Secrets for a Pretty Happy Marriage


This year the hubby and I will be married 18 years. I can’t believe it. The fact that time has flown by so quickly or that we have somehow managed to cruise along with some pretty big bumps in the road is not taken for granted. Throughout the years, marriage and how to keep it happy has often been the topic of many gatherings with my girlfriends. Every marriage is different, but there seems to be some common themes and pieces of advice that I would love to share with you. I am in no way an expert in this area, but by Hollywood standards 18 years of marriage would automatically qualify me to be a spokesperson. Here are some tips from one sassy girl to another:

Me and the hubby and my big ol’ gaudy dress! Circa 1994

1) Pray a lot because you will need it -pray for patience, pray for things you can’t control, pray, pray, pray. . . you get my drift!

2) Lighten the heck up – So many women I know feel like they always have to be right in every situation and every argument. I include myself in this group at times. Be flexible. If you don’t lighten up then you can be right all the way to divorce court. Admit when you are wrong. Let him have input into decisions, too. The only exception might be furniture selection–unless of course, he is an interior designer.

3) Make a date once a week for passion – By this I mean, stop and look each other in the eyes and say you love each other. We take one other for granted when we are busy;  put a reminder in your phone as an alarm to tell your spouse that he means the world to you. Stick to it. I am not kidding. You must remember from week to week what brought you together in the first place.  You used to make time for long, wet kisses so just do it. You can’t be making a grocery or to do list in your head either, be in the moment.

4) Stay positive – Don’t constantly put down his family, friends, hobbies, etc. Your mother-in-law raised him and you married him, so she can’t be all that bad. Unless his family or friends live with you, just tolerate them if they get on your nerves. It’s just not worth the negative words or feelings. Lift him up with positive words and praise because the more you say it out loud, the more you start to believe it and the more he will start to live it.

5) Let him be a parent too – Just because he won’t hold the baby bottle the same way you do doesn’t mean that he is doing it wrong. So what if he takes the kids to the movies in mismatched clothes, he IS spending precious time with them. If you constantly make him feel insecure about how he is interacting with the kids then he won’t want to do it anymore.

6) Make time for yourselves apart – You cannot possibly make someone else happy unless you are happy as a individual. Allow yourself a little time to do whatever makes you happy once a week. A phone call to your funny friend, exercise, shopping, coffee at the book store, whatever it may be and tell your spouse to do the same thing. It is so easy to lose sight of who you are as a person when you have so many other people to be responsible for. Your mind and body need a little break and refresher from time to time. This is so hard to do sometimes, especially with young kids. You will be better for it, I promise.

7) Clue him in on what your expectations of him might be – Men are not mind readers. We have to spell it out for them– and in detail. If you want him to help you out with the cleaning then tell him. You are wasting time pouting about it and waiting on him to guess what he is supposed to do. Men don’t want to guess because it will dig them a deeper hole. I was very guilty of this until about nine years ago. When I finally figured out that I failed to enlighten him as to what I expected, it was like a light bulb went off and made things so much smoother.

8)Find something to do together – I know it is hard to carve out time for each other, but even if it is just 30 minutes a week then do it. Go to Sunday school class, hit balls at the driving range, go fishing. It doesn’t have to cost much money and if you don’t have the money for a babysitter then take turns with another couple. My hubby and I have started doing half marathons together. We don’t always work out at the same time, but childcare is included at the gym and there is just something sexy about being on the treadmill next to him. I just love knowing that he is waiting for me at the finish line; he is a lot faster than me!

9) Laugh a lot and often – Marriage and life in general will throw you lots of curve balls. In order for you not to let it get the best of you, then you must laugh and be playful and make light of everyday obstacles. Your kids will benefit from seeing this playfulness with your spouse. Besides, laughter just makes life better. My daddy was telling jokes to my mom on his deathbed. They had an incredibly happy and long marriage. I have a lot to live up to!


Stay Sassy Y’all. 

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  1. Bonnie Martin` says:

    Love, LOVE the dress!!! Love the whole “story”. YOUR STORY!!! Beautiful!!! Your tips are perfect!!! Especially if you are married to a man that wants to be a part of the marriage and raising your children! I was. I was blessed for almost 24 years with a beautiful love story, just like “all” of our stories!! We all have a story to tell!! God blessed me with a man that was very romantic, a loving husband and father! He promised me a trip to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary. But, instead I took his ashes home to Wisconsin and held a beautiful inurnment service on the shores of Beautiful Lake Duroy in Phillips WI, where he and I will be laid to rest. We celebrated his life again on January 3rd, the day he left us 5 years ago!!! My boys and I consider ourselves so very blessed and are very open to talk about him any second of the day!!!
    I ask you all……….share your story with Laura!! We all have “OUR STORY”, our fairytale!!! If you have God in your life…… have a story……..those of multiples, those of “double” multiples (Heather). Share your wedded bliss story!!!
    Thanks Laura for being such an inspiration! Love you girl!!!

    • Why thank you Bonnie! I am so blessed to be friends with you~just thinking about you makes me smile~you are such a ray of sunshine and we were so lucky to have you in Catherine’s life too~I know you had a very special marriage~i know you miss that sweet husband~I am sure your boys will be great husbands too! God Bless you my sweet,dear friend.

  2. Angie Ritenour says:

    Love you Laura and love this story! XOXOXO

    • Oh I love you too Angie~I am just writing from the heart~I guess you can never go wrong doing that~hugs to that sweet hubby of yours!

  3. Cheryl Manker says:

    Laura! I just had to comment on the dress. It is beautiful! At first, I thought it was Mrs. Ott and was pleasantly surprised! You are not only beautiful, but smart. That is a great article. I read it out loud to Eddie. He perked up at the fishing comment.

    • I am so glad you commented Cheryl~you know that dress is gaudy but thanks for being so sweet~gaudy is good! You are making me blush~I am so glad you liked the article~you have to spell it out for some of us women~I guess since we are in our forties now we have the freedom to tell it like it is~love you my sweet friend!

  4. Sara Soeur says:

    This is perfect for a girl who’s getting ready to get on that same ride! I pray and hope it never ends. Love it and thank you for the inspiration!! Love you!

    • Oh, congratulations~just remember that is a lot of work and no one is perfect but it is so worth it~keep the tips handy and you already have the laugh part down Sara~Miss you sweetie pie~

  5. Angie Reed says:

    Laura, what a beautiful and encouraging article!! You are such a ray of sunshine, and this just really inspired me; contrary to what society has made marriage out to be, it can be such a wonderful thing if you have the right attitude towards it….it’s only gonna be as good as we make it, right?! Thanks so much for sharing your “pearls” with us! I guess I should go ahead and let Tom be right every now and then! ; )

    • Thank you so much Angie-marriage is hard but what a gift when you finally figure it out~Love you sweet Angie. Hug to that man of yours~he’s a keeper!

  6. Diana Kenny says:

    Such a wise woman. Beautiful piece, Laura.

    • Thank you Diana~I am pretty lucky to have found a guy to put up with my sassiness~hope you and those precious kids of yours are doing good!

  7. Lynn Heye says:

    Nicely done, Laura! And if it weren’t for your marriage, I wouldn’t have my wonderfully happy marriage. I’m forever grateful. Loved that you mentioned Daddy joking with Mom while on his deathbed. Mom also told me he was being frisky – hilarious! Such a special couple, and blessed that they’re our parents.

    • It is amazes how things seem how they were meant to be~you with your guy and me with mine~We had wonderful parents for sure~Daddy was a hoot. Love you sis and our great big family wonderful ~what a gift!

  8. Laura – totally enjoyed this article. You nailed it!!!! No wonder you have
    Such a successful marriage. Marriage is truly a gift!!!! Thanks for reminding
    Everyone. Miss you, sassy girl!

    • Oh Liz, I am so glad you enjoyed it~You have a pretty successful marriage yourself! It is a lot of work but such a gift when you finally figure it out. I miss your smile and that laugh of yours sweet thing!

  9. Audrey Casias says:

    Laura, I really enjoyed reading this article! You are an inspiration, so THANK YOU! Tom & I have had our shares of ups & downs and it is always comforting to hear someone who has traveled down some similar roads with uplifting, encouraging words. Words that bring hope and enthusiasm for the future together! So happy to know you and your lovely family! God bless you!

    Also, I think it’s wonderful that you started LivinSassy! That is inspiring for so many of us women, especially stay-at-home moms, like myself :-)

    • Thank you so much Audrey! Marriage is tough but so worth the ride. Being a stay at home Mom is the hardest job I have ever done. I have been full time and part time Mom too. They are all hard. We always have guilt about whether we are good enough at each job. I hope the website gives you laughs and makes you realize that no one is perfect. We are here to support each other.

  10. Kelley Gillis Cotten says:

    Great article, Laura, and so very true! Thanks for writing :)

  11. Melissa Stewart says:

    I loved the article Laura. You are so right on all these topics. I have been married 13 years on April 8th and I can only think of maybe two or three major dissagreements me and my husband have had. We do everything together and we tell each other “I Love You” at least once a day. Sometimes more. Marriage is not easy but you are right, you have to relax and pray. I remember going to your house when we were younger and your mom and dad. They were so cute. I noticed it because they were soooo different than my parents. I have alway loved them. Love you Laura my dear friend.

    • Oh,I love you too! How many hours did we spend at your house! Loved your Mom! Prett sure she was a major inspiration in my sassiness! I wish we lived closer so I could see you more often! Hugs to your Daddy and your hubby!

      • Melissa Stewart says:

        I’m pretty sure she was the inspiration in many of my friends sassiness. I wish we lived closer too.

  12. Sue Loganbill says:

    Laura, I remember your special day and feel like I had a small part in making it happen! So glad Steve has someone like you in his life, as he is very special to our family! Agree with you and what you say to make a marriage work – we just celebrated 58 wonderful years in December. We had our first date shortly after turning 15, got engaged at 17 and married at 19. I think one of the biggest accomplishments in our marriage was raising 4 teenagers at the same time (that’s why we both have white hair)! Love you and your family!!

    • I still can’t believe that Sue and Sue hatched plans to set us up on a blind date! Great work. And your marriage has inspired us over these years. Much love to you and Ben.

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