happy couple

What’s the recipe for a happy marriage?

TOH SMALL 11Dear Housewife:

What are the main ingredients for a lasting marriage and a strong family?

The Main Ingredient

Dear Main Ingredient: 

I have good news and bad news for you.  Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.  About ten years ago an Italian woman who had been married for over twenty years told me that a person can find at least ONE thing EVERY MONTH that would make a person want to get divorced.  SHE WAS RIGHT.  However, she went on to share about the importance of working through those things.  I believe the foundation of every marriage should be a shared belief system.  Our belief system informs our values, attitudes and actions.  A couple cannot operate as a team if they are playing by two different playbooks.  Solomon and I are Christians and our playbook is the Bible.  The foundation of every family is the marital relationship. Unstable marriages lead to unstable families.  Parents are the leaders of the family and as such must lead by example, demonstrating love, commitment, respect and servant hood. I once asked the mother of about 12 adult children who was near the end of her life advice about being a good parent.  She replied that parents must live consistent lives and keep the lines of communication open.  This goes back to leading by example.  The ingredients to a lasting marriage and strong family are inside of us.  We must chose to tap into them.

(Featured illustration by Jim McHugh. Photo © Canstockphoto)

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Kelly Simmons

Completely agree — if the belief system is the same, the socks on the floor are fixable.

Solomon Jones

You’re right Kelly. Now, the dishes in the sink for two days … well, that’s a different story altogether.

Constantly Cleaning

Hey, staying on top of the dishes can be hard sometimes! Especially when we don’t own a dishwasher, have kids, and both working two jobs to help ends meet. I do my best to clean the whole kitchen daily, even if it’s at 2am… but I’m older now and sometimes fall asleep from exhaustion. Just sayin’. So I want to hear the “different story altogether.”

Solomon Jones

Stuff grows in dishes when they stay in the sink too long. And while socks will generally air out, old food turns into penicillin. Great for treating the occasional infection, bad for the marriage.


Sounds like ingredients for stable marriage or longevity in marriage. Is that the same as the recipe for happiness in marriage? That could be a recipe for hell on earth if the couple are miserable or disappointed in each other. I read somewhere that happiness isn’t getting what you want, it is wanting what you have. If I had a spouse that’s kind, respectful, and loves Jesus and loves me — flaws and all… well, I think I could stand a couple of forevers of that.

Solomon Jones

Well, Joy, I love what you say about happiness; that it “isn’t getting what you want, it is wanting what you have.” Marriage is one of the situations in which you can control what you have, because you can choose what you want instead of settling for what you don’t want. Marriage works when we choose our spouse wisely. That way, we don’t end up trying to make something work with a person with whom you were mismatched from the beginning.