Brooke Williams: “Our Secrets to a Happy Marriage”

One of the smartest things anyone ever said to Josh was that marriage is like a garden. You have to tend to it every day lest it become overgrown with weeds. Now we try to nip any issues that may come up in the bud. Just today, for example, Josh left me holding our 21-month-old daughter while he ran inside to grab a last-minute item before we set off to catch a ride into town. He checked his email and (as happens so often when you run your own business) got caught up in a work-related emergency that needed immediate attention. When he emerged ten minutes later explaining what was up, rather than a) blowing up or b) seething and saying nothing, I chose option c) gently reminding him that he left the two of us hanging and that a quick “hey, something’s come up, I’ll be a few minutes” would go a long way. He apologized, we both felt better, lesson learned, annoying afternoon averted!

Another super important tip: Make your relationship a priority, especially when you have a family. What your kids need most is to be loved by parents who are happy and productive participants in the world. And what keeps your partner feeling great is a spouse who feels great too. So get a babysitter so you can have date night, or take that ceramics (or karate or skydiving) course that you’ve always wanted to take. The whole family will be better off.

Last word to the wise–everything is a negotiation and agreement. Remember that there are two parties in the relationship, and together you’re so much greater than the sum of your parts. When you’re headed out to see District 9 instead of Julie & Julia, you may just find that the action flick is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Brooke Williams and Josh Liberson

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  2. Those are perfect secrets thanks for sharing that, but the best thing get an incredible marriage is having sex all time.

  3. what a good read, thanks for the great advice.

  4. excellent advice!! I agree with the post about it really being so simple, just common kindness goes a long way.

  5. MP says...

    Fantastic advice! Every piece is so true, and so simple. Remember what you have, be respectful and true to yourself and to your family. Great post!

  6. Anonymous says...

    At my wedding a 10 year old girl came up to me and said, “You know when the wedding is through, the honeymoon is over.” It might have been the best advice I received!!

  7. innerjuju says...

    I have been married for 30 years and when people ask me the secret I just tell them that the secret to a happy marriage is that we both want to keep ME happy!! :)

  8. Anonymous says...

    what a beautiful couple and family with great advice!

    love that last bit “when you’re headed to see district 9 instead of julie and julia, you may just find the action flick is exactly what the doctor ordered”
    and funnily enough, thats EXACTLY what happened to me this weekend!

  9. Great advice! Good communication goes a long way! I think my marriage is great because we can literally tell each other almost anything. I think when we have kids it will be a whole new dynamic and we will learn so much more. Great post!

  10. What a sweet idea! Love the photo in this post and the very wise advice- never heard the idea that marriage is like a garden but it fits it so well. Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. the garden analogy…great.loved i.

  12. What a happy coincidence…I am from Brazil and got married on september 5th and for the wedding I left a special notebook asking people to leave their messages for a happy marriage! We got lovely, funny and important tips! For me, the happiness come from love, fun, lots of fun and cumplicity!

  13. inspiring.

    i still consider myself and my husband newlyweds. Married for 17 months now. We have a baby dog, and we feel like babies too when it comes these things.

    i love your blog. Ill definitely follow you.

    have a great day!

  14. Quel article intelligent et vraiment utile ! Tu as raison de nous le rappeller…
    Il y a toujours deux personnes dans une relation ! Celà paraît tellement évident que certains ont tendance à l’oublier au profit d’un “moi” exacerbé qui n’a d’objectif que d’alimenter son propre “égo” !
    Non vraiment, s’il y a bien une chose à ne pas oublier dans la relation à deux… c’est que nous sommes bien deux et pas un et un autre…!
    Un et un font deux et c’est pour ça qu’une relation s’en trouvera enrichie car il y aura de la place pour des projets communs, pris en commun accord avec l’autre “un” !

    Les photos viennent illustrer d’une façon simple mais efficace cet article qui vient humblement souligner un trait existenciel de notre quotidien… La relation et les échanges se font à deux et pas seul dans son coin !

    Merci ( thanx a lot Joanna ) pour ton éclairage simple.. mais efficace !
    Mais, si ça se trouve, tu ne comprendras rien à ce que je t’ai écrit car… soit, tu n’auras pas le temps de le lire avec 4996 abonnés… soit tu t’en moques complètement… soit tu ne comprends pas un seul mot de français et là je me dis… à quoi bon avoir fait tout ce texte si personne ne me comprend ! ! !… Mais là, il s’agit d’un autre débat ! L’autre et l’inconnu…

    Bonne journée Joanna !
    Passe un bon dimanche…
    Ciao bella…8D


  15. Oh, Brooke is so cute! I worked with her on a Domino feature with one of our clients years ago…she’s a doll.

  16. Sweet reminder! xoxo

  17. i love this advice, it is so truthful.

  18. Jo says...

    Excellent advice!! :)

  19. all very true! a relationship with anyone is, indeed, like a garden.

  20. Love the last bit – negotiation and agreement; so true! :)

  21. Thank you Brooke! This advice is perfect for me, newly married. Right now we are floating on a post honeymoon breeze but the time will come when I will think of the garden analogy – and what an important one it is – no weeds! As my Mom said the other day when she heard about some friends of ours who are separating, “some people take better care of their cars then they do their marriages”.

  22. I love your post. That was such great advice.

    I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. I would like to invite you to come and participate in my giveaway.

  23. That’s great advice. A little bit of acknowledgment does go a long way. What a cute couple too! Hope you have a great weekend! XO.

  24. As someone who’s about to expand their family this fall, this advice really hits home for me. And, btw, could your daughter be any cuter?!

  25. Very true! If you can’t talk to one another in a rational way, then all is lost! Everyone fights, but you have to fight fair!

  26. these are such good words. i’m enjoying this little series–joanna, this was a brilliant idea (if you ever see this!). and really, these are good words for almost any relationship–these ring true for me as a single girl, dealing with my roommate, sister, parents, and friends.

  27. What fantastic advice! It makes so much practical sense, yet it is something too many folks forget.

  28. Your first point is so key, and you have illustrated it beautifully. Of utmost importance.
    Love your happy family photos, and your little one is just gorgeous!

  29. Very cute advice. I heard some advice this week too that I loved:

    Treat your partner like he/she is the most important guest in your house.

    I do that. And I have to say it makes life a whole lot more wonderful. x

  30. Love this advice. Adorable picture too!

  31. well said.

  32. So very, very true. Learning to communicate and fight healthy is just vital!