The Secrets of Happy Marriages


Article first published as The Secrets of Happy Marriages on Technorati.

sunsetThis recent sunset in Brentwood, California reminded me of the one a year ago when we got married at Casa Del Mar, December 19, 2009. I thought, “We made it! One year of marriage! Thank goodness we both showed up for the first blind date, January 18, 2007 at Casa Del Mar.”

In The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, they tell the story: “A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying,


The other writes back triumphantly,

I think internet dating can feel like being sent to Africa to sell shoes. You have to decide with dating, as in life, is it an opportunity or should you just stay home? In Seth Godin‘s Linchpin, he says “the key distinction is the ability to forge your own path, to discover a route from one place to another that hasn’t been paved, measure and quantified. So many times we want someone to tell us exactly what to do, and so many times that is exactly the wrong approach.”
 This poem was read by Rabbi Zeldin at our wedding, an
 Apache wedding blessing: 
”Now we will feel no rain, for each of us will be shelter for the other. 
Now we will feel no cold, for each of us will be warmth to the other. 
Now there will be no loneliness, for each of us will be companion to the other. 
Now we are two persons, but there is only one life before us.”

 We plan to enjoy many years of happiness, sunsets and celebration.

As an assistant cruise director on the Love Boat on a Panama Canal cruise in  October 1999, I hosted a party that included more than 2500 years of marriage, 50 couples each married over 50 years.  I asked the couples to tell me their secrets, their pearls of wisdom. How did they stay married for over half a century, when so many of us can’t even get a second date? They were happy to share their wisdom and they hope it helps everyone have more second dates and full centuries of marriage. Here are a few:

dressKiss good night every night before you go to sleep.

Share everything especially your feelings.

Never go to bed angry.

Plenty of loving is what the doctor ordered.

Be patient with each other.

Be willing to say you are sorry.

Don’t try to get in the last word.

Remember that you have made a commitment.

New article on Science and EducationScience Isn’t Scary:
Race to Nowhere: Do we have a Map?

Editor’s note: Lisa and George Rajna left for their first wedding anniversary trip to Colombia December 18, 2010. They will be in Cartagena for their anniversary, December 19, 2010 and to celebrate the New Year. If possible, they will send photos and news updates from Colombia or look for more information in 2011 after their return! Happy New Year! Safe travels to all!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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