5 More Simple Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong

Posted by: Shel 12 Comments

5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Marriage StrongLadies’ Home Journal Magazine was onto something when they touted the importance of “The Little Meaningful Things Happily Married Couples Do.” Admittedly, as soon as I got the magazine I raced past what other couples were doing and checked to see if Steve and I were in the mix. But after I happily scoped out our 2″x3″ patch of magazine real estate and realized the focus was on the very simple things that couples did for each other, I read the whole article to see what other happy spouses were up to.

Here are 5 gems from some of the long-marrieds of the group who shared the simple acts that contributed to keeping their marriage strong:

Simple Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong“Whenever I need to run into town to get something, Julie grabs her shoes and comes with me. Just the fact that she’s always up for keeping me company is great.” John Skirvin, Cedar City, UT, 24 years.

Simple Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong“I have no sense of direction. When I know I have to go somewhere new, he often drives me there the day before so I can find it.” Susan Cooper, Albuquerque, NM, 50 years.

Simple Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong“When he gives me a birthday or anniversary card, he always takes time to pick just the right one. Then he adds a short poem of his own inside the card.” Silvana Clark, Seattle, WA, 38 years.

Simple Things to Keep Your Marriage Strong“I really like that she’ll just sit in the living room with me – even if she’s doing something else – while I watch sports on TV.” Lawrence Dumler, Westminster, CO, 31 years.

Simple Ways to Keep Your Marriage StrongFrom her: “My favorite meal is salmon, mashed garlic potatoes and a salad with blue-chees dressing. Every year he cooks and serves it to me while I watch the Academy Awards.” And from him: “She buys me snacks for the Super Bowl and makes sure no one interrupts me while I watch it.” Nancy and Thomas Clift, Napa, CA, 57 years.


Simple Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong“When he used to go out of town, he would always hide little notes around the house for me to find.” Dottie Vifquain, Lincoln, NE, married a SPECTACULAR 71 years!



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  • Valarie

    I liked the advice that happiness is a CHOICE. Everyday we choose whether to be happy or not. When we are active in our lives and marriages, no matter what life delivers, we are happy. Good post, Shel!

    • Shel Harrington

      Thanks, Valerie. You make a good point – it IS a daily decision!

  • Great advice!
    We always say “thank you.” I don’t think there’s ever been a time where he hasn’t said, “Thanks for doing my laundry.” It makes me want to do it because I know he appreciates it. He does all of the cooking and for that, I’m so thankful and I always make a point of telling him so. 🙂

    • Shel Harrington

      Isn’t it amazing how discourteous couples can sometimes be to each other? It makes no sense to treat strangers better than the one we love best. I’m with you, Jill – I find a little appreciation to be a strong motivator!

      • Hey Shel! I saw your feature in LHJ today…awesome!!!!

        • Shel Harrington

          Thanks for checking it out, Jill! I sent a note to the author thanking her for including us and she hasn’t seen it yet – she says she’s been looking for several days. Apparently she wasn’t sure what couples would make the final edit. This is such an educational process!

  • Love this! What great advice—it all serves as a reminder that there are no giant tricks to a happy marriage, it’s all the little things we do for one another that come together to build that strong relationship!

    • Shel Harrington

      So true, Mari – it really is the little things that can make every day special.

  • The marriage lasted 34 1/2 years (the half because only half of the couple is still on this earth.) One of the things he used to do was encourage me in my pursuits. He had zilch interest in writing (although he was a good writer) or writing organizations, yet he encouraged (and sometimes insisted) I attend out local writer’s meetings. I used to make sure there was something for him to eat when he came in at midnight or 2AM from a sale or show. Often I’d get up and keep him company as he ate.

    • Shel Harrington

      Those are indeed the things that bond a couple – love that you’d get up late night to spend time with him. And, although I never had the opportunity to meet him, I appreciate your husband’s encouragement of your writing pursuits and attending conferences because that’s how we connected, Nita!

  • I just watched the NBA draft-does that count?

    • Shel Harrington

      Absolutely, Lin! Assuming, of course, your hubby was with you!

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