Recipe for a Long, Happy, and Fulfilling Marriage

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv.”

We have two daughters. Our oldest, Julianne, married Steven nearly two years ago. Our youngest, Jennifer, is marrying Luke this weekend. We couldn’t be prouder of our daughters, or the men they’ve chosen.

We started a tradition of compiling a cookbook filled with recipes from our family and friends for the newly married couple. The following is the recipe I submitted for both of our daughter’s cookbooks:

Now that you’ve said “I do,” you’ll find that the ingredients in this recipe are a series of questions that begin with “How do I…”

  • Serve my spouse?
  • Learn that the words “I,” “me,” and “my” are far less rewarding than “we,” “us,” and “our?”
  • Ensure that my goals are in line with OUR goals?
  • Ensure that OUR goals are the drivers of OUR life together?


  • Enjoy the simple pleasures with my spouse?
  • Gather new experiences that I can share with my spouse?
  • Genuinely laugh with my spouse, often?


  • Challenge myself and my spouse to grow individually, and together?
  • Provide the patience and space my spouse needs to grow independently?
  • Take advantage of the space my spouse provides to grow independently?


  • Understand my spouse’s challenges and sources of frustration?
  • Understand what makes my spouse happiest?
  • Take pleasure in my spouse’s accomplishments?


  • Communicate openly with my spouse?
  • Embrace the opportunity to see things from my spouse’s point-of-view?
  • Think of life’s curve balls as OUR opportunities to grow, not obstacles?


  • Ensure that our new family is a vital part of the extended families that we each join when we get married?


  • Take care of myself physical, emotionally, and spiritually so I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually attractive to my spouse?


  • Make sure my spouse knows how:
    • my love for him/her grows everyday?
    • special he/she is?
    • special I feel around him/her?


  • Provide the most life-giving environment possible for my spouse, everyday?

The quantity and mix of each ingredient is up to you. The secret is that NONE of these ingredients can be ignored, or taken for granted…EVER. This isn’t a corn bread recipe where it’s okay to skip the egg. Followed properly, this recipe will last a lifetime.

Enjoy your journey!

Author: Bob Dailey

Born and raised in Southern California. Graduated from (and met my future wife at) Cal Poly Pomona, in 1988. Married to Janet for almost 35 years. Father of two: Julianne and Jennifer. Grandfather of 7. Held many positions in small, medium, and large companies. Trail runner, competitive stair climber, backpacker, camper, off-roader, world traveler, sometimes writer.

2 thoughts on “Recipe for a Long, Happy, and Fulfilling Marriage”

  1. Excellent advise and reminders whether you are just getting married or have been for some time! Great words to live by and strive to.

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