Three Secrets To A Long Happy Marriage

40th Anniversary

My wife, Linda, and I recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. I wondered what most influenced our ability not only to stay together, but to be happy along the way. After all, a great marriage isn’t about how long we are together, but the quality of that time together, yes? I came up with three major factors that seem to have had most influence in keeping our marriage vibrant and energized in good times and bad.


1. Laughter – I try to see the humor in life, even when things aren’t going real well. Linda loves to laugh. I love to make her laugh. Together, we can usually find humor in the everyday absurdities of life that are often taken so seriously. Abe Lincoln said that laughter is good for the soul and I’m sure he is right. Great relationships are meant to be as much fun as they are meant to be deeply meaningful. Laughter lightens the load. I think we will one day discover the laughter is a form of temporary enlightenment. Isn’t it interesting that the enlightened beings who walk this planet find life so amusing.


2. CTypes – 25 years ago we discovered a body of knowledge called CTypes, which made a huge difference in our ability to understand each other and communicate more effectively. Linda is a Sagittarius CType. I am a Scorpio CType. We think and communicate differently. When we could understand both our own thinking and the other’s thinking, so many of our differences made sense. Importantly, CTypes also told us what to do when we had problems in life and in the relationship.


3. Risk the Old – When it is trying to grow and evolve, we have been willing to risk our old relationship. Relationships never stay the same. They are always trying to grow and change. Ours has probably grown and changed more than most. In each case where our old relationship was being challenged, we committed to walking through our fears and challenging our old ways of relating and being together. Yes, it was scary at times. It often felt like we might lose the other. But each time we risked the old relationship, we came back together with a stronger union and deeper understanding for ourselves and each other.


In conclusion, to grow and nurture any committed long term relationship, consider the following “Big Three”:


  1. Laugh a lot. Laughter is good for the soul. It’s healing. Laughter brings quality to life and to our relationships.
  2. Use CTypes as way to deepen understanding and heal all of the important relationships in your life.
  3. When your relationship is stressed, realize it is trying to grow and deepen. Don’t tightly hold on to the old ways of being together. Instead, put fear aside, communicate honestly, and create space for the new relationship to evolve.


For more enduring and empowering relationships, bring the Big Three into your life at home and work.


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