Top 10 Happy Marriage Secrets!

This week, I have been asked to speak on MY top 10 secrets of a happy marriage again at a young moms’ group. I am so glad Duane and I are having a good week.

After 47 years of marriage, yes, he is my best friend and we are very happy…this week. Just sayin…love doesn’t mean every week runs smoothly or happily! We have fun working on it!

So many approach marriage as though this huge event in their lives will assure their forever happiness. I know that is exactly how I felt. I had met the man of my dreams and I just knew – beyond any shadow of doubt – when we got married, we would live happily ever after! That created a whole lot of PRESSURE for my unsuspecting groom!

Marriage is a day by day by day intentionally lived life.

The Correct Way to Fight!

It was on our honeymoon we had our first married fight.

woman with boxing gloves boxing man with boxing pads

Our wedding was in January.  It rained for two weeks surrounding our fairytale nuptials.

Our picturesque hotel looked out over the Pacific Ocean.  I remember sitting on the floor, looking out the rain streaked French doors, on day three of our honeymoon, wondering how I had made such a monumental mistake – apparently, marrying the wrong guy.

He had slept completely through breakfast and lunch a mere thirty-six hours after saying I DO, shattering the honeymoon of my dreams. Needless to say, I had raised the honeymoon expectations bar so unrealistically high- no man could have successfully provided my dream anyway. However, his sleeping through the day was obviously a sign of his lack of interest in me, and our marriage.

MARRIAGE Involves Admitting We Need Help!

I am a type A personality. I am a YELLOW/RED temperament. Both of these describe someone with endless energy and passionate determination. Also included is a tiny bit of “I can do it by myself” and “I am always right” attitude (the RED tendency). Although, I’m certain no one has ever noticed that about me.

For the first 20 years of our marriage, I appeared to be successful at pulling my own weight on the grand scale of regulated duties of husband and wife.



I didn’t need any help.  Actually, I may have  said those words on occasion.

Why is it so difficult for some of us to admit we need help?

I Need a NEW Husband!

I Need a NEW Husband!

It started out a normal day at our house. Duane wakes up first around 5am (without an alarm clock), in fact, we have never set an alarm clock in our 40 some years of marriage. He showers and heads downstairs for coffee. (He drinks it from a cup I bought just for him, have washed and put in the cupboard just as he likes).



I get up next, but always stop at my upstairs office to check emails.

However, when I walked downstairs this morning, the house was empty. My husband was gone! No goodbye kiss, no “I love you, see you in a few hours,”


Can Good Marriages Have BAD Communication?

As of this year, I have been married exactly twice the years I was single. In other words, I have had a lot of practice with communication in marriage. One would think, by this time, I would have mastered the art of knowing what to do and say in most circumstances with regards to my husband.


It IS true: I am a much better communicator than I was when we were first married. AND, since I’ve studied the temperaments, my scores have jumped into the top 5% in communicating successfully with a spouse.  Sadly, I blew it big time this week.

When is Your Anniversary?

Today is our anniversary. It is the anniversary of the day we became engaged to be married. Happy anniversary to us!


April 1969, my then boyfriend of nearly four years, arrived home for a two week leave from the Viet Nam conflict. I picked him up at LAX and he drove my car to his aunt’s house in Gardena, CA. where he would be staying on his furlough.

His aunt and uncle were still at work; so, Duane actually climbed into an unlocked window, and let me in through the front door. Once inside, he turned on the stereo, playing soft romantic music, got down on one knee next to my chair and told me of his undying love. He pulled a miniscule diamond ring from his pocket.

Would I marry him? Of course! It was a glorious day. (Yes, I was a mere child.)

Now you understand why this day should be celebrated! It was a day from which fairy tales are made.

My Valentine is BLUE!

My Valentine is BLUE!

I fell deeply and completely in love, never considering a “temperament” issue, before marrying my husband.


In fact, I had no idea what it meant to have a TEMPERAMENT. I was far more impressed with Duane’s deep green eyes, his bright orange ‘55 Chevy and the butterflies my stomach experienced every time he walked into the room. I was not concerned, in the least, about some pre-disposition with which he might have been born.

Of course, I knew we might have minuscule differences. However, I was confident “true love” would conquer all problems, IF they should happen at all.

I thought I knew everything about Duane. He loved God. He had been overseas during Viet Nam; so, we wrote letters for two years of our engagement. We also made tapes (preceding CDs) back and forth, full of questions and answers. When possible, we had phone calls – lasting hours – where we fell deeper in love with every whispered endearment.

Fifty days after he was discharged from the U.S. Army, we tied the knot. I had the wedding of my dreams. My life was perfect.

My fairy tale belief system lasted approximately 31 hours into our marriage. The third day of our honeymoon, I was stunned. We were SO different. How was this possible?

Duane is the kindest man on the earth and takes things seriously – every solitary thing, seriously. Take the price of gas, for instance, and driving miles off the beaten path to find a gas station with less expensive fuel. Who does that on his honeymoon?

He unpacked my three suitcases, and successfully re-packed all my things into two suitcases, to “make it easier for me?” I had no idea it had been difficult for me.

He thinks and re-thinks every situation, before and after it happens. Have you ever heard the term “analysis-paralysis?”  This is a BLUE temperament tendency.

I, on the other hand, prefer to “shoot from the hip.” I would much rather DO something than think about or analyze it! (a YELLOW temperament tendency) and, I certainly don’t care how things are packed or how much gas costs.

I am giving you my YELLOW/RED perspective on being married to a BLUE/RED. Every person is a combination of two (from a total of four) temperaments. Usually one is more dominant at home, the other out of the home. Duane is more BLUE at home and definitely more RED at work. However, it is important to note, each temperament truly looks different, depending on the temperament of the observer!  As I describe living with this BLUE/RED man, it is from my temperament’s perspective.

BLUES are loyal and dedicated beyond reasonable doubt. Duane is a thoughtful romantic. (That has saved him on countless occasions.) They are the best friend a person could ever have. BLUES run deep. BLUES rarely stop thinking.

Seriously, the differences in our temperaments have made for an exciting ride through this miracle of marriage. I thank God everyday for giving me the privilege of being married to my BLUE Valentine!

blue heart

Over the past 20 years of serious study on temperaments, I have become a speaker, author, personal coach and an admittedly self-proclaimed temperament expert. I love the topic, and am fascinated with what makes humans so different.

Understanding temperaments helps with parenting, marriages, co-workers and family members.

To learn more about yourself, your valentine and the four temperaments, subscribe FREE to my blog fill out your necessary info and I will give you my FREE eBook on understanding temperaments.

Now, I am compiling a series of perspectives from spouses of differing temperaments. I would love to hear from GREENS married to YELLOWS, REDS married to BLUES, YELLOWS married to REDS, BLUES married to GREENS etc.

Just shed some light on a typical day and include humor please! I am excitedly awaiting your emails!


How to Get Along With Anyone in the New Year!

Duane and I have spent the last 45 New Year’s weekends with our dearest friends. (It is a miracle in itself; because, I am turning only 38 next month.) We four spend most of the hours, leading up to the New Year, catching up on the events of the previous year.


We talk about everything from our kids, grandkids, and in-laws to various jobs, family outings, church events and travels we have experienced during the past year. We have a thousand pictures, on our phones, which help our bragging when it comes to grandkids of course!

Each of us has numerous family, friends and co-workers with whom we interact every year.

Predictably, one question asked while discussing tense subjects is, “How did you handle that situation?”

The best answer we find – when it comes to prickly topics – is, “with my mouth shut!”

Avoid a Thanksgiving DISASTER!

Our first Thanksgiving, as a married couple, was going to be magnificent!

I could hardly wait. I had even bought a new blouse!

Oh, I was so mistaken!


I naturally assumed we would spend Thanksgiving with my family.

Duane’s parents lived out of state. He had lived with his aunt and uncle prior to our getting married; so, he assumed we would spend part of Thanksgiving with them.

Both of us accepted invitations without asking each other. Can you guess where this is going?

The two separate festivities were scheduled at the exact same time; and, I was supposed to cook and bring a designated casserole to his aunt’s house! Nightmare!

Not only did we have a huge discussion (argument) Thanksgiving eve, as we shocked each other with this news; but, we went to bed mad the first time in our 10 month marriage!

Writing a Blog

And Answering Questions!

Most recent question: “How come you are only writing your blog every 10 days or so?”

Lately, my days have been filled with unexpected blessings. It is true. I have missed chatting with you.


I love writing this blog; but, our daughter moved back to California last month, and we are making up for lost time. We missed so much in our granddaughters’ day to day lives, while they lived back east.

Example: last week my sheets needed changing, our bathrooms needed cleaning and my blog needed finishing, when our granddaughters called and asked if they could, “…come over and play.” “Absolutely,” I spurted, before even thinking! This was a no-brainer! It turned into a crazy sleepover with 6 granddaughters! This is the 4th one this month!

And, for you BLUES, yes, the sheets finally got changed.