Six Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Up - couple in the movie2

By Judy Berman

It’s the little quiet moments that I enjoy most, and the exhilarating times, too, in our 31 years of marriage.

What advice would I give for a happy marriage? I defer to others to bring you the pearls of wisdom that might work for you.

  1. Never go to bed angry

Even if you have to stay up several days and emerge with Rocky the Raccoon eyes from sleep deprivation. Of course, by then, you might be so tired that you’ve forgotten what your argument was about in the first place. That’s a win-win situation.

  1. Remember those three little words: “Let’s eat out.”

That worked for comedian Henny Youngman and his wife.

When asked the secret of their long marriage, Youngman confessed: “We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays. I go Fridays.”

  1. An open-and-shut policy:

Benjamin Franklin recommended: “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half-shut afterwards.”

Or, to quote another profound source:

“Like good wine, marriage gets better with age – once you learn to keep a cork in it.” (Gene Perret)

Up - couple in the movie

  1. Don’t stop believing:

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person.” (Mignon McLaughlin)

That bumpy ride on the road of married life often requires some realignment. To navigate it, to survive the ups and downs of life, means those in the vehicle might have to reset their GPS, and their outlooks to reach a common goal.

  1. Keep talking:

“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.” (Andre Maurois)

That line of communication links you together. Your partner can’t read your mind.

  1. Keep laughing:

“A healthy relationship should have a lot more comedy than drama.” (Dave Willis)

Laughter bonds people. It might be lines in a movie that gets you to giggle. Or a weird situation you spot when you’re out and about. Inside jokes that keep on giving are the best.

Venice - family vacation - June 2015 (97) - at Caffe India

Each relationship has to find its own rhythm. I have to thank my husband, Dave, for his patience, love and support.


Do you have a quote about being happily married? Please share below. 

Source of many of these quotes are from: “40 Best Funny Marriage Quotes and Advice”

Photo: from the movie “Up.” For the second image, here is the link:

Photo: Dave and  I (Judy Berman) in Venice, Italy, June 2015.

  1. Great tips for sure (although sometimes I find it’s better to just go to sleep than argue–oftentimes by morning, it’s no longer an issue). I agree a sense of humor and laughter is key. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, we’re not very much fun to live with. And respect. That’s important too. The hubs and I just passed 27 years, so I guess like you and yours, we’re doing something right. Congrats on the 31 years!

  2. I’m still laughing, Judy–especially about eating out twice a week; he goes one night, she another –and I’m also applauding you for this excellent post. We celebrated our 30th anniversary in June, and we have date day once a week, TOGETHER! As we’ve gotten older we’ve added one more thing to date day: yoga. We go to yoga together first, then out to our favorite place for breakfast to sit and talk and laugh, and then we take turns choosing the movie we see. Sometimes it feels tingling, like a first day; other times it feels tingling like true love between two people who’ve weathered the storms and know how blessed they are.

    1. Glad this tickled you, Marylin. (Belated Happy 30th Anniversary.) It’s so wonderful that you have date nights TOGETHER. 😉 Dave and I often go on walks together. I enjoy the views, the conversation and his presence.

  3. The quotes are as good as your pics, and your photos are pretty awesome!

    About the candle-light dinners: We light candles two or three times a week when we eat dinner in our dining room. I know doing so sounds odd in the summertime while it’s still daylight, but it works for us – the table an oval island of sanity in this crazy world.

    P.S. Now that he travels much less, Cliff makes the bed every day and put a little heart in the middle as a love token. It used to be a cute, homemade heart made of yarn, but I kept flipping it off the bedspread sometimes when I turned down the bed for the night. It annoyed him, so he substituted the more substantial metal one. What I’m saying: FORBEARANCE – the key to our marriage of 48 years. 😉

  4. 39 years here . . . officially. Unofficially, we knew we would get here 43 years ago.

    That formula worked 43 years ago and still works today.

  5. Congratulations to you both Judy 31 years is brilliant .🎉💫🎈 here’s to the next 31.
    Laughter is a good one …it gets you out of all sorts .
    I have sulked off to bed many times …it s not a bad thing . It clears your head and you forget all about what you’d fell out about . Well put it like this …he thinks I’ve forgot 😉
    Best friends always is another. Lots of talking …usually from me Col just hears me out …I’m joking of course .
    🍰save me a slice of wedding cake tee hee

  6. Thanks Judy for a delightful, often hilarious, collection of useful advice for a long and happy marriage. When people ask me how Bill and I have stayed married so long, my answer is always one word…. perseverance! Of course there is more to it than that, but it’s not a bad summation.

  7. Congratulations Judy to both of you, that’s something to be proud of indeed! 😀 I love your picture, was that taken on your recent holiday?

    My favourite one of your quotes listed has got to be this one -> “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half-shut afterwards.” Haha…so true!!! And I love the images you’ve used, I adore that film ‘Up’ such a lovely one for all the family.

    I haven’t been successful at finding Mr Right at all, but strangely it really doesn’t bother me any more, I quite like being just me! 🙂 So, I don’t have a successful marriage story of my own, but I can tell you I have some lovely young neighbours next door to me who I admire greatly for the way they are with each other. They moved in nearly two years ago, replacing a couple who really didn’t get on at all, and the woman (childish teen behaviour) seemed to constantly complaining about what her man didn’t do, and when he did do something ( he made a beautiful piece of garden furniture for her from wood, he was a very talented craftsman) she had hands on hips, and moaned about something or other – ugh, horrible woman. This new couple are so peaceful, and talk to each other like best friends. And now they have their first baby, I often hear the hubby in the kitchen cooking the evening meal. I hear him through the open kitchen door calling out “dinner’s ready!” And they seem so good at solving problems with their little one too. In the first week after the baby was born there was a lot baby crying, but after that, sooo quiet! Recently I could hear their baby getting mighty upset when they were trying to prepare a meal together in the kitchen, it seemed to happen every evening, and then a sudden change, I could hear general kitchen noises and also lots of communication and fun going on and baby laughter. It takes a lot to do that, at the end of the day when you’re tired to start entertaining a baby as well as cook a meal. But what I like about them is they are very clever at solving things, they don’t just put up with problems and moan about them, they find a way out. It’s so lovely to hear for a change, happiness really does exist! 🙂

    1. Suzy … What a lovely couple and baby. Sometimes it’s hard to find the positive. But, so they say, it takes just as much effort to do that as to complain.

      The photo of Dave and I was taken in June when we were in Venice. Thank you for the compliment.

      “Up” is such a beautiful movie – the love the grouchy old man had for his wife and then how he cared for that little boy. Just wonderful. I agree the photos from it are cute. 😉

  8. Hi Judy,

    That was a gem of a post!

    The ones that seem to have worked for me are:

    (1) “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person.” (Mignon McLaughlin)


    (2) “A healthy relationship should have a lot more comedy than drama.” (Dave Willis)

    I suppose Love and Laughter remain the two essential ingredients for any sustainable relationship. Love brings in aspects of trust and faith when things get rough. Laughter brings in lightness and detachment, so essential to counter the intensity and seriousness which life is apt to bring in.


  9. Judy you look like a sweet couple. Laughter is the best medicine and I love the quote about the separate dinners, made me laugh. Best one, don’t go to bed angry.

  10. I never realized Henny Youngman was a marriage counselor– he just never came across that way on the Ed Sullivan show. Maybe he used to give couples a good bop on the head with his violin… : )

    A great and insightful post, my dear Judy! The “keep a cork in it” made me laugh. So true– there are so many things that don’t need to be said: in a marriage, a friendship, at a family gathering, etc. etc.

    Might I add religious faith without offending anyone? Some people seem to get along without it, but there’s something about Scripture and just sittin’ in a pew on Sunday that clarifies things wonderfully: namely, that you’ve been petty and a jerk–again– and need to apologize… : )

    Belated congrats on your anniversary!! I hope Dave knows he’s a lucky guy– yeah, yeah, I’d say he does… : )

    1. Henny Youngman, like many comedians, I suspect, was a philosopher who saw the funny in life.

      Yes, Mark, if we did “keep a cork in it,” we would be better off. I just cleared the air with someone about a comment I made that I shouldn’t have.

      Dave is Jewish and I am Catholic. Yet your comments do hold true. A religious faith based on the Golden Rule would serve us all well.

      Thank you for the congrats and the vote of confidence. I think I’m the one who lucked out. If Dave believes differently, then I’ve done my job well. 😉

  11. I loved this, Judy! The longer I’m married, the more I appreciate those quiet moments together, like sitting on the porch enjoying comfortable silence–moments that would be awkward with anyone else.

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