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

Award-winning travel expert Lisa Ellen Niver has explored 101 countries and talks travel on KTLA-TV and her website, We Said Go Travel, which is read in 212 countries. Her YouTube videos have nearly 900,000 views and she has more than 140,000 followers on social media (verified on Facebook and Twitter). She sailed on the high seas for seven years and she has been nominated for five Southern California Journalism Awards in the past two years and received 2nd place for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for publications including AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Robb Report, Sierra Club, Smithsonian, Saturday Evening Post, United Airlines (Hemispheres) and USA Today 10Best.

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