Recipe for a happy marriage

I’ve been happily married to my honey for 13 years now, and along the way I’ve learned a few things. In honor of St Valentine’s Day, here are my secret ingredients:

  1. The right person – and if you don’t get it right the first time, don’t loose heart! I’ve been married twice before, and for a variety of reasons… it didn’t work out. Of course at the time these relationships came to an end, it wasn’t easy and I felt like a failure. Divorce is usually messy and uncomfortable and downright painful.  With the benefit of time passing however, I can see that my former partners were a perfect match for where I was at on my spiritual journey.  I feel immense gratitude for the part they played in my life, for helping me become who I am today, and for fathering my beautiful children whom I can’t imagine life without!
  2. Love, of course. It really is what makes the world go around. And of course, love is so much more than a feeling. I really like David Richo’s Five Keys to Mindful Loving: Attention, Acceptance, Appreciation, Affection and Allowing your partner to be themselves.
  3. Being 100% responsible for the success and happiness of the relationship. Yes, you read me right. Not 50%, 100%. It makes an enormous difference to take full responsibility.
  4. Laughter- I’ve realized that it really doesn’t pay to take myself too seriously. So, insert a big dose of light heartedness and a generous sprinkle of laughter. It makes everything so much easier, and more fun.
  5. A healthy mix of togetherness and independence. We love spending time together, and have many shared interests. We also have our own independent interests and activities, and support each other in pursuing them, which allows us to grow as individuals and brings freshness and newness to our time together.
  6. Be more interested in being happy than in being right – huge! Oh the renunciation that is required when you feel So justified in your rightness!
  7. Say you're "sorry" when you mess up.
  8. Don't take it personally when they are going through their stuff.  This one took me years to get.
  9. Hold hands a lot.
  10. Don’t try to change each other. Period.
  11. Be grateful for each other and recognize how blessed you are to be sharing your lives.