The Secret to a Happy Marriage, A Post by Amy

Amy and her husband have been married for 3 years. They live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I met Amy through our high school youth group. I believe her stories about it are just as warped as mine 🙂 Amy just started blogging, show her some love, and follow her blog here.

“The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.”- Henry Youngman.

I have been married for three years to my husband, Michael. I met him in college, and we were merely friends. Nothing more. There was no love at first sight, because truth be told, he drove me crazy. He was snarky, sarcastic, and one of the most honest guys I have ever met. This was a far cry from the scenester coffee shop boys I commonly chased after. This goofy, smart ass of a guy soon became a constant in my life, a source of warmth and comfort. And now, seven years later, I am writing a blog about my perspective of marriage.

I had drinks with a friend I went to graduate school with over the weekend. He recently became engaged to his fiancée, another good friend of mine. As we began talking about relationships, he looked me square in the eye and said, “Amy, I do not understand your relationship with Michael. It absolutely makes no sense to me and I am fascinated by it.” No, I did not begin to sob uncontrollably or throw my Coors Light in his face. I smiled, because I knew exactly what he meant.

Michael and I do not have a typical marriage. To the outside world, Michael and I have few similarities. We are both in the counseling profession, have similar tastes in music and film, and share a hatred of Sunny Delight. Michael actually asked me the other day, in all seriousness, if we had anything in common. At first I was slightly disturbed by this, as I am so used to being surrounded by couples who share everything except for their DNA (Well, I hope not at least.) I never really paused to think about how little Michael and I have so little in common and still have a successful marriage. This is my conclusion: Commonalities do not make a marriage work. Our differences are encouraged because it is what brings us together at the end of the day. We look at life so differently, but by doing that, we bring to one another what the other person fails to see. The autonomy in our marriage is probably what I value and appreciate the most. We have never looked at one another as “the other half.” We are both our own persons, separate from one another. Marriage to us is making the decision to navigate our lives together. If anything ever happened to our relationship, I am fully confident that both of us would leave just as we entered in: whole.

Something else that I appreciate about my husband is the fact that he understands and accepts my role as his wife is not a traditional one. I am not trying to go into gender stereotypes here, I am only going off my relationship with my husband compared to other people’s marriages. Most women my age have entertained the idea or are starting the process of having children. As many of my friends know, children scare the everliving shit out of me. There are maybe a handful of kids that I actually like and enjoy their company. A lot of women my age are settling down, perfectly content with a Friday night consisting of wine with the girls and gossip about the latest episode of Private Practice. You see, I never really got to get the partying out of my system in College, seeing as I went to a conservative Christian University. I have the social development of a 22 year old, therefore, a successful weekend may come in the form of one I do not remember. I have actually been scolded for (and rightfully so) by Michael for going out at 10:00 pm for “a few drinks” and not returning until noon the next day without so much as a courtesy call. (I have gotten better about this, I promise) This is where Michael and I differ. I am an extreme extrovert, always needing to be around others. Michael is an introvert, drawing his energy from a few people at a time. He is perfectly content with a Friday night consisting of a 5:30 dinner, ending the night at 9:30 while reading a good book in bed. Sometimes I worry that I am not “wifey” enough for him, but he assures me this is not the case. He has mentioned a few times that he secretly enjoys when I drag him out of his 9:00 pm bubble to see the world. And truth be told, I appreciate the nights we share on the couch, watching cheesy horror flicks and splitting a cheap bottle of wine.

So what is the secret to a happy marriage? Here is my answer: Let it be your own. Rather than learning about what makes a happy marriage, try living it. Hopefully, it will never be perfect. What is the fun in that? When we think we have found the answer, we stop the questioning.


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