Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Jon Barb Dec. 2019

Not all marriages are bliss and happily ever after and virtually all “teen marriages” end in doom and disaster. I understand that we are not the norm.

Barb and I have been married since August 22nd, 1981. She was 18, I was barely 19. We had a 6 month old baby boy(Josh). We were best friends for 3 years before that. At 15 years old, I fell in love with her. I never questioned our friendship. It just was. That’s how love started and continues today for me.

Jon Barb Priest Aug 22 1981

And so, Barb and I are celebrating another anniversary today. Perhaps there is a formula for this type of success. I’ve always been asked what our “secret” is. I don’t have an answer. Perhaps there are things that we “do” that could be contributing factors in long term successful marriages.

And so, I’ve compiled this list of things that may be important or not. These are purely from my perspective. I have not consulted with Barb for consensus. She may have an entirely different list.

I think the most important thing that is especially relevant in our marriage is:  Marry your best friend.

Be cool, good looking, smart, funny, creative, ambitious and healthy.

Marry someone who recognizes and even requires the above in you but doesn’t mind that you may sometimes lack in some or all of them.

Do your own laundry. You don’t want to shrink her sweaters and you don’t want her to shrink your jeans.

Randomly tell her you love her throughout every day.

Play a musical instrument. If you are entertaining and she is easily amused, well……that’s pretty much a YAHTZEE!

Date Night. Leave your friends and/or musical instruments(same thing) out of it. If you don’t, date night will take a turn away from you.

Money. Only one of you can do the books, if you share this task, there will be arguments.

Don’t complain about her cooking. Unless it’s threatening to burn the house down.

Learn to bake and cook really well and bake and cook as if you are the best baker and cook on the planet and keep telling her that you are. She will soon believe this as truth (and it just may be) and meal time will be forever special.

Get a dog that is cute enough to sleep with in your bed.

Avoid asking permission for everything, or anything.

Respect each others opinion. Consensus is not necessary.

Surprise her frequently. Good or bad, it keeps her interested. Worst case, she is mad or disappointed, best case, she is so happy, she cries. You can’t control this.

Minimize rules but flow with routine.

Don’t tease her when she’s mad. All other times are ok.

Give in to her flirtatiousness. Always. Don’t ever feel embarrassed.

Give her a back scratch once in a while.

Married – August 22, 1981(Barb-18, Jon-19)

Jon Barb Nice France July 2018
Barb Jon Oaxaca, Mexico March 2019
Jon Barb Fort Collins around 1990
Jon Josh Barb Greeley Colorado 1982 – Yes, we had a couch on our front lawn.
Jon Barb Josh Baxter Fort Collins, Dalton Dr. around 1995
Buddhist Monks Jon Barb Dehradun India Aug 2018

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