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 Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.6 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. 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 times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.6 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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