Home Relationships 39 Secrets to a Happy Marriage. Or What I’ve Learned, Anyway!

39 Secrets to a Happy Marriage. Or What I’ve Learned, Anyway!

by Vidya Sury February 10, 2012 29 comments
39 secrets to a happy marriage

On our fifteenth Wedding Anniversary (Feb 9) Sury and I marveled at the years gone by, cherishing the fact that we’ve been happily married for fifteen years (phew!). I couldn’t help but think back in time. Do we have a happy marriage? Of course, we do!

I found myself smiling a lot, and how Sury manages to make me laugh no matter how bugged I am. And I also fondly realized many other things. He never makes me feel worse when I’ve goofed up something big time; instead, he’ll say it is okay and look at how to sort it out.

Oh, so he’ll tease me about it later, but that’s all in good spirit. He writes me a poem for every anniversary and every birthday. Mmm. How can I forget that he bought Prince’s movie “Purple Rain” at a ridiculous price just because he thought I’d love it? Sigh.

I am really lucky I have a partner such as Sury. Amazingly understanding, he’s a forthright and very down-to-earth person.  My mother and he were such good friends, and for that I am grateful. He has a terrific sense of humor that makes for a lot of laughter around the house, even when situations are sometimes tense.

Find joy in everything. 39 secrets to a happy marriage

This may probably sound a little silly, but we admire each other’s qualities. Ah, he sings a lot (and quite well, too).  We believe in the division of labor at home and have a nice balance. If one of us is mad at the other, out of the three of us (Our son, Sury, and I), there is always someone to arbitrate and defend each other.

We always make it a point to share our day’s happenings with each other. Heck, Sury even reads every single blog post I write! AND he tells me that to him, I am the most desirable best woman on earth. Seriously, can I ask for something more? Yes, I believe. Another couple of fifteen years, maybe?

Why this post?

So, yesterday, I was reading Arvind Devalia’s epic Valentine’s Day post. And commented. Arvind immediately emailed me to wish me on my anniversary.  And jokingly (or so I thought) mentioned that I should write about the secrets of my happy marriage. I grinned, I admit, but it got me thinking, why not? Now is a great time to feel good about what makes my marriage tick.

The last fifteen years have been wonderful in retrospect. We’ve had good times, bad times, sad times, and scary times. Yet we have come through it all. quite happily. And what have I learned?

Ahem! Please allow me to share what I’ve been lucky enough to learn – and what I consider are the “secrets” of a happy marriage. Here we go!

39 secrets to a happy marriage

Secrets to a happy marriage

  1. Always make it a point to communicate. Don’t expect telepathy. That comes later. And when you least expect it. If you have a situation, talk about it. Get it out of your system.
  2. Never go to bed without saying I love you. Even if your partner does not. Probably didn’t occur to them. It is okay to initiate and have them follow.
  3. Don’t keep score about how many times you did something vis-à-vis how many times your partner initiated it. That is a lousy thing to do.
  4. Never ever go to sleep angry or with resentment. Resentment is pure poison. Of your own making, usually.
  5. There are times when life won’t go the way you expect it to. Accept it.
  6. Marriage really is about “I take you, your mother, your aunts, your cousins, your uncles, your friends….”  It is okay. Share the same vows!  We cannot argue that while marriage is between two people logically, it is actually between two families and all the people in the periphery.  Think of it as fun. It becomes a lot easier to deal with.
  7. Use your intuition. This always works when you love.
  8. You don’t have to be a perfectionist.  I know. I tried being the perfect daughter, wife, mom, and caregiver all at the same time. Until I realized nobody expected it.  In fact, my lovely family and friends kept telling me to relax and that it wouldn’t really be the end of the world if I left something undone.
  9. Respect each other’s work, personal space, and each other’s interests. It is okay not to have similar interests. Now, Sury is passionate about everything he does (as am I). What we admire about each other is what we are both good at. It does not matter if we are not crazy about the same things.  Over the years, we have developed a lot of common grounds for togetherness, which we enjoy tremendously.
  10. Happiness takes effort, effort that is well worth it.39 secrets to a happy marriage
  11. Above all, let there be trust
  12. Be committed. Even if you have to make okra more often than you’d like to. I am.
  13. Develop a friendship with your partner
  14. Remember there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Thank God. That would be so boring.
  15. Don’t be shy
  16. It is okay if there’s burnt toast for dinner.
  17. Speak your mind. It is okay to fight. It is even more fun to make up afterward.
  18. Be quick to praise each other
  19. Laugh a lot. It relieves a lot of stress (and a lot of icky situations)
  20. Sometimes, it is a good idea to ditch your gadgets and focus on face-to-face.  39 secrets to a happy marriage
  21. It is okay to date in your pajamas.  It is all about the time spent together – not where, when or the clothes you wear.
  22. A happy marriage takes a lot of give and take. Hmm. A lot of give. Do it.
  23. Make sure you enjoy every moment. Even if it is scrubbing the bathroom floor. Or clearing up after each other. It is so easy to get caught up in life’s various crazies.
  24. Don’t take your partner for granted.  Don’t just go assuming things on their behalf. Ugh!
  25. Throw away that silly argument about “You have changed” Appreciate any changes you see. After all, people grow in a relationship, and I’d think it is a blessing if they change and adjust. And by the way, the “changing” works both ways.
  26. Oh, it is okay to argue. Strengthens the relationship.
  27. Appreciate every little thing. Just because you’re crazy about each other does not mean there’s no need to say “sorry” or “thank you”
  28. Hug a lot. Diffuses tension instantly.
  29. Remember, life is always full of hope.
  30. When you’re upset, take a little time to stand outside yourself, take stock and calm down. Choose your words carefully if you have to speak. 39 secrets to a happy marriage
  31. Make love, not war.
  32. Share your feelings.
  33. Love may be a bed of roses, but there are thorns to make you appreciate the roses. What is life if there are no downs to appreciate the ups?
  34. Always remember, you are in this together and have equal responsibility.
  35. Do not let fear come in the way of doing anything you care about.
  36. Avoid looking for black and white – enjoy the shades of grey. Grey is one of my favorite colors.
  37. Spend time together. Did I say that already? Okay, I am saying it again!
  38. Try maintaining a positive outlook
  39. Relish every moment

Valentine’s is just around the corner, folks, and Love is in the air! So don’t forget to say your I love yous. If you think the air you breathe is made of 78% nitrogen (N2), 21% oxygen (O2), 0.9% argon (Ar), 0.04% carbon dioxide (CO2), and some trace elements, you’ve missed an important ingredient. L-O-V-E. Yes.

Okay, am pretty sure I listed whatever I wanted to say. That said, I think the above would work for any close long-term relationship between two people.

What do you think? What are YOUR recommendations for a happy and healthy relationship/marriage?

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Emily February 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Happy Anniversary!

You’ve learned a lot of great lessons over the years and I’m so glad you shared them!

Vidya Sury February 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Thank you, Emily! 🙂 All happy learning! Hugs!

zephyr February 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Wishing many more happy Anniversaries to you and Sury, Vidya dear. You have given such an exhaustive list of to do for a happy marriage that even is a part of them are followed they will bear fruit. What many young people don’t understand that marriage is hard work and is not something shown in movies. Sometime back I had done a guest post when one of my blogger friends wanted me to write a post on her anniversary. you might like to check it out

Vidya Sury February 11, 2012 at 11:33 am

Zephyr! Thank you so much. I actually wrote it on the go and was surprised to find I could add so many points. Lists do that to me 😀 Oh yes, it is a lot of hard work! Very worth it. I loved your post at Rachna’s! I so appreciate you giving me the link – you write very well (by which I mean I love to read what you write 🙂 Hugs! When I invite guest posts on my blog, you’ll certainly be in the top three list, that’s for sure!

Cathy Taughinbaugh | Treatment Talk February 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Hi Vidya,

Happy anniversary. What an inspiring post. It sounds like you do have the perfect recipe for an amazing marriage. Marriage can be hard work, but so worth it in the end. Enjoy your day!

Vidya Sury February 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

Hey Cathy! Thanks so much for coming by! Having written it, I was so happy that I felt this way. The desire to make everything work matters, too and I am glad we both put in the effort it needs! Hugs to you!

Terri Sonoda February 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Hi Vidya and Happy Anniversary! Sounds like you have a beautiful relationship with your husband. Your advice for a happy relationship has many good points. My relationship is far from perfect, but we do respect one another and I believe respect is vital to any relationship. We are older and have been together 14 years now, so we have to work on the “romance” part of our relationship. Most days we are just an old “married couple”, but sometimes the sparks fly. Happy Anniversary AND Valentines Day to you and hubs. Keep those embers burning for one another, my friend!

Vidya Sury February 11, 2012 at 11:45 am

Dearest Terri, Thanks. I have to admit that I may not have been able to write all this a few years ago! As you rightly mentioned, respect cements the foundation of love in a big way. Sometimes I think we behave like an old married couple too, and guess what? we’re very comfortable with that! At the end of the day, being together counts very much and yes, we’re able to kindle that spark quite intuitively! Thank you Terri, big hugs to you!

Fran Sorin February 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Dear Vidya….Happy, happy anniversary. I’m overwhelmed by the loving relationship that you and Sury have. That you have the ability and talent to share your feelings and advice in such a thoughtful and generous manner is very special.

So many wonderful lessons you are offering in this piece. xxoo-Fran

Vidya Sury February 11, 2012 at 11:46 am

Dear Fran! Thank you for your lovely wishes! You make me feel so good! 😀

Nezzy February 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Dang…I’m late to the party again!!!

First of all my friend, here’s wishin’ you a very happy number fifteen!!! Wooohooooo!!!!

Sorry I’m late but ya know what they say…”better late than never!” :o)

Loved your advice, all hold true. I jokingly tell young couples the secret to a happy marriage is double sinks and separate closets!

‘Just sayin’…it’s worked for the 39 years and countin’. :o)

…….But seriously it involves love, laughter and God!

God bless ya and ya’ll have an amazin’ weekend! :o)

Vidya Sury February 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm

First, a huge hug to you, Nezzy and thank you so much for your lovely wishes. Oh yes, we argue over the dishes sometimes and of course we have separate closets (in different rooms :-)) but we ALWAYS end up laughing over everything. Now, I fondly look forward to the 39th! Thank you for coming by today, I appreciate it very very much!

Melody |Deliberate Receiving February 11, 2012 at 12:11 am

I already said Congrats yesterday. But… congrats again! I love this post! My favorite is the one about intuition. Also, thanks so much for the link!!

Huge hugs!


Vidya Sury February 11, 2012 at 11:46 am

Dear Melody (love that name!) Thank you (again ;-)) Huge hugs back atcha!

Angela Artemis/Powered by Intuition February 11, 2012 at 1:45 am

Happy Anniversary! I loved this post. It was beautiful. I’m going to print it out for the day (if ever) I remarry. These are just the things I will need to remember.

Vidya Sury February 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

Dear Angela, Thank you so much! I loved writing it and am so honored that you find it print-worthy! Hugs to you!

Kimberly February 11, 2012 at 5:31 am

Happy anniversary you 2 love birds!!
I love that you decided to use this post to help people in marriage. These are wonderful tips.
We never go to bed angry…which means he sleeps on the couch that night…wait…that’s not what you meant…hee hee.

Vidya Sury February 11, 2012 at 11:49 am

He he he, Kimberly we have those too! 😀 The thing is, Sury succeeds in making me laugh, no matter what and I treasure that very much! 😀 Hugs to ya!

Paige | simple mindfulness February 11, 2012 at 6:27 am

Happy Anniversary Vidya!I read that the purpose of marriage was not to be happy but was the growth of the two participants. My husband and I have been together for about 15 years as well. While much of it has been a rocky road, we’ve both grown immensely and are in a happier place now.The beautiful list you’ve shared certainly speaks of the love and joy you and Sury share. May you be blessed for many more 15 year celebrations!

Vidya Sury February 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Thank you, Paige!You’re right about the time it takes to get there! 🙂 We’re lucky we had an enjoyable time, though not always perfect. But who wants perfect? I am happy to think we’ve built what we have and care about each other very much.

Hugs to you, Paige!

Harleena Singh February 13, 2012 at 7:09 am

Belated anniversary Vidya and of course Sury as well :)Sorry to have missed it, and con-incidentally my parents Anniversary also falls on this day!it is indeed wonderful to know more about your husband and how fondly you think of him. Quite a rarity nowadays ! I guess that is why you are so easily able to share these wonderful secrets of a happy marriage.Loved your tips that would help anyone.Thanks for sharing 🙂

Vidya Sury February 15, 2012 at 9:26 am

Thank you so much, Harleena! How nice to think I share an anniv. date with your parents! Sury appreciates your wish, too! Our real secret is that we share a very close friendship that makes it even more exciting!

Thanks for dropping by, Harleena!

Pranali Kadam February 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Belated Anniversary Wishes Vidya ji.
Loved your Post. 🙂
Advice to be followed 😀

Vidya Sury February 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Thank you, dearest Pranali – much appreciated!

Galen Pearl February 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I’m coming late to the party, but I’ll add my congratulations to the others. It’s one thing to celebrate your anniversary. It’s a bonus to celebrate your anniversary with a spouse you love and respect and are building a strong marriage with. I admire you for that! Great advice in this post. I can see the difference between those couples I know who follow it, and sadly, those who don’t.

Vidya Sury February 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Dear Galen, I love that you’re here now. And I feel blessed to receive your wishes 🙂 I consider myself very lucky – in fact, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to write this post – it poured right out of my heart. Thank you so much – I cherish your wishes!

Jodi Chapman May 5, 2012 at 1:52 am

This is such a sweet, touching post, Vidya! I’m so happy for both of you! I know what an amazing feeling it is to be in a loving relationship with your best friend – it’s something that I wish for everyone. And it’s wonderful to see that you have that. 🙂

Vidya Sury May 5, 2012 at 4:45 am

Thank you, Jodi. I am usually not given to writing posts like these, but this one just flowed. 😀 I am glad it did as I was pleasantly surprised to put into words how I felt.

🙂 Have a wonderful weekend! Love, Vidya

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