Home > My Wife > The Secret To A Successful Marriage

The Secret To A Successful Marriage

People often ask me what the secret to a successful marriage is. Ok, so maybe no one’s asked me but aren’t you just a bit curious? Ok, so yeah, I’ve only been married for 6 years so saying that I’ve got the secret at this point in the game may cause some to call me the Desean Jackson of marriages

So I guess you could call this The Secret To 6 Years (and counting…) of Successful Marriage post.

Anywho, terribly unprovocative lead paragraph aside, I love my wife and I still firmly believe that the #1 thing I can do to become a better dad is to be a better husband. And with this guiding principle and my secret ingredient, each year of marriage has been better than the last and we still look forward to growing old together. Right, honey? Honey…?

So what’s the secret? It’s not an awesome sex life, though that helps. It’s not regular date nights, which help the likelihood of said sex life and thereby your marriage. It’s not a woman who is submissive as some misguided Christians might say. It’s not a husband who completes his Honey-Do list in a timely fashion, though that also helps. So what is it?

You know the saying: you are what you eat? If you want to be  fit and healthy you need to eat bacon good food. My secret to 6 years (and counting…) of a successful marriage is feeding my soul on positive things about my wife.

Granted, that sounds incredibly hippyish, but it works.

Let’s be honest, it’s a lot more fun to be negative. We love sensational, scandalous stories. Our newscasts are usually filled with 85% bad news, 10% weather & sports, and a feel good story tossed in there as an aside. We love gossip. But other than passing the time and maybe a few laughs at others expense, there isn’t much good that comes out of it. And feed your mind and soul enough bad news and we become fearful, anxious, angry, and crotchety – like this guy.

The same goes for my marriage. There were so many occasions I focused on what my wife wasn’t doing or what she lacked. I often compared her to other women or what I envisioned my ideal wife to be like when I played MASH many, many years ago. And what was the fruit of all of that? It wasn’t my wife changing, I’ll tell you that. The catalyst for change isn’t preaching; it’s usually love.

So rather than focusing on what she lacks, I like to focus on the courage and strength she has to wake up every day and love, support, and care for a unlovable guy like myself. I remind myself how she makes me laugh and how she laughs at my jokes even when I know they’re not actually funny. I see how much she loves our kids and would be willing to give up her career to provide what we believe will be the best education for them.

Now this might seem somewhat similar to the power of positive thinking but it’s different in that it’s grounded in reality. Most positive thinking things I’ve read encourage you to think and anticipate positive outcomes and in doing so, they’ll come about. That can be delusional. If that were the case, my wife would constantly think, “I believe my husband will stop leaving his dirty underwear on the floor and stop trying to make advances at me when I’m dead tired after a long day.” Guess what? No amount of positive thinking will stop that.

And the fruit of all this hippyishness? I fall more and more in love with my wife every day.

What about you? What’s your secret to a successful marriage?

Categories: My Wife Tags: , , , ,
  1. liz
    March 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I really like your message with this Pop. Too much of the world is focused on bad, on scandal, on whining and complaining.

    Good for you and good for you guys – this is the way to be!

    • Pop
      March 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

      Trying would be the operative word. It’s not always easy but I’m trying. And it’s well worth it!

  2. March 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

    “I still firmly believe that the #1 thing I can do to become a better dad is to be a better husband.”

    Good words. Nice post. What is my secret? I just nod my head and agree with everything she says. Well not really, but sometimes it helps. You can’t always agree on everything, but “pick your battles” is definitely the rule of the day.

    • Pop
      March 30, 2011 at 10:05 am

      That’s a really good secret! Thanks, Jeff!

      Though nodding your head along without listening is dangerous.

      Wife: (inaudible)
      Me: uh huh *nods* uh huh
      Wife: (inaudible) are you listening to me?
      Me: *uh oh*….

  3. March 30, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I haven’t found it yet, being not married and all, but when I do I’ll keep this in mind 🙂 I wonder how many people think I am though, since many in twitterland think I’m a mom blogger, hmmmm.

    • Pop
      April 4, 2011 at 10:08 am

      I knew you weren’t a mom blogger. But I will admit, I thought you were a wife blogger.

  4. leebodenmiller
    March 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Good reminder Pop, thanks!

    • Pop
      April 4, 2011 at 10:10 am

      I need a lot of reminders. 😛

  5. March 30, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Good for you! And thanks for sharing your secret. I think many wives/partners here would secretly try to slip this post into our other half’s inbox with a little hint hint nudge nudge. 🙂

    • March 30, 2011 at 10:13 am

      There’s no secret about it if I put this post somewhere in my hubby’s inbox! SO…FB share…here I come! Then off to “send as message”. Wish me luck. heheh 🙂

      • Pop
        March 30, 2011 at 10:19 am

        LOL. Uh oh. Good thing there’s no Dislike feature on WP, otherwise, I may get some scathing comments 😛

  6. TK
    March 30, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I think it’s so easy to stop appreciating your spouse. It’s so easy to stop seeing the work and sacrifices that they are making. You start to think your the only one doing the work. Since the Army Man and I are separated by 11,000 miles I have a clearer perspective on how much he does when he’s home. This single parenthood gig is nothing but SUCK-A-TUDE!

    • March 30, 2011 at 10:53 am

      I totally agree, TK. About the stop appreciating each other. Lots of regretful things can be said to one another when that happens.

      • Pop
        March 30, 2011 at 11:14 am

        Thanks for the wonderful perspective, TK! And I think the same can go for our relationship with our kids as well, especially about saying regretful things.

  7. March 30, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Damn I bet you’re totally going to get laid today after this post.
    Love this. Wished my husband thought more about his heart than his nuggets 😉

    • March 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

      HA! LOVE it!

      • Pop
        March 30, 2011 at 11:29 am

        lol. Nuggets are always on the mind. And I like to use posts like these as peace offerings when things go awry.

  8. March 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Oh, this is just lovely. And a good approach, too, I think. 🙂

    I was hoping to leave a more fun and/or witty comment, but I feel awful & I agreed to kid duty tonight so my husband could go to happy hour at a brewery. Hopefully that will score me some wife points…

    • Pop
      March 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      Husband Points are usually redeemed for you know…brown chicken brown cow. Not sure what wife points can be redeemed for.

  9. March 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Hehe Sometimes brown chicken brown cow, but also sometimes for “I made dinner for everyone & now I’m going to bed. YOU watch the kids for a couple hours while I sleep.” At least, that’s what I’ve been redeeming them for since he knocked me up. Sadly? The chicken & cow are feeling somewhat neglected. 😦

    • Pop
      March 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      That’s a good one to redeem it for. And don’t forget, after the birth, the cow and chicken are neglected for minimum six weeks. :sad trombone:

  10. March 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I love this.
    Simple advice yet never applied.
    Well, I’m applying it’

    • Pop
      March 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      It’s actually worked really well for my kids as well. I used to focus a lot on what D1 isn’t doing and comparing her to other kids, rather than just enjoying her for the gift she is.

  11. March 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    You are a gift to your wife, and children.

    Majoring in the stuff that counts.

    Like, doing the small things right makes the BIG things right.

    • Pop
      March 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Awww, such kind words. Is someone looking for a discount from her Spammer? 😛

  12. March 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    awesome post! you are right on. something that has worked for us is TALKING about EVERYTHING. we are in constant communication, so it makes it basically impossible to stay mad about anything or hold a grudge for very long.

    • Pop
      April 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

      That’s a good point. I usually find that there’s always one person who wants to talk it out immediately and one who needs time to process. Is that the case with you guys? For us, it’s changed. I used to need to talk it out immediately but after putting my foot in my mouth one too many times, I now take time to process things.

  13. April 1, 2011 at 2:15 am

    1. It is really sad that I know who DeSean Jackson is…without watching the video. Clearly, too much fantasy football going on in our house.
    2. I love what you said about being a better spouse making you a better parent. For us, when our marriage is clicking parenthood flows a lot smoother as well. I guess a tighter defense eliminates the possibility of the blitz? Gah! Too many football metaphors?

    • Pop
      April 1, 2011 at 9:41 am

      The best football metaphor for parenting is: always wear a helmet. And a cup.

  14. April 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    LOVED this!!! You are such a sweetheart, and, from what it sounds–a great husband! I think your wife should do a guest post. We want to get to know her! I’m trying to get my husband to write one. 🙂

    • Pop
      April 4, 2011 at 10:17 am

      I’ve talked with her about it, we’ll see if she complies.

  15. April 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    One simple saying is the key to a successful marriage: “happy wife, happy life”! I think you’ve got that one down, Pop!

    • Pop
      April 21, 2011 at 9:03 am

      My wife is terrible at remembering cliches. One time, she recalled that saying as, “You know that saying: happy wifey equals happy…uhhh,,, homey?”

  16. January 2, 2013 at 2:12 am

    Please never, ever, ever, stop blogging ! I stumbled upon your blog through your ramen post and was instantly interested because of your mentioning of your pregnant wife. Pleeeeeeeeeeeease never stop blogging.

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