7 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

7 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Or 7 secrets to a happy relationship, married or not.

Dawn and Jo Fry at the church with the vicar on their wedding day

I wasn’t at all bothered about getting married, but my hubby really wanted to, so we did. Surprisingly, it made a difference. Nothing earth-shattering, but a subtle difference, a proper full-on commitment. I loved having a ‘hubby’ – not just the label of course! We celebrated 27 years together this June.

Honestly, Bridget Jones, this is not me trying to be a ‘smug married’!

7 secrets to a happy marriage are meant to be a bit of fun, as well as a nod to some of the serious sauce!


How do you meet the perfect partner? In our case, we had a dear friend do a bit of matchmaking. We had both been around the block a little, past experience definitely shaped decisions and for us, the timing was right.
Fundamentally there has to be a willingness for a relationship from both partners and a desire to make it work if possible.

Then add in a dollop of luck.

Pick a practical one

My hubby can turn his hand to literally anything practical. I may have had to develop a patient approach to some jobs as they can (and do) take years to complete. Knowing that something can be made, fixed or mended is such a comfort.
If you can’t find a practical one (and it’s not going to be you) then make sure you have contacts and funds to get someone in or it will drive you mad.

Play to your strengths

Divvy up the jobs depending on who is best at them. Hope that it’s a roughly fair split, if not a bit of negotiation may be required, or if possible, buy in some outside help perhaps.

Don’t hate me too much, but my hubby loves housework, especially vacuuming, and keeping the house nice and clean. I hate it, so that’s a huge win/win! Cooking is my thing, so I will usually do all the shopping and meal planning. Some jobs we share.

As a born organiser I run all household management and the admin for our businesses. Even persuaded hubby to take up teaching blacksmithing courses after the success of running chocolate ones! I find this easy, and hubby hates it! Social secretary and especially travel agent are my favourite roles.

You can’t change anyone. Don’t expect your partner to get good at something they don’t like or find difficult to do. The only thing you can change is you.

It’s good to talk

espresso coffee in blue cup with biscuit and sugar cubes

It’s so easy, especially if you have been together for a long time, have very young children, are coping with teenagers, busy jobs, and other commitments, to stop talking properly to each other. There is so often a presumption about what your partner is thinking or feeling, without actually talking to each other properly to find out.

We try and keep a day in the week where we do something together – it’s often just a dog walk, but it may be something more exciting now and again!

Make time to talk – whether that be a date night or something simple like going out for coffee or a walk.


Without respect surely any relationship is doomed. Mutual respect is a must, and if that is missing or lost – do all you can to try and find it again.

If you are not respecting yourself then start there. Maybe you need a change and it’s time to focus on doing something different, sparking yourself back to life?

Shared Dreams

No two people can be on the same page all the time. Marriage is a compromise, but we can’t only live someone else’s dream. What are yours?

Then you can work on what you both want. What does the future hold (if we are lucky enough to have one)? It can be exciting, having a shared dream focuses your intentions as it’s something to work towards. Nothing is set in stone either, so you have a chance to change/enhance and improve any plans you make.

Book that date night, get talking and discuss your shared visions and dreams for the future.

The Duvet

Get your own. Seriously, we each have our own duvet and it’s perfect. Two single duvets on our double bed. No one loses the covers and gets cold. Choose a different tog that suits (I’m always too hot, hubby too cold).

Finished with my absolute top tip for marital bliss – a good night’s sleep with your own duvet!