What makes for a successful marriage? Yesterday we heard from Betsy about her recipe for a successful marriage and avoiding marital problems. Today, a man shares how to be happily married.
Harry is a 58-year-old judge in Philadelphia.
What recipe would you give your children for a happy marriage?
A lot of tolerance and patience. New challenges and situations will inevitably arise during the course of a marriage; your spouse/partner will prove to be fantastic, adept, mediocre, or poor at meeting these challenges and handling these situations. You have to accept that is the way he/she is. You cannot change/re-make your spouse; you have to accept him/her the way he/she is and rejoice in it.
What is the best thing you do to keep your spouse happy?
The important thing here is to KNOW what makes your spouse happy. It may be just little things like always meeting her at the car or front door when she arrives home, or taking over doing the chores she detests.
In what ways do you hold back to keep the peace?
I don’t like to hold back because the resentment or annoyance tends to smolder and grow. Best to let things out when they are still minor.
What is the greatest challenge you have had to deal with in your marriage and how have you handled it?
Before I retired, I was unknowingly a workaholic and tended to put my work/profession above the family. My spouse filled in a lot for me while trying (gently) to bring this unhealthy situation to my attention.
When you and your spouse disagree, how does that play out; how do you argue, discuss, etc.?
We have disagreements and arguments but never make these an attack on each other as a person. We argue over issues but never make it ad hominem attack (to use a legal jargon). We always try to end the day with no issues hanging in the air unresolved. At worse we can agree to disagree or come to a compromise.
How do you keep the passion alive?
Cannot reveal this.
What other tips do you have for marital harmony?
People have different interests so each spouse should respect the other’s interests. Give each other a lot of “space” to pursue these interests and don’t be demanding of the other’s time.
Also abide by the proverb “honesty is the best policy.” It pays off to always be honest with each other.
Tune in tomorrow for another recipe for a successful marriage from a woman whose husband had been unfaithful.
note: identities have been disguised to protect the innocent as well as the guilty.
What tips do YOU have for healthy relationships?
YOU’LL FIND LOTS ABOUT MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIPS IN MY NEW MEMOIR . . .
The perfect Valentine’s Day gift for worrywarts or anyone who would enjoy a “neurotic, hilarious, poignant” deeply personal story.
“Susan Orlins is America’s funniest neurotic since Woody Allen. Just be careful you don’t crack a rib reading Confessions of a Worrywart.”
–PATRICIA VOLK, author of Stuffed
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, poignant, beautifully written January 21, 2013