning in their eyes. 

If you take the time to look, you can feel the love radiating off of couples. It’s beautiful and it’s wonderful. 

Our marriages don’t all “work” the same way, but there are a few things we’ve all got figured out. Loving one another, cherishing each other, working together. Building our lives as one.

I’ve always been a person who learns visually, and that might be why I glean so much, just from watching people love each other.

I never got personal marriage advice from my great-grandparents, as my great-grandfather was already gone by the time I wed, but their lives taught me more about marriage, simply by watching them love than any beautiful words they ever could have uttered to me face-to-face. 

To sum it up, what is the best marriage advice I’ve ever gotten? To live in love. 

Live reflecting the love that you share, the love that you are building together. You never know, it could make all the difference in the lives of the younger generation as they watch you love your spouse! I know it has in mine. 

COMMENTS: Has the way that someone has shown love to their spouse inspired you? Share in the comments on our Facebook community page where thousands of women connect with each other daily.


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THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book.  I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way.  It’s a marriage book line none other.  Guaranteed.

The Best Marriage Advice We Ever Got

The Best Marriage Advice We Ever Got

The Best Marriage Advice We Ever Got

I must admit, I’m a bit of a ModernMarried.com stalker.  I love the main blogger and chief encourager at MM, Maggie Reyes.  

If you’ve visited Maggie’s blog, you know she has a gift for lifting the lowest spirits and shares her perspective on love with honesty and transparency but always without judgement.

She loves being married and her joy whenever she talks about marriage is infectious.  I just want to rub a little of what she’s got all over the world every day.

As the saying goes, “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.”

She is wonderful.  She is a delight.  And her marriage benefits from that spirit of happiness daily.

When I stumbled across her post on the best marriage advice she ever got, I wondered if it was the same as the best marriage advice I’ve ever received.  It wasn’t.  It was entirely different which made it even that much more interesting to me.

Now, I’m not sure which piece of advice I think is better.  Maybe we’ll just call it a draw.  Both are words of beauty, something we can add to our marriage each and every day.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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When The Hubs and I were dating we went to a lot of workshops together.  My favorite of all the different classes we did was about connecting with your heart. It was a 6 week class. I don’t remember the name of the teacher, the place where we took it or what we studied. All I remember from the class is one sentence. One, glorious and powerful sentence:

You create your relationship every day.

That’s it. So simple.

The teacher said that people wonder why relationships die. They go out with someone, it’s all fabulous in the beginning and then suddenly something happens. The relationship gets stale.

He went on to say, relationships do not get stale. People forget – you create your relationship every day. What people do is stop creating and then wonder what went wrong.

Well I guess if you count all that, it’s a whole paragraph. 6 week two hour class – and one paragraph was all I got. Oddly enough, it was all I needed.

We left that class and promised, solemnly swore even. We will create our relationship every day. We will not forget and go stale. We will be fresh. Every day.

Once we decided we create our relationship every day then the next question was – how?

We decided to text each other at least once a day. We don’t like to call each other during the day when we are both focused and working, however we religiously text each other at lunch time.

Texts go something like this:

Hubs: 1:05 pm Loving my over-scheduled wife kisses.
Hubs: 1:21pm Nashville soundtrack is out.
Wifey:1:33pm Yay! Itunes! Late lunch kisses!

Hubs: 12:14 pm Manipulative Assistant Ellis is out on Smash. New showrunner making changes.
Wifey: 12:18pm Yay!
Hubs: 12:12pm And more musicals, not just Bombshell
Wifey: 12:20pm Yes! They all need jobs on different musicals – more songs.
Wifey: 4:52pm Lovey dovey kisses for my hubsicle!

Wifey: 9:02 am Off to sort mail
Hubs:9:03 am Just whistle while you work

We have fun. We make each other laugh. Sometimes The Hubs reads Entertainment Weekly during his lunch time. He has declared himself my personal news-machine hence the updates on my favorite shows.

We create. Fresh Everyday.

Just like Starbucks and Krispy Kreme.

When we get home we hug. We stop whatever we are doing and hug.

Hugs are sacred.

Then we leave the day behind, change clothes, open the mail and start with our Daily Check-In.

We go on dates. When a new movie is coming out we ask each other out. We plan it. As if we were dating. Because we are.

We plan vacations. We love -with zeal and devotion- planning vacations. Not just the vacation itself, but the planning of it. I love beautiful hotels and magical experiences. The spiritual retreat with my favorite author. The acoustic concert with my favorite singer. The Hubs loves guide books and maps. We both love making memories together.

Whenever handed lemons, we promptly make lemonade. On a trip to Costa Rica we accidentally locked our keys in our car. (Notice that I say we. The details don’t matter, we are a team and it happened to both of us. That ‘we’ really helps when there is a lemon parade. ‘We’ got in this together and ‘we’ will get out of it.)

Anyway, as I was saying, there we were not going anywhere in Costa Rica. For several hours.
So we took a hike. Literally. We hiked up a hill. Saw cows. Laid in the grass and looked at clouds. Laughed and hugged.

One of my favorite memories ever was created when our keys were locked in our car.

Lemonade. It’s the new classic coke.

Fresh. Everyday.

COMMENTS: Name one thing you do to keep your relationship fresh.  Drop your comment on the Happy Wives Club Facebook page where hundreds of thousands of women engage daily.

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THE BOOK: Read the book that inspired the powerful TED talk and prompted author of The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman, PhD., to write the book’s foreword. Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, bestselling authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts said, “We’ve been counseling couples and writing marriage books for a long time, and we can say with absolute certainty, there has never been a book quite like The Argument-Free Marriage. If you think no such union exists, or if you’ve come to the conclusion that arguments are necessary in marriage, allow Fawn to challenge that notion and set you on a path to creating the greatest partnership in life: your marriage.”

One Thing You Need to Know When Creating Happiness in Marriage

One Thing You Need to Know When Creating Happiness in Marriage

Happy Tuesday!  Today, we’re continuing our fabulous, Making Happy, 5-day marriage series based on the book of #1 New York Times® best-selling authors, Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott.

I just read the post they sent us for tomorrow and it’s just as good as this one.  I sure hope you’re enjoying this series!

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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We had just finished speaking at a camp in the San Juan Islands when a small plane buzzed overhead and landed on a nearby airstrip.

A few minutes later the pilot was flying us over the islands of Puget Sound and we were approaching the lights of a local airport.

“The most important thing about landing is the attitude of the plane,” said the pilot.

“You mean altitude, don’t you?” we asked.

“No,” the pilot explained. “The attitude has to do with the nose of the plane. If the attitude is too high the plane will come down with a severe bounce. And if the attitude is too low the plane may go out of control.”

Then the pilot said something that really got our attention:

“The trick is to get the right attitude in spite of atmospheric conditions.”

Without knowing it, our pilot had given us a perfect analogy for creating happiness in marriage — developing the right attitude in spite of our circumstances.

In fact, while we were writing our new book, Making Happy: The Art and Science of a Happy Marriage, the most amazing fact we learned about happiness in marriage – the one that has impacted our own marriage more than any other – is this:

Only 10% of a person’s happiness has to do with their circumstances.

That’s all. Just 10%!

We all think we’ll be happier if we get a better job, more money, a nicer home, cool vacations, and all the rest. But that’s not where our happiness is found.

The majority of our happiness has little to do with circumstances and far more to do with deciding to be happy in spite of our circumstances.

It’s what Abe Lincoln was getting at when he said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

So true.

It is no accident that some couples that encounter marital turbulence navigate it successfully while others in similar circumstances are dominated by frustration, disappointment and eventual despair.

And it is no accident that some couples are positive and happy while other couples are beaten down and defeated.

Researchers who have searched for the difference between the two have come up with all kinds of correlates to marital success. They point to long courtships, having similar backgrounds, supportive families, good communication, and so on.

But the bottom line is that happy couples decide to be happy.

In spite of whatever life deals them, they make happiness a habit.

YOUR TURN:  How do you make happiness a habit in your marriage? Tell us in the comment section below.


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Strong & Happy Marriages Begin Here: Harnessing the Power of Two

Strong and Happy Marriages Begin Here

Earlier this week, I published this fabulous post by Maggie Reyes.  In it, she answers a very simple question:

What is the best marriage advice you’ve ever received?

After reading how unique her answer to this question was, I wondered if I asked three more of my favorite writers the same question, if they’d all have similar answers.

The answer, in short, is not even close.

Each response was so different, wonderful, visual and unique that I’ve asked each one to write an article for you sharing the best piece of marriage advice they’ve received along this journey called life.

I hope you enjoy this impromptu series that began on Monday, The Best Marriage Advice We Ever Got.  Part one was written by Maggie with ModernMarried.com.  Part Two, what you are about to read, was written by the wonderful Kim Hall at TooDarnHappy.com.

Every day, for the remainder of this week, I’ll publish a new article that answers this one question and I trust it will inspire us all.  I am SO excited to read them myself!  Hope you’ll join me here all week.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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When asked recently about the best marriage advice we’d ever gotten, I really had to stop and think.

We’ve been married for 31 years, so there was a lot of mental sifting and searching to do.

Then, I recalled the best marriage advice we’ve ever gotten wasn’t really marriage advice at all, but something I had overheard at a country fair years before.

Part of the entertainment at the fair was being able to watch the horse pulls.

Those of us that could make our way through the forest of jean-clad spectators would perch on the bottom rail of the fence with our elbows hooked securely over the top.

The team of large draft horses would be led into the dusty ring, hooked to the sled, and would leap forward at the command from their driver.

Their hooves dug into the dirt and muscles would strain as they worked to pull more weight than any other team.

This is quite a feat, given that the horses weigh in around 3,400 pounds each, more or less, and the loads start at around 3,500 pounds, and can top out at close to 10,000 pounds.

I heard a little boy ask his grandfather how the horses knew what to do.

The weathered farmer replied that in order for the gentle giants to do their work on the farm, they had to learn about harnessing the power of two.

He continued, sharing that the horses were trained to pull in unison and were immediately stopped if they strained unequally against the yoke.

The danger of them going their own way meant that not only would the work not get done, but if they physically fought the constraints of the yoke, there was also a great risk of injury to everyone.

Plus, the damage to the equipment and the possibility of unplowed and unplanted fields could be catastrophic to the financial health of the household.

The similarity to strong and happy marriages is unmistakable:

Knowing you always have a teammate provides a regular and refreshing drink of encouragement.

The whole is greater—and stronger—than the sum of its parts, to paraphrase Aristotle.

Pulling in the same direction means progress towards and achievement of goals.

A road traveled together makes for a more joyful journey.

And especially this: A load shared is a load lightened.

 My husband and I have subscribed to this powerful advice of Harnessing the Power of Two, and it has made for an incredibly satisfying journey.

COMMENTS: Please share one way you are Harnessing the Power of Two in your marriage!

May you find happiness wherever you are! Kim, your personal Sherpa of Joy at Too Darn Happy


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4 Ways to Find the Sweet Spot in Your Marriage

4 Ways to Find the Sweet Spot in Your Marriage!

4 Ways to Find the Sweet Spot in Your Marriage

Love, love, love Tracey Goss!  She’s incredibly funny.  A brilliant writer.  A husband-adoring wife.  And a proud momma.

She’s also the sister of our health & fitness editor, Olympian and fitness expert, Annett Davis.  And you know we love us some Annett Davis around here!

Pull up a seat.  Grab your cup of coffee.  And enjoy the beauty and wisdom of this post.

Oh!  And the “Turn off, Turn in, Tune in, Turn on,” is common sense at its best.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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Have you found the sweet spot in your marriage?  

Maybe I should have titled this post The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Sweet Spot In Your Marriage because what I am sharing with you today is exactly what propelled my marriage from mediocre -declining as fast as my debit card right before payday- to one of the greatest joys of my life!

1. Rose-Colored Glasses.  Sure I know the idiom “she’s looking at him through rose-colored glasses” is used as a condescending dig. I remember the moment I reached for the pair of rose-colored glasses which had been tucked away a few years after I said “I do.”

Looking through those magical lenses helps me to see all of the positives that drew me to my husband in the first place as well as some additional bonuses that have developed over the years. That grey hair he has acquired around his temples drives me wild!

2. My Momma Taught Me to Take My Seat!  The artist formerly known as Prince had it right when he penned these words, “I don’t care where we go and I don’t care what we do.  Just take me with you!”  As you might have gathered by the title of tip number two, my mother was responsible for Prince’s platinum single.  Well, not really, but her marital advice has proven to be worth more than platinum.  She advised me to say “yes” whenever my husband invites me to join him – wherever he goes. Time together no matter where it is spent is precious.

3. If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Say Something Funny!  That’s our new mantra!  One of the best ways to avoid being entrenched in a heated conversation is not to worry about making a point nor having your way.  Forget your pride and don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself.

Recently, my handsome hubby spontaneously asked me to prepare and take our kids to school on a day which was originally deemed “dad’s day” to drive.  (You know the drill, pack the lunches, make sure the uniforms are ready to go, and oh yeah – get yourself dressed and ready for work as well.)

At this point, I had three options:

  1. Sanctimoniously give him a speech about the importance of making said request the night before at the latest (the old respect my time whine).
  2. Give him the silent treatment, which I am not particularly good at nor fond of.
  3. Don’t take myself or the situation so seriously.

I decided to join him in the kitchen (where he was loading the dishwasher, to lighten the load he had just dumped on me) and tell him how hot he looked sharing the housework with me in his boxer briefs.  We both had a great laugh and enjoyed each others company for the rest of the morning.  We began our day with a wink and a smile instead of a snark and the stink eye.

4. Turn Off, Turn in, Tune in, Turn On.  This is probably one of the most universally ignored bits of common sense with which woman-kind has been blessed.  Turn off the computer, washer, television, telephone, reading lamp, Kindle or whatever is usurping your last bit of energy.  Turn in to bed with your hubby, so you can tune in to one another.  Leave some gas in your tank for him so that you can turn on your “love engine” and I guarantee you, you’ll enjoy the drive!

Your Turn: We all have our own directions to finding that sweet spot in marriage.  I’d love to hear how you stay the course and manage the bumps in the road on the way to marital bliss! Let us know below in the comments.

Your fellow Happy Wife, Tracey Goss, the “Ringmaster” @3BrosFlyingCircus.com


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Top 10 Marriage Advice

Top 10 Marriage Advice That Really Works

Top 10 Marriage Advice

It’s human nature to want to share our knowledge with those around us. Everyone seems to want to share their two cents about marital advice, whether it’s welcomed or unsolicited.

I’ve reached out to some of my favorite bloggers, closest friends and family members to see what advice they’ve received that has really had an impact over the course of their marriage.

“Marriage is not all about ‘What’s in it for me?’  If you feel that way, turn it around, and say, ‘What can I do for my spouse, without expecting back?’  Then do it.  Advice I got from Sheila Wraye Gregoire that completely improved my marriage, from the first few days I tried it.” ~Gina Badalaty, Mom Blog

“You can’t change people. The things your husband does while you’re dating that irritate you are still going to irritate you twenty years later. People can change, but YOU can’t change them.” ~Nicole Quier, One Punky Mama

“You are not going to agree on everything but you can disagree fairly.  Discuss one topic at a time and do not over-inflate your frustration by bringing other issues into the conversation.” ~Jessica Cohen, Found The Marbles

“Don’t argue about money because when the argument is over you are still broke.” ~Courtney Slazinik, Click It Up A Notch

“Always continue to do what you did to get them.” ~Sharon Moskowitz

“Stop and think if it will be a big deal in a few days, weeks, months, or years before you pick a fight about it.” ~Elaine Dahle

“Marriage is about knowing your spouses buttons and choosing not to push them.” ~Gevenieve Blair

“Let your spouse have his/her own hobbies that do not include you. Even though you
love each other, everyone needs a little break to be themselves for a bit.” Cindy Dudas, Whatever Works

“Decide if you want your spouse to do something – or do something YOUR WAY. . .because
once you try to correct them, you may find yourself doing it yourself.” Hillary Hoch Chybinski, My Scraps

“Things get crazy quick so make sure to set aside some time to just talk, nothing else
in the background…just talk. Communicating is key.” Lauryn Blakesley, The Vintage Mom

For our honeymoon, my husband and I took a cruise to Bermuda and somehow we got roped into participating in the ship’s “Newlywed/Not-So-Newlywed” game show. It was one of the greatest – and most embarrassing – experiences of my life.

The following day we ran into an older couple on the ferry. The woman was holding tight to her husband’s hand as she gave me the best advice. “Fall in love with your husband every day. It keeps your love interesting and at the forefront of your relationship.”

I wish I could thank her now. I remember those words every day and ten years later I’m still falling in love with my husband over and over again.

Question: What advice has someone given you that has helped you in your relationship/marriage? (NEW: You can now leave comments on this page – just scroll down and click through the Comments button below)


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