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my secrets to a happy marriage

July 13, 2011

Yesterday Tina did a post on secrets to a happy marriage in honor of her anniversary. Well it isn’t my anniversary but her post did get me thinking about what qualities I think are important on making my marriage a success.

Talk About Money

Money is a huge part of any relationship and especially a marriage. Financial stress is one thing that can and does tear couples apart. It is important to talk about money and find a system that works for you with regard to your budget. Inevitably someone is going to make more money than the other one and you need to discuss how you are going to handle and factor that part in.

I will share with you how Keith and I handle things. We each have our own checking account. Some people find this odd since we’re married. Don’t you have a joint account and credit cards? The answer is no, we don’t. We have a joint savings account but that’s it. Keith does make more money than me so we split the bills accordingly. He pays more bills that I do. We each pay into the savings and retirement accounts and what is left is ours to do what we want. If Keith comes home with Home Depot bags or I come home with Target bags it doesn’t affect the other person. There is no underlying thoughts like, “Keith used my money too to buy that.” And it also makes it easier when it comes to presents. Neither of us knows when they other one buys anything for the other or how much they cost.

This is what works for us but I think what is more important is finding the system that works for you. Anything you can do to alleviate any financial stress in the marriage is never a bad thing!

Say “I Love You”

Keith and I always say I love you. We say it all the time to one another and 90% of the time it is said just because and out of the blue. There is nothing more comforting than when you are both reading or watching TV and the other one just looks up and says, “I love you.” We also say it even if we are mad at another. If we are angry when we go to bed we still say I love you. If we are angry before leaving for work we still say I love you. Just because you are mad at someone doesn’t mean you don’t love them and hearing those words just reinforces that while while right now I am upset with you I still love you and always will.

Have Sex

I know it sounds obvious but I still think it needs to be said. The longer you are together and the more comfortable you are with one another you start to forget about the magic. But sex is important. Even when you get home from a long day, or feel gross after a big meal, or have a headache. Sex is what keeps you connected on a deeper level. I am not saying you need to have sex everyday (hahaha…if you do that then you’re my hero) but spend multiple times each week reconnecting on that level. Make it fun, act like teenagers and find news way to change it up. 🙂


This is another one of those things you know you should do but make sure you actually do! Compromising is part of life and part of any successful partnership. No ones wants to be with someone who always gets their way. There will definitely be times when you don’t want to do something your spouse wants to do but suck it up because there will be a time when you want him to do something he doesn’t want to do. It is all about give and take and give and take. This one was (is) hard for me because I tend to be the more selfish one in our relationship but I work on it all the time.

Find Common Interests

Do things together! You don’t have to spend all your time together but have a few things you like to do together. Whether it is date night, running together, watching a certain TV show every night together, playing on a coed sports team together, reading, whatever…something! Enjoy time away with your friends but also find things you like to do as a couple.

Be Supportive

Everyone is going to go through hard times in their lives and the best thing is having someone unconditionally support you. If your husband doesn’t get that job promotion or comes up with an idea that falls flat, be supportive! When you don’t get that job you interviewed for or an idea you have doesn’t work out you are going to want someone there to believe in you and support you.

Never Be Embarrassed

Never be embarrassed around one another. Everyone is going to do embarrassing things but having someone to laugh about it with makes it a lot more fun when it happens.

Laugh A Lot

And finally…laugh. Laugh a lot and don’t stop.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2011 7:50 am

    What a perfect post! I commented on Tina’s yesterday and said that compromising is the biggest part of making my relationship work. I tend to be on the selfish side too so it’s really hard for me, but I know that Lee sacrifices for me so I, too, try to work on that all the time.

  2. July 13, 2011 8:10 am

    I’m so glad you mentioned sex. I agree with you that it’s extremely important on both a physical and emotional level, although many people tend to brush it aside after they’ve been together for awhile.

    • July 13, 2011 11:01 am

      I think sex is so important and a lot people don’t take that into consideration!!

  3. July 13, 2011 8:16 am

    I’m with you on keeping some money separate and just your own, I think that’s key to the least amount of arguments.

  4. July 13, 2011 8:17 am

    Couldn’t agree more (as usual!). I LOVE that last photo of you guys 🙂

  5. July 13, 2011 8:20 am

    We have a joint account. It’s just easier for us. Before we got married, I paid all the bills and then deducted half from his portion of the rent and figured it out in an excel spreadsheet and was just like, “I don’t want to use excel to figure out my finances for the rest of my life.” so we merged accounts. We’re both pretty frugal spenders, so it’s not really a problem.

  6. July 13, 2011 8:25 am

    I appreciate your honesty and for writing this. I love hearing different points of views on marriage and all the ways people interact.

  7. July 13, 2011 8:37 am

    I love your list Kelly — I definitely agree on all counts! We do have joint accounts — checking and savings — although that is what works for us and I totally understand that people do things in different ways.

    I love the last picture of you two!

  8. July 13, 2011 9:14 am

    These are great tips. I’ll have to remember them for when I finally get married. 🙂
    I definitely have to work on the compromising though. I have a hard time with that. Its awful, I’m kind of selfish that way.

  9. July 13, 2011 9:35 am

    We have all joint accounts too. It’s best for us and most simple. I would add eating dinner together to the list. I try to hope we have dinner together at least a few weeknights each week.

    • July 13, 2011 11:00 am

      Good one Marci! Definitely eating together is a biggie for me too. Keith and I eat dinner (at the table without the TV) every single night!

  10. July 13, 2011 10:30 am

    I love this list! Even though we are not married, it is very relevant and timely.

    We were recently discussing having a common interest or hobby. We have meals together, but with his studying we have been missing out on doing something fun we both enjoy (other than eating 😉 and watching Masterchef ). So we are working on finding something fun we can do together on his study breaks!

    Thanks for the great post!

  11. Camilla permalink
    July 13, 2011 10:41 am

    Perfect post! Love the last picture, so cute 😀

  12. July 13, 2011 11:03 am

    Great post Kelly! Timely advice before we tie the knot 🙂

    • July 13, 2011 11:13 am

      Sarah!!! You and Luden are going to be SO happy!!!

  13. July 13, 2011 11:09 am

    I’m curious as to how we will handle finances in the future. I tend to move towards your idea, but I’m not sure.

    • July 13, 2011 11:12 am

      You can always try different things until you find what works for you.

  14. July 13, 2011 12:16 pm

    I agree with each and every point! While I don’t exactly believe in separate accounts when married, i guess it could prevent a lot of unneccessary hardship. It’s never been something my hubby and I ever fight about. We just don’t. He makes a little more than me but it’s all relative in my book. The thing we fight most about is family! Since my family lives 2 1/2 hours away, I don’t see them as much as his who live ~20 mins away. I get jealous.

  15. July 13, 2011 1:04 pm

    Wow, these are great! I can’t wait to apply these to my upcoming marriage this fall! Thanks for posting these!

  16. July 13, 2011 1:04 pm

    Love these Kelly! I think a lot of them are important even when you’re not married yet!

  17. July 13, 2011 1:59 pm

    I love this post! Especially since I am not married…and I always have questioned about married life! So interesting for your prespective. And I love the seperate bank accounts!!

  18. July 14, 2011 6:30 am

    Great tips! This will help me out in the future 🙂 Andy and I have been together for nearly 5 years, so I feel like we are married…but even still, marriage is another level. I like your money tips and that seems like something I’d be comfortable with.

    I need to have more sex, not gonna lie! I’m one of those people who is exhausted after work or dinner and will end up falling asleep (which is no excuse!) Being comfortable with someone is GREAT but you are right, it takes that extra effort to keep it up. I’ll work on that tonight haha!

    • July 14, 2011 6:39 am

      I think we can all be guilty of that from time to time. Life is exhausting! Have fun tonight! 😉

  19. July 16, 2011 9:01 am

    All excellent advice! I’d add don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s taken me a long time to learn that it doesnt really matter if he throws his clothes on the floor or forgets to do the dishes.*

  20. July 18, 2011 7:24 am

    Great post Kelly! My husband and I are coming up to our 3 year anniversary. We have joint accounts, but I agree that you have to figure out what works for you!

  21. July 18, 2011 9:06 pm

    Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing.

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