My Life

The Secret to a Happy Marriage

By  | 

Every now and then I hear from a reader, and I MUST share their story. Either they’re so funny that I can’t breathe – or they mention something really sticks with me. And “CAB” (as she’d like to be called) did both when she sent me this.

How could I resist sharing it with you?

The Secret to Being Happily Married from My Life and Kids

The Secret to Being Happily Married

by CAB

We have been married for twenty years!

That’s right, TWENTY!

I can’t believe it.

It’s really quite amazing when you think about it. You see, I come from a long line of people who love to get married. My great grandma was married at least twice. My grandma was married at least six times (that I know of). My mom was married three times. My dad has been married five times. And both of my step dads have been married three times.

Getting married is fun! Right?

Well… I certainly was raised to believe that. But my husband is Catholic and Polish. And you marry for life.

That’s it. ONE TIME! 

I knew this going into it, but I seriously had to get myself mentally prepared for a different lifestyle.

And since you know that we’ve been married for 20 years this month, then you know that I ultimately decided to bite the bullet and commit to only wear the white dress once.

I had to grieve a little knowing that I would not get to enjoy all the festivities of my ancestors and their multiple diamond rings and cake cutting.

But I think the joy that comes from spending your life with one person outweighs all that extra wedding cake. (But I do love wedding cake!)

I like to think that I can take all of the credit for our 20-year marriage – but as you’ll see from the list below, my husband deserves quite a bit of it. It’s possible that I’m not the easiest person to live with… In fact, he’s had to learn a lot in our 20 years of marital bliss.

He’s had to learn important things, like…

Learning two new languages called REPETITION and YELL-LOUDER. Yes – I have a slight hearing loss and get really tired of having something stuck in my ear ALL DAY LONG so I sometimes  like to go commando with my hearing aid… He loves this.

Learning acceptance – Just because he’s 6’3 and 250 pounds DOES NOT mean that he has the louder farts. Am I proud of this talent of mine? Maybe a little.

Learning a new profession. Becoming a professional ‘cupboard-door-closer’ is a great activity. My husband loves to do it. There might be some sarcasm there…

Learning to embrace his bad eyesight. At least with his bad eyes, he has no idea that the shower has been pretty filmy for 80% of our marriage.

Learning to be a Master-Story-Teller. This wasn’t all that hard for him to learn. You see, I tend to forget things so each time he tells a college fraternity tale or a high school football statistic, it’s extra fun. I get just as excited as the first five times I heard it. I think this is one of my best qualities.

Learning to cook. He didn’t get to own his dream restaurant, but he DOES get to be a chef. It’s like my little gift to him.

Marriage isn’t easy. And I have a list of complaints as long as anyone else’s. His backrubs leave much to be desired. He doesn’t like cucumbers, he wants to do it all the time, and he’s moody (these three are not related.) And he leaves folded laundry on the living room chair all week long.

But THESE are the things that I love about my husband. THESE are the reasons we’ve been married for 20 years. THESE are the secrets to our marital bliss…

Yesterday, he made me laugh harder than I have ever laughed in my life.

He chases me around and grabs my butt and growls (and I secretly LOVE it!)

He encourages me to be the best at everything I want to be- a mom, a professional, and a friend.

He has shown ME how to share my feelings. He makes ME talk and HE listens like I am the most important person in the world.

He ALWAYS buys me cards for every occasion and if he doesn’t like what they say he crosses out the words and writes his own.

He does his laundry. (Even if he does leave it folded in the living room chair all week long.)

He is a wonderful DAD. He texts, calls, talks, plays, teases and guides our daughter.

He is a great sleeper – doesn’t move, snore, kick or sweat.

He acts like he doesn’t think I am beautiful because he is trying to balance  me- but I KNOW what he really thinks.

He doesn’t complain when I eat all the ice cream or sleep in the afternoon.

He really cares about people and who they are and what their stories are.

He has chosen to share himself, his feelings, and his life with ME!

Another white dress? No thanks, I’m good.

What do you love about your husband?


  1. Janine Huldie

    August 21, 2013 at 6:58 am

    I love that my husband is truly a standup and honest guy, sometimes too honest for his own good, but still he is honest. Oh and loyal, too. Wonderful post and loved reading the secrets to happy marriage!! 🙂

  2. Baby Mama

    August 21, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Beautiful. I am also quite happy to never wear another white dress again. I liked the one I had, and I’m keeping it for Baby Girl, but I never intend on needing it again. Quite like the husband I have – want to keep him around for a very long time!!!

  3. Karen Alpert

    August 21, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Awwww, your husband is lucky to have such and awesome and funny wife!

  4. Denise

    August 21, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Awwww. I’ve been married 18 years to my guy, but we’ve been together since ’89. Our guys have many of the same qualities.

    And if you want more cake, you can always renew your vows!

  5. Stephanie

    August 21, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I’ve been with mu husband for 13 years (married for 7) I love him for his faith, honesty, and supporting my crazy ideas like “Hey we should adopt a kid even though we just got married 6 weeks ago!”

  6. Sarah @Just The Bees Knees

    August 21, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Sounds like you have a keeper!! Congrats on 18 years:)

  7. Jessica

    August 21, 2013 at 7:59 am

    How sweet, I look forward to 20 years and hope we are just as happy as the two of you.

  8. Meredith

    August 21, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Love that you both have this commitment–and that the first thing you had to earn for making this work was “two new languages called REPETITION and YELL-LOUDER”. I know EXACTLY what you mean 😉 Fun to read your post!

  9. Suburban Snapshots

    August 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

    She underestimates the value of her sense of humor in this long relationship, “It’s like my little gift to him” BAAHAHAHA.

  10. Anna ~ Instructions for my Husband

    August 21, 2013 at 8:36 am

    I would totally take folded laundry on a chair if it was laundry done by my husband! Thanks for sharing your secrets from 20 years!

  11. Kathy at kissing the frog

    August 21, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Awww, this was so sweet! I love it, and congrats on the twenty years! My Hubby and I are half-way there. He makes me laugh, too, and absolutely does not allow me to second-guess myself, which I had been doing my whole life. And of course, he’s taught me how to fart, and I, too, let him fill his dream of owning a bar/restaurant by frequently cooking. 😉 Thanks for sharing, CAB!

  12. Mom

    August 21, 2013 at 9:12 am

    This was a very touching tribute to 20 years – thanks for sharing. Your first one – that he made you laugh harder than you’ve laughed in years almost made me cry…..that is so important and so great that you recognize it. I also love it that he “is a good sleeper”. Very important over the long haul that’s for sure!!

  13. hollow tree ventures

    August 21, 2013 at 9:19 am

    How sweet; I sure hope my husband and I are still like that when we hit the big 2-0! And congrats on that milestone – it’s no small accomplishment!

  14. HouseTalkN

    August 21, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I have been married almost 20 years, too! Looks like you have a keeper!
    Maybe you could eat wedding cake on your anniversaries?

  15. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

    August 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Fellow 20 year-er here too! Wonderful post! I love that my husband makes me laugh and grabs my butt. I tolerate that he does not like cucumbers because he gives the best back rubs. (He did not have to teach me how to fart. That glory is mine.) Ellen

  16. Mommy Shorts

    August 21, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I firmly believe that everybody doing their own laundry is the key to a happy marriage. May you have many more years of wedded bliss! And farts, of course.

  17. So cute! Just what I needed this morning! Loved it Anna!

  18. rebecca at thisfineday

    August 21, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for sharing! This is hilarious and sweet all at once. I love my husband because he completely lets me be me and he embraces all of me even when it involved loving my crazy to 🙂

  19. thedoseofreality

    August 21, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Love it! Great tips! 🙂

  20. Wadinga

    August 21, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I cant believe that I also have been married for 20 years. I do have a 3 year old though, which does keep me young 🙂

  21. sparkling74

    August 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    This was a very enjoyable read and I totally agree. However, one thing really caught my attention. With your hearing issue and the fact that you often go “commando” how exactly are you sure that your farts are louder????

  22. hillary

    August 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Married for eight years and plan to stick with him for life! This was way cute! You go, CAB! 🙂

  23. Toulouse

    August 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I LOVE that he buys cards and then crosses out the words and writes his own. Thanks for the wonderful advice!

  24. MomChalant

    August 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    LOVE this. I’m not married, but I’ve been with my boyfriend (and father of my child) for almost five years now, and we’ve been committed to a life-long relationship for a while now, so I definitely plan on only getting married once. Although, multiple diamond rings would be awesome.

    My boyfriend has baby farts. Me and our son both fart louder than him, and I’m totally proud of it.

  25. Bethany @ Bad Parenting Moments

    August 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Such a funny, sweet post!

  26. Courtney

    August 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    My husband always held the door for me, and did little things to show he loves me. My iPhone flashes “Scott loves you” every time I leave a few blocks away from my house. I hope my iPhone never stops working.

  27. CyndyBush

    August 24, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    What I took from this post is that the REAL secret to a happy marriage is for one partner to be blind and the other, deaf! It makes darned good sense too!
    Congrats on 20 years =)

  28. Sue

    August 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I love this post. While my husband and I are both on our second marriages (apparently we both attracted psychos the first time around), we both come from a line of long married people. His parents mark their 53rd anniversary this year, mine their 45th. While I know we won’t hit either of those numbers, we both know this is it.

    My husband is almost deaf and “goes commando” (OMG, I LOVE that saying in reference to hearing aids hahaha) all the time on the weekends. Five years later and I still forget this and talk away from him all the time. On the bright side, we have a LOT of mistaken phrases in our conversations that are rather funny.

    He loves to make me laugh. He knows my parents birthdays and their anniversary date. He’s a spectacular father and treats my kids just like they are his very own. He make look like a big, gruff guy, but he’s a softie at heart (which is how we ended up buying 3 rabbits for $150 at an animal auction). My life is infinitely better with him in it.

  29. Suzanne Lucas

    August 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Congrats on 20 years of awesome married life. He sounds like the catch of the century. Seriously, he doesn’t snore, kick or sweat while sleeping AND he does laundry? I want one of those.

  30. Nina

    August 31, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Laughing and crying! What a great post.

    I love that my husband cares so very much for others. He concerns himself with making sure everyone ELSE is having a good time and finds joy in the smiles of others. What a man!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login