Craig Nova: “My Secrets to a Happy Marriage”

Realize early on that each member of the union will have strengths, and that it is good to accept this. The ideal marriage will have complementary strengths, and the ideal couple will be glad to offload what he or she can’t do to the one who can. For instance, my wife will approach a problem with great attention to practical details, but I will go at it on the basis of abstract theory, of intellectual considerations which will include, but will not be limited to ethics, morality, political science, economic efficiency and so on. We are best at planning trips: I have my eyes on the horizon, if not the stars, and she will worry about the bathtubs and the food.

Craig Nova, award-winning author and father of blogger Abbey Nova

P.S. And read the amazing letter Craig wrote to Abbey on her wedding day…

  1. NIcole says...

    Hi Jo, this letter struck a chord with me years ago but it appears to no longer be available. Any chance you can get it back for our reading pleasure? :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’ll ask abbey! :)

  2. Really useful information, lots of thanks for your post.

  3. This is a very interesting perspective, however I think judging someone’s ability to do a job solely based upon their handwriting is a little unfair. I know my handwriting changes depending on what I am writing. I also think the fact that pretty much nothing is written by hand today; from a college to an email, that this can affect people’s handwriting for the worse.

  4. thanks for sharing your secrets to a happy marriage, the concept you have f marriage should be in every couple’s mind always

  5. I am printing this out for my man and saving it for my son.

  6. This letter is so wise, and so gorgeous. Thank you for sharing!xx

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  8. Jennie says...

    Seeing these words and wedding pictures right next to your daughter’s… So special. Thank you for sharing!

  9. What a beautiful gift for Abbey! And these are lovely photos. Oddly enough, I shot a wedding at this location a few years ago–it hasn’t changed at all since 1972-amazing. (I had to go back to look at my images to make sure I wasn’t imagining things).

    This is a lovely series Joanna; I hope you and Alex are enjoying a blissful honeymoon!

  10. ooo i have ben inspired by the wedding season as well! :0 love the pics! so cool!

  11. Beautiful pictures and absolutely LOVE the letter! So true and such great advice….

  12. I’m loving this series! So many good marriage tips! :)

  13. I found myself nodding along to this as I read it… wonderful words of wisdom and I completely agree with him about complementary strengths :)

  14. Such amazing words of wisdom. The very first sentence drew me in! :)

  15. these posts are fantastic. and the advice is wonderful, all pieces I am sure to keep for when I marry someday.
    Lovely photos as well!

  16. I am loving all of these posts – what a great idea, Joanna! Oh and great picture in the times this weekend – congratulations to you and Alex!

    xo Calvine

  17. aww, i love this!

  18. I love these! Keep them coming… so heartwarming and funny too!!

  19. These are so inspiring. There is so much beauty in the wisdom of those who think deeply about their marriage.

  20. this is great. i love the idea of having different people post what they believe makes a marriage last. =)

  21. How wonderful! Loved reading the letter. That’s something you will cherish always + forever.


  22. Perfect advice. I’m an artist and I married an engineer – we definitely have complementary strengths.

    P.S. Does this bride look just like Jessica Simpson to anyone else? Stunning!

  23. That letter is such a beautiful articulation of how a marriage is built – I’ve been married for nearly seven years now, and I still marvel at how we continue to knit ourselves together.

    Thanks for posting this.

  24. Love and COMPLETELY agree with this – marriage is all about complementary strengths.

  25. This is wondeful! How lucky your daugther was to receive this. It’s so easy focusing on the ceremony that we don’t think about the marriage. A lovely letter. Thank you for sharing it.

  26. Aw, this is fantastic! Craig is my writing teacher at unc-greensboro, and I wholly didn’t expect to see him looking all lovestruck in the rolling New England wilderness when signing on to A Cup of Jo this morning.

    That being said, his advice is eloquent and his glasses are awesome.