• Relationships

Secrets To A Long Happy Marriage

Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall has been married to her husband, Rob, for 47 happy years. In a world where half of all marriages end in divorce, she thinks she has a few secrets to making a relationship survive the inevitable bumps in a road. After the jump, check out a few of those secrets, which she shared in today’s Daily Mail. During the honeymoon phase:

  • Give in gracefully about trivial things. Save your powder for the big issues.
  • Play to your strengths — if he’s a brilliant cook, let him do it. If you are a whiz at DIY, put the shelves up.
  • Don’t think you can ‘marry the man today and change his ways tomorrow,’ (as Adelaide sang in “Guys And Dolls”). Be warned, it doesn’t work.

I would add:

  • Continue making plans for the future, whether it’s a short-term plan for a vacation, or long-term goals towards starting a family. Talk about those plans a lot; make sure you’re staying on the same page.

  • Spend time apart. Hang out with your own friends, take a weekend solo trip to visit an old college roomie, explore a hobby on your own. These activities not only enrich your life and give you something to bring to the marriage, they let your heart grow a little fonder during the absence and remind you not to take the time you do spend with your new spouse for granted.

During early parenthood:

  • Most grandparents love to be used, so make friends with your mother-in-law.
  • There’s no need for husbands to feel excluded. Plan how to share childcare as well as household chores.
  • Keep friendships in good repair. When you’re stuck indoors with a couple of toddlers, a moan on the phone can stop you taking it out on your partner later.

On keeping faithful:

  • Be aware of the dangers and recognise the urge for what it is: a temporary itch, not to be scratched.
  • If your partner strays, work through the problem together, with professional help if you feel you need it.
  • If you know that a friend’s husband or wife is cheating, never, ever tell them. It’s none of your business.

Any other tips for all you marrieds (or those in long-term relationships)? [via Daily Mail]

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