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Keys to a Successful Marriage

By Beverly Mahone

This month, my husband and I celebrate our second wedding anniversary.  By all accounts, we‘re still newlyweds but sometimes it feels like we’ve been married a LONG time.

Nevertheless, we are still very happy and very much in love.  We are still learning about each other and not trying to change the things we don’t like.  That’s because we’ve learned you can’t change another human being’s behavior.  I believe you can change YOURSELF and that will change the way your mate responds to you.

Tip Number One:  Don’t Raise Your Expectations Beyond the Bar.  Thinking that someone else can make you happy, trying to read one another’s mind, wanting to do everything together, and wanting to have a perfect marriage are unrealistic expectations. They can create great barriers in your marriage. Hopefully, your expectations will include being able to lovingly resolve conflicts, to appreciate your differences as individuals, to respect and cherish one another, and to be able to discuss values and priorities.

couple in love

Tip Number Two:  Learn How to Listen.  One of the topics I address during my seminars is on communication.  As a veteran journalist, I know how important it is to convey your message to your audience.  You must do it in such a way that they will understand you and appreciate what you have to say.  I also know it is equally important to listen to the message being conveyed in order to make sure I report the story accurately.  

The same rules apply in a marriage.  You have to be an effective communicator AND a good listener.  Yelling all the time to get your point across will, more than likely, fall on deaf ears.  Also, poor communication skills can lead to a breakdown in your marriage.  

There are always two points of view in a discussion or argument.  While you may be adamant about sticking to your point of view, you owe your mate the courtesy and respect to hear him/her out and appreciate their feelings.  And, by all means, PAY ATTENTION.  Eye contact is very important in making your partner feel like you really are tuned in.  

Once you settle into the routine of married life, romance starts to fall on the priority list.  In many relationships, it's not intentional—-it just happens.  When you've worked all day, cooked, cleaned the house, dealt with the children and unexpected problems, you can be pretty worn out by "whoopee time."
Who's doing most of the talking in your bedroom?  If you say the "TV", your marriage probably has some issues.

Tip Number Three:  Communicate in the Bedroom:  As we settle into marriage at midlife, things become routine and that tends to include sex.  Communicating with your spouse is extremely important on all levels—-and yes, that includes the bedroom.  If you're someone who can't make love without the lights off or you must always be in the bottom position, why not try stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring some new ideas.

Try reading sexy literature to each other in bed.  Take turns being the narrator and if asked to re-read a particularly erotic scene, do so with a little re-enactment. Role playing can be very enticing and a lot of fun!   Women, in particular, enjoy the sound of their lover’s voice as he reads steamy fiction to her in a romantic setting.

Don’t be afraid to communicate your sexual desires and try to be as open-minded as you were back then.  But don’t be afraid to let him know what you don’t like.  He shouldn’t be offended if he wants to please you.

Tip Number Four:  Have a One Night Stand!  Why?

•You can have time alone together without distractions.
•No meals to cook, dishes to clean.
•Conversations are not interrupted.
•Intimate moments can be spontaneous.
•No hurrying home to get the babysitter home on time.
•Romance comes more naturally.

A date night is all about spending quality "alone-time" with your mate.  Don't forget, you can only get out of your relationship what you put into it so invest wisely.
Tip Number Five:  Prayer and Meditation.  In my opinion, a marriage cannot survive without personal relationship with God.  It is through that fellowship that you will be able to renew your strength and your faith and seek the answers to the problems and questions that may plague you at any given time.

Your prayer life should be a part of everyday living.  As a matter of fact, it should grow even stronger with each passing day.  Couples who pray together stay together because prayer is the lifeline that can keep you from sinking when trouble comes.      

About Beverly Mahone

In addition to being a motivational speaker and talk show host, Beverly Mahone is the author of the book, "Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age" and a featured writer for Fabulously40.comBonkers and Passionate for Life Magazines. You can listen to her talk show every Monday and Thursday on BlogTalk Radio. To contact her directly, send an email to: or visit" target="vblank" href="">visit">">visit her website 

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