Couple Married for 40 Years Reveals the Secrets of Happy Marriage
Joanna and Neil have been married for four decades. Their 40 years old relationship holds secrets of happy marriage. We interviewed this beautiful couple to understand how to keep a marriage thriving, year after year.
This article covers the 6 best secrets of happy marriage. Let’s dive right in!
#1 Fight Good
“Can you move a little to the left? I have no space!” said Neil to his lovely wife Joanna. But she shrugged off his remark and proceeded to move closer to him giving a hearty laugh at his mocking grimace.
“Women!” laughed Neil and we all laughed with him. It was indeed heartwarming to be in the presence of such a strong and old love.
Joanna and Neil tell us about one of the most realistic secrets of happy marriage. They say, “If you jump into a relationship believing that you and your spouse will never fight then you have made the biggest error. Fights are inevitable. So learn how to fight good!”
We asked them what they meant when they said ‘fight good’.
To that, Joanna replies, “Let your fight be between you and your partner. Express your emotions, views and thoughts. Bring out everything you want to say because keeping your feelings buried inside you will only manifest as passive aggression or resentment later. If you are fighting make sure you fight all the way and then close the chapter once and for all”
Neil: My advice is to all the husbands. Women are emotional beings. Be mindful of your tone and your expressions. Remember that you are talking to someone who loves you deeply so try not to hurt her in any way.
Honestly, I learned this over a period of time. There was a time when we would fight like cats and dogs. After one of our fights, Joanna went completely silent. I missed her sweet humming while she cooked breakfast. I missed her little comments during the day. That is when I realized that no matter what I will be respectful toward her at all times”
#2 Work as a Team
“It is you and your partner against everything and everyone else. That is one of the secrets to happy marriage which all couples must follow.
You have to be each other’s rock. There is no exception to this rule. Joanna has stood by me in all my good and bad times. I owe a lot to her” says Niel.
Joanna smiles and shrugs off that compliment. She believes that he made it easier for her to be there for him. “Neil is a kind man. He treats me well so taking care of him has always been effortless for me”
What does the term life partner mean? Why is your spouse also called your partner? It is because this person is there to contribute to every aspect of your life. Whether it is emotional support, taking care of children, household chores.. It is crucial to work as a team.
#3 It is Not Always 50-50
“Never keep count in your relationship. I changed the pampers 6 times so you HAVE to change them 6 times as well. I paid for the rent this month so you HAVE to pay it as well. It is your marriage for God’s sake, not some competition!” says Neil.
Each partner has a role to play and nobody should undermine that role. Being at home and taking care of your family is as important as bringing the bread and butter.
I see the young generation obsessed with the idea of equality… My advice to them would be to just relax and see marriage as a marriage and not some battleground where you’ve gotta win.
“Plus it is never 50-50 boys! One of the secrets of happy marriage is to give more to your woman. As a man, you need to show up for her. Some days you will have to give 100%, especially during her pregnancy, and menopause..” advises old Neil with an experienced charm in his eyes.
#4 Spend Quality Time
I used to be a big-time workaholic back in my young days. Joanna would often complain that I was married to my work. She was in her late 30s when she felt terribly sick. By that time we had been married for…
…10 years!” Completes Joanna
“Yes yes. We married too young I guess. So yes, she fell sick and I thought I would lose her. I regretted every day how I did not spend my precious time with her. By God’s grace, she recovered and from that day I decided I would dedicate a big chunk of my time only and only to her”
Spending time and spending quality time are two different things. In the age of social media, couples are often seen stuck to their phones rather than having meaningful conversations. It is crucial to spend time without any devices and simply enjoy each other’s presence. That is one of the major secrets of happy marriage.
#5 Keep Your Marriage Private
Marriage is a private affair. A couple will experience many challenges, conflicts, and changes. It is better to navigate them together and avoid involving any third party in it.
“Do not ever ever discuss your partner’s flaws and mistakes with anybody. If you are fed up or feel frustrated then write it down somewhere but avoid bad-mouthing your partner to anybody else” says Joanna.
To this Neil adds, “Taking guidance or advice from your elders is okay if you feel that you have reached a dead end or things are too overwhelming. But if you and your partner can get through it on your own then nothing like that”
#6 Flow With Each Other’s Growth
Your partner will evolve, grow, and change. It is natural and even necessary. The secrets of happy marriage is to expect and accept these changes. Be compassionate and open-minded. As long as your core values align with each other, it should be fine.
“Being married to Joanna is like being married to 20 different women. I have grown to love all of them” says Neil
Joanna rolls her eyes and asks him to be honest. Neil laughs and confesses that sometimes Joanna would really get on his nerves and it would be incredibly difficult to put up with her ever-changing moods.
After sharing these 6 key secrets to happy marriage, we asked the couple if they had any final piece of advice. And they both chimed in, “Respect, respect, and respect your better half”
Being in the presence of Neil and Joanna was enough evidence that in the age of flings, divorce, and break-ups, true love still exists. The secrets of happy marriage lie in the commitment, patience, and love you hold for your partner and the willingness to wing all the storms that come along the way.
If you and your partner are struggling with persistent issues then it is time to step up and save your marriage from crumbling down.
Online marriage counselling offers a safe space to open up and discuss these nagging issues. An expert marriage counsellor will provide unbiased guidance to help you and your partner resolve the problems and build your marriage on trust, love, and understanding.
Take a step toward a happy marriage. Call/Whatsapp on 91-9321447981 to talk to a certified marriage counsellor now!