It's no secret nor do I hide the fact that years ago my husband and I were both married to others and divorced. We vowed early on that the yucky "D" word would never be in our vocabulary again. Despite past mistakes, hurts, guilt, etc..., we were blessed with a second chance at a loving, healthy marriage. You think either one of us would take that for granted? 
Cute story, well not so cute at the time, occurred on the first day of out honeymoon. That evening looking back, we knew that since we made it through that day, we could make it through anything. We had been married in a little log cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The next day we decided to do some hiking, which we both love. 
The trails all have signs like this one:
We had found Deep Creek Trail, one of the narrow more off beaten path hikes and we really wanted to go on that one because hubbs wanted to fish and there was a stream at the end. So going down the narrow path was a breeze. Little did we know that at the bottom the site was closed due to bear activity and we would have to return up the 3,400 feet elevation. So, after 5.1 miles down, we must go up. We were in shape, but let me tell ya, going up at that elevation and steep incline so, so tough! We worked as a team, took breaks every few hundred yards and rationed out our water. We kept thinking we would make headlines, "Newlyweds, Eaten By Bears", but after 10 1/2 hours in the woods, motivating the heck out of each other to "Make it", with red and blistered feet, we finally did make it out into the glorious open and raced to a McDonald's drive thru before crashing at our cabin. The next day, we couldn't move, but knew we could conquer the marital journey!!
 Obviously, pics taken before the climb back "UP!"

Here are "NINE" tips for what keeps our marriage thriving.

1. Compliment, Compliment, Compliment
When my husband says "You're Beautiful" or even "What a Wonderful Meal", it means the world to me and validates his love of who I am. Many couples compliment one another early on. While they are dating, they offer frequent affirmations and compliments galore. But then, after a few years, those can start to dissipate. Not for us. Not a day goes by that we don't compliment each other on something. When I tell him "You look Great", his eyes sparkle. Everyone wants to feel special especially by their life partner.

2. Accolades For Tasks Big and Small
Besides the compliments, express Gratitude for the things your spouse does. Expressing gratitude feels good to YOU because you are looking for the positive things to celebrate and acknowledge every day. It feels good to your HUSBAND because he in turn, feels celebrated and acknowledged. If you are not in the habit of expressing gratitude, there is always something to show appreciation for. I love it when my husband fixes stuff. Just saying "Man, you know how to swing a hammer" or "great job hanging those garage shelves" makes him feel so appreciated.

3.  No Kids, No Rules
Whoo Hoo. Kids are gone for the weekend, what to do?  Whatever you want, that's what! The point is during child raising years these moments are few and far between. Go crazy if you want. Be spontaneous. Eat whatever you want wherever you want. Watch "R" Rated movies. Sleep in with no alarm clock. Sometimes it's just refreshing to break from routine.

4. Kiss. Every day. 
 It’s not “kiss when you go on date” or “kiss when the kids aren’t around,” it’s “Kiss. Every day.”  I'm not suggesting you stage a make-out session at the dinner table, what married couple does that? However, it’s perfectly fine for your offspring to witness the frequent kiss, hug or playful smack on the bum. Such gestures don’t just help keep the romance alive, they also show your kids that an affectionate marriage  is a GOOD thing. Flirt. Kiss. Hug. Remember that you create your relationship with every text, every wink, every “good morning” and every “can’t wait to see you tonight after work.” Never stop creating and you will never stop loving.

5. Let It Go
Why go ballistic when he buys the wrong bread? He had the courtesy in the first place to even stop and get bread. Another argument for zipping your lip: If you’re always hovering nearby ready to ream your husband for every little blunder, he may stop making an effort altogether, Ask yourself “Will this matter in five minutes/weeks/years?” If the answer is “not really,” take a deep breath and let it go. Anger is a choice. We can choose to see its powerful potential for destruction and take steps to reduce it. 

6. Say No To Negativity. 
No criticizing, complaining or eye rolling. Ever. Make requests not complaints. Remember at the end of a request you may get what you asked for. At the end of a complaint all you get is an argument and possibly, resentment. Build you spouse up in front of others. 

7. Binge Watch A TV Series
This may sound silly but there's nothing like sharing a connection and common love for Walter White in Breaking Bad or Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire. The last couple winters here in the Midwest have been brutal so my husband and I often pick a series to curl up and binge watch. We look forward to the next episode and then the next and it becomes "our show". So we fit six seasons into 3 weeks, kinda cool!

8. Go In Another Room
We've all heard of spending a few hours apart, him with the guys, you shopping, but what about this? So, for as many TV programs as my husband and I share a love of, there are also programs we do not share the same affection for. He loves The Discovery Channel and Alaska Shows. I DVR a soap opera and prime time dramas. As we all know time apart is a good thing. Well, it can even be in another room of the house. A little "me" time til we regroup for dinner!

9. Day Dates and Lots of Laughter
Lots of people plan a date night but what about a date day??? These are our favorites....Vineyards, Breweries, Roof Top Restaurants, Car Shows, The Beach and Lighthouses, Matinees, Football games,  Early Bird Dinners (Ha). The neat thing is we have no agendas, no time to be anywhere and we always seem to get off the beaten path and find new things, all while the day is full of laughter. New adventures bring a closeness and laughter tends to seal the deal.

Here's to keeping your marriage Strong and Happy!!!!!!
"Coming together is the beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."
~Henry Ford 


  1. Ohhh i love this post.
    I must say i read it all over.
    Im a newly wed lady so I want to know more about how to make it strong
    Thanks for sharing

    Check my new post.
    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin

  2. I loved reading all your tips!! I've been married for two years and my parents have been married for 41 this year and definitely do all the things you mentioned!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

    1. That's wonderful sweetie!!! What wonderful role models you have! I just can feel from your blog that you and your man will hit 50 years someday!!!! :-) Have an amazing day!!!!!!!

  3. What a wonderful post, lady! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm still a newlywed of 1.5 years and I strive to daily affirm my husband and continually try to bite my tongue when I want to criticize him. My parents have been married for 39 years and watching them has given me a great role model for marriage. I know it's daily work, but I'm also so thankful to have my man as my husband! Thanks again for such a great post!

  4. these are some great tips you provided!


  5. Love this post! I couldn't agree with all of these more! My husband and I always make sure we kiss each other good night too! So glad you both found each other and love that cute story about your honeymoon!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

    1. Thank you so much Shannon!!! You guys sound like you got it going on too!!!! Here's to many happy years together!!!! :-)

  6. You two look so great together! I'm way too young to be thinking about marriage, but these tips sound awesome! I wish you two nothing but happiness :)
    xo, Lauren-lee

    1. Aren't you a sweetheart!!!! Thank you so very much!!!!

  7. This is such a lovely post :)
    It really is important to keep the relationship alive - you look so happy together! <3 xx

    Sammie |

    1. Thank you sweet Samantha!!! :-) Have a wonderful day!!

  8. Mom B8.4.15

    Wonderful post. Love it!

  9. I love this, great tips!

  10. Anonymous8.4.15

    Love this post. What an awesome couple! Happiness to both of you forever.

  11. Loved this post so much! Engaged and always looking for good marriage advice...a lot of this has already rung true in our dating relationship. Awesome tips!

    1. Awe, thank you! Sounds like you're on the track to wedded bliss sweet girl! Cannot wait til there are wedding posts and pics on your awesome blog!!!

  12. Such a great post with so many good points and suggestions! You two are the cutest :)

    1. Oh thank you so much! Your opinion means so much to me.


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