Happy Thoughts About Long-Term Marriages

Our Maui selfie, taken on our anniversary trip last week.


Allow me to declare that any and all anniversaries should be celebrated! Any time a married couple begins another year together it’s fantastic. Long-term marriages are an important milestone and I wouldn’t be me unless I said we also need to find adventure in life too!

Aren’t we all looking for hope? Hope for a great life for our families, for ourselves and for our friends. On social media I see where “likes” of happy things way outnumber the negative. I actually just scroll past the negative. You and I both know that negativity is floating about, I just don’t need to focus on it, but that’s just me.

hugging in the cornfields
In the cornfields in the Pacific Northwest, a couple of years ago

I wrote a post last year celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. It was published on the Huffington Post, as well as several other publications. Yay! As of today, I estimate that over 5,000 people have read it. I have received lots of great comments and even now I receive notifications that even a year later, everyday someone new is reading it.

Why is that? People are reading it not because I offered any grand secret or new and profound answer, but people are looking for reasons to celebrate. A theme of hope resonates with most everyone.

Long-term, successful marriages require effort, lots of it. Making an earnest attempt to make something positive happen should be a big priority. We need to be proactive, change it up, try not to do the same old thing, day after day. This effort should be unselfish and thoughtful. We all need to hone our skills as a spouse with each passing day and year.

Who thinks it is easy to be married? Who thinks that successful relationships don’t require care, effort and patience, of course they do. For the same reasons that our children don’t raise themselves, it takes nurturing, and focus to raise a child successfully and so does marriage.

With the gorgeous Ponte Vecchio in the background, Florence, Italy



A happy, successful family is what happens when you pay attention, act unselfishly, and listen. Listening is a lost art that more people should be practicing.

What is life without hope? Hope is optimistic, inspiring and helps us feel safe. Without hope for the future of marriage and family, what are we here for?

As I get older life makes so much more sense. I have older friends that used to say that when I turn 50 my perception of the world would change. I didn’t see it then, but I certainly see it now. I do wish that I had worried much less in my younger days. So much of what I worried about never happened or didn’t matter. If we could have a crystal ball it would be easy, but we need to rely on ourselves, not magic. Turn our thoughts toward what truly matters. My husband matters, my kids matter, my family and friends matter.

We live in a digital age where dreams are big and expectations are high. Ultimately, our hope for a strong marriage and family should keep us motivated to improve our relationships, care more, criticize less.

I still hold on to the idea that these important characteristics like hope, effort, unselfishness and focus make the difference in a strong marriage. Don’t worry about the small stuff. Don’t worry about whether your SUV has the same bells and whistles as your neighbor, it doesn’t matter. People matter.

I hope to reach the next generation to give them hope for a successful family. It is not easy, but it really isn’t that difficult either. The world has turned really scary and negative, even disheartening. I don’t know what we can do for the whole world, but if we just focus on our own little families, offer the next generation some sage advice on marriage and family, maybe we all can make a difference one marriage, one family at a time.

I sure hope so.

selfie in the car
Our empty nester trio!  On our road trip up the coast of Oregon in September.

Craig and I are surrounded by successful long term marriages. Our friends are celebrating big anniversaries like, 35 years, 32 years, 25 years, 17 years, even 10 years is fantastic!

It is a “magic 31” years for Craig and I this year. We need to celebrate!

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7 thoughts on “Happy Thoughts About Long-Term Marriages”

  1. Oh Suzanne, I LOVE THIS!! Congratulations to you and Craig! Jon and I are so fortunate to have known you both for 36 years. And I’m honored that I was a part of your wedding party and the beginning of your union 31 years ago. You really captured what it takes to sustain a happy, long-term marriage. I know we’ve shared many of our marriage stories and similarities, especially over the past few years. Jon and I often talk about how we love our marriage and each other more than ever (32 years for us tomorrow). This is a splendid time of life and it’s so wonderful to share it with one’s best friend, soul mate and lover. Terrific photos of you two too!
    P.S. To good health and many more years of happiness!

    • Thank you so much Angela! Whenever I think of great marriages I always include you and Jon. We are so fortunate to have found the “one” so many years ago. This is honestly the best time in our lives! We have fulfilled our maternal duties and now its time to focus on us! Congratulations on your anniversary of 32 years. You were my reference for the “32” years comment. Thanks again for reading and for your lovely comments and support. xo Back at you.

  2. Love it! When we celebrated our 25th anniversary a few years ago (on Kangaroo Island in Australia) we were asked by all sorts of people for tips or secrets to a long term marriage. Of course we don’t have any, but the work and compromises seem to be worth it to get all the benefits! Love all your selfies!

    • Thank you Heidi! When we reached 30 years last year, it caused me to contemplate what exactly had helped get us this far. I just think that when a marriage lasts this long, it is amazing. “They” say that 50% end in divorce. That’s a lot of divorces. The selfies started a couple of years ago, Craig will not ask anyone to take our picture, so we gave into the whole selfie thing. We take at least one per trip!


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