5 Women in Strong Marriages Share Their Secrets
Valentine’s Day may have passed, but we believe love should be celebrated all year round. Whether you’re single, in a relationship, or married, relationships are never easy—they take commitment, hard work, and dedication. We spoke to five women in strong marriages and asked them to share their secrets to a successful, long-lasting marriage. Their advice is invaluable, to say the least (and it may have you running to the altar). Read on to be inspired and excited about love. Warning: Goosebumps guaranteed.
“My mum once told me, there are certain things in a marriage that just aren't worth stressing about. Do you really need to nag him to wipe up the last of the crumbs on the kitchen bench? Do you really need to instruct him how to hang out the washing? Let him do things his way—let go! The only person who is getting stressed is you and in turn you are creating more stress in your relationship. So what if there are a few crumbs? The washing will still dry. Worry less about the small stuff and focus more on the meaningful things like telling your husband how grateful you are for specific things he does for you. Practicing gratitude daily can refresh a relationship and help you appreciate what you really have—wiping up a few crumbs won't.”
Felicity Harley, Editor, Women’s Health
Grace Alyssa Kyo
“When you first start dating it’s all so romantic. Everything is exciting! And the effort you go to! Let’s just say I didn’t wear a tracksuit in front of Mark in the first year of us being together. Getting engaged is incredible. And your wedding day is the happiest of your life. But marriage isn’t easy and there really are so many ups and downs. I couldn’t believe how much pressure having children put on my marriage. It came out of nowhere! Suddenly we were snapping at each other in the middle of the night or bickering over who got the last bottle. It’s incredibly challenging, but I’m happy to say it does pass. We’ve got two toddlers now and have come out of the newborn stage. Our kids are starting to get really fun and it’s lovely to share this together. Sure there are times when we still want to kill each other, but it’s unrealistic to think two people are going to get along and see eye to eye all the time. For us, life has changed a lot since we became parents—a dinner out together is a rare treat as is a moment where it’s just the two of us, but I wouldn’t change it. We’re a little family now. Having children has made our relationship so much deeper.”
Georgie Abay, Editor, The Grace Tales
"My first secret to a strong marriage is finding a partner you not only love very deeply, but also admire. I’ve always been in awe of my husband Tony’s creative talent and professional reputation. Being with a man who is the best at what he does really inspires me and is also a huge turn on! He is also my biggest #ladyboss supporter.
The next one is big belly laughing. He makes me cry with laughter most days, and that’s been a really important mainstay of our relationship. I didn’t know I needed funny as much as I do. If a conversation is getting too serious or I’m hung up on something I shouldn’t be, he’ll make a really, really funny joke and I end up doing that laugh where no noise comes out, my stomach is aching and I can’t breathe. Pure joy.
Third is moving him into position number one. Who was there before? Me! No matter how busy I get (gosh, very), I always put him first—his calls, his texts, his schedule. I’ll cancel anything if he needs me to be with him. We’re both very independent people so learning to put each other first has been key to our happy marriage.
My final secret to a strong marriage is make decisions together not for each other. We always operate as a team, and from a place of positivity, playfulness and honesty. We all go through hard times, but I think it’s how you choose to communicate during those times that dictates the outcome. Here’s where the big belly laughing comes back into play!
“My husband Mitch and I are both so similar and yet so different at the same time. My best marriage advice would be to ensure you remain both individuals and a team. Maintain doing to things you both love to do as individuals and don’t restrict your partner from enjoying their passions, but be sure to make time to come together and do the things you love as team.”
Carly Townsend, Creative Director, ELLE
“Andy and I have been together for eight years and married for six. The person you choose to live your life with needs to be your safe haven, they need to be the one who just “gets” you and loves all of the things about you—even the not-so-good things. And we are that for each other (even if we do drive the other a little crazy at times). The romantic side of our relationship has definitely changed since our beautiful kids, Luella, four, and Max, two, joined us. We don’t have nearly as much time to invest in one-on-one at the moment—a young family and both of us running our own businesses doesn’t leave much time for anything else, but we’re both so happy and in love and we know what we’re going through now is building a foundation for our family in the long term. Going through life’s ups and downs with Andy in my corner is something I’m thankful for every day.”
Lizzie Renkert, Director, We Are Kindred