Sunday Thoughts (4 tips for a happy marriage)

I often talk about my wife Karen, and how blessed I am to have her in my life.

Our marriage is a true partnership. A happy partnership.

But it wasn’t always like that.

We’ve had rough patches, like many couples do.

Times when we were angry. 

Not spending enough time together. Putting work or our kids above our relationship.

But with time, and a lot of work, we got our marriage on track. And we’ve kept it there.

If you’ve been struggling in a relationship, maybe some of our tips for a happy marriage can help you too.

It starts with a foundation. Here are the four basic principles of our marriage. 

What works for us.

First, we don’t expect our own happiness to come from the other.

There’s that saying “happy wife, happy life.” 

I’m all for making sure Karen is happy. But for our marriage to work, I know I need to be happy, too.

And here’s another thing.

You shouldn’t expect your spouse to make you happy. That’s just too much pressure for your spouse and a recipe for disappointment. 

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do nice things for your husband or wife. You should.

But your own happiness needs to come from within.

Spend time doing things that fulfill you. That make you happy.

Only when both people in marriage are happy can you truly have a meaningful, lasting relationship.

And that leads to the second principal: have each other’s backs. 

Support your spouse with the things they like to do. I know I couldn't write this and work like I do without Karen’s encouragement. And, I give Karen my support with her projects as well.

With support comes trust, a sense of knowing that the person you’re with is by your side through thick and thin.

Our third principle is this: we work as a team. 

A happy marriage is a marriage of equals.

If one partner feels they’re bearing more responsibility than the other, that’s bound to lead to resentment.

If there’s a big decision to be made, like our move to Florida, then we sit down and discuss it together. 

We weigh the pros and cons together. And we develop a solution together.

No voice or opinion is more important than the other. We are equals.

And finally, you have to prioritize the marriage. Above work. Above other family. Even above your kids (not always easy to do).

Make time for each other. Sprinkle in some fun for just the two of you. 

This can be hard if you have little kids or grandkids at home. Believe me, I remember.

But essential to a happy marriage is taking time to enjoy alone time together. Without the kids or grandkids. Without the distraction of work.

It could be as simple as a regular lunch date. Or, playing golf together. Something you both enjoy.

A truly happy marriage doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a partnership, and it does take care and attention.

But, with work comes reward. And a happy lifetime partner is the greatest reward of all.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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Comments

Sharon Brooks - December 28, 2020

Hi jeff and karen I really admire you
Two because I believe your marriage
Was made in heaven , if I was marry
I would take note from your marriage
And jeff I betcha karen can cook too.
Happy new year to mr & mrs jeff (smile). Okay.

Dawn Watson - December 28, 2020

I want to thank you for the quality and the quick service. I lost my best friend and husband this past April we were married 32 years the hardest thing I found out was I can’t go to him for advice it is hard but making the choices for buying your products has been the choices I know he would be glad and s bit surprised be cause even though he made all the important choices is that they were the best ones for us but we always first agreed you and your wife
keep up the excellent job you have been doing. God Bless you and your family. Dawn Watson.

Sandy - December 29, 2020

Happy to hear you both enjoying each other. Yes, marriage is a two way; both need to work on making each other happy. I had 34 years of bliss; wasn’t always sugar and spice but worked on it. Unfortunately, my late hubby passed away from ALS after 2 1/2 years of being diagnosed. I have learnt to love myself and am happy with my princesses and grandkids; two princes and a princess. Am Blessed. Continue having a wonderful marriage and enjoy every minute together. God bless.

Sandy - December 28, 2020

Happy to hear you both enjoying each other. Yes, marriage is a two way; both need to work on making each other happy. I had 34 years of bliss; wasn’t always sugar and spice but worked on it. Unfortunately, my late hubby passed away from ALS after 2 1/2 years of being diagnosed. I have learnt to love myself and am happy with my princesses and grandkids; two princes and a princess. Am Blessed. Continue having a wonderful marriage and enjoy every minute together. God bless.

Joanne Joyner - December 28, 2020

I love your comments on your marriage. My husband and I have been married for 58 years. It hasn’t always been good, but we make up our minds to work through it. God bless your business!!

Martha J Hamson - December 28, 2020

Thank u Jeff for all those great marriage reminders.its so good to have reminder when some time things aren’t always going as we think they should.ill for sure take ur reminders and work harder.to make my part better.and more thoughtfully. A fan.i love all ur patriot stuff. Thanks again..HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Willliam (Bill) - December 28, 2020

HI there, your email today was really right on the money. I had a wonderful relationship and marriage with Olga, but we did have issues towards the end of her life. It was our separation during the week. She worked a job that she enjoyed, and was successful with Wells Fargo Accounting. But, we did have the weekends to do, even just the normal things. We both looked forward to grocery shopping, 4 stores, and then the Taco Johns for a snack afterwards. Kind of ruined the barbecue that I liked to do, but there was always Sunday.

I disagreed with you on one point of today’s email. Giving to each other. One partner working harder than the other. A wise man told me many years ago about a successful marriage: Be willing to give 75%, both of you/us, then it will probably result in a 50% give and take. Me personally, I get happiness out of giving more. But as you said, we all want to feel happiness too, and receive good things too. Anyway, I just thought that I’d add my little thoughts, ideas and what worked for Olga and me. Yes, she passed away from cancer, and my only real wish is, that I didn’t spend more time with Olga, when she was in the hospital, those last three months. God how I miss her.

Bill

SDM - December 28, 2020

Thanks for marriage inspiration.
Always…..
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

A true threefold cord relationship is one in which each strand works together for divine purpose. There is no separation and no self-agenda. It’s a unity modelled on the Trinity and will always bring forth His blessings. On a practical level, it releases in us a spiritual strength that would be impossible for us alone. It symbolizes the joining of one man, one woman, and God into a marriage relationship.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Luke 16:18

One flesh is a two-word description of marriage. Inseparable, together forever, both a physical and a spiritual concept. One flesh, in Genesis, is traditionally associated with the marriage union. Two human beings, biblically, a male and a female, joined together.

Cherish each other.

God Bless you always and keep sharing the inspiration.
SDM

Michael - December 28, 2020

Very good article Jeff! Thank you for your thoughts. My wife and I have now been married for over 43 years. We met when we were 12 years old! I agree with everything you said in your article about marriage. One additional huge factor in what I believe has been our marriage successful is that on day one of our marriage, we invited Jesus Christ into our marriage to be our cornerstone. He has been incredibly faithful in helping us through many a hard time. We feel blessed to have the marriage we do today as we watch so many marriages in our society end unsuccessfully. Blessings to you and your family. Happy New Year!

Jill RIDENOUR - December 29, 2020

Hi Jeff, you stated “But your own happiness needs to come from within.”
I’d like to respectfully suggest that the recipe for success is for you to look for your happiness in God. He is the true joy giver and the only one who can make you truly happy.
The feelings we have are so fickle. We’re up,then we’re down. God never changes. We can trust Him.

How are you after the terrible incident in Nashville please?

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