The Secrets of Happy Marriages


Article first published as The Secrets of Happy Marriages on Technorati.

sunsetThis recent sunset in Brentwood, California reminded me of the one a year ago when we got married at Casa Del Mar, December 19, 2009. I thought, “We made it! One year of marriage! Thank goodness we both showed up for the first blind date, January 18, 2007 at Casa Del Mar.”

In The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, they tell the story: “A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying,


The other writes back triumphantly,

I think internet dating can feel like being sent to Africa to sell shoes. You have to decide with dating, as in life, is it an opportunity or should you just stay home? In Seth Godin‘s Linchpin, he says “the key distinction is the ability to forge your own path, to discover a route from one place to another that hasn’t been paved, measure and quantified. So many times we want someone to tell us exactly what to do, and so many times that is exactly the wrong approach.”
 This poem was read by Rabbi Zeldin at our wedding, an
 Apache wedding blessing: 
”Now we will feel no rain, for each of us will be shelter for the other. 
Now we will feel no cold, for each of us will be warmth to the other. 
Now there will be no loneliness, for each of us will be companion to the other. 
Now we are two persons, but there is only one life before us.”

 We plan to enjoy many years of happiness, sunsets and celebration.

As an assistant cruise director on the Love Boat on a Panama Canal cruise in  October 1999, I hosted a party that included more than 2500 years of marriage, 50 couples each married over 50 years.  I asked the couples to tell me their secrets, their pearls of wisdom. How did they stay married for over half a century, when so many of us can’t even get a second date? They were happy to share their wisdom and they hope it helps everyone have more second dates and full centuries of marriage. Here are a few:

dressKiss good night every night before you go to sleep.

Share everything especially your feelings.

Never go to bed angry.

Plenty of loving is what the doctor ordered.

Be patient with each other.

Be willing to say you are sorry.

Don’t try to get in the last word.

Remember that you have made a commitment.

New article on Science and EducationScience Isn’t Scary:
Race to Nowhere: Do we have a Map?

Editor’s note: Lisa and George Rajna left for their first wedding anniversary trip to Colombia December 18, 2010. They will be in Cartagena for their anniversary, December 19, 2010 and to celebrate the New Year. If possible, they will send photos and news updates from Colombia or look for more information in 2011 after their return! Happy New Year! Safe travels to all!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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