Today's economy

Eight secrets to a successful marriage

By Kevin Press,

Comments (23)

Image of Kevin Press's wife, Lisa, and their two children.There was a bit of angst in the Press household last night. Our daughter Grace lost a tooth, which is to say that my overzealous flossing knocked a somewhat loose tooth out of her seven-year-old gums. It was a bloodless coup, I’m pleased to report. No tears, at least not from Grace. Our son didn’t take the news as well. “I want to lose teeth,” screamed Anthony. Sometimes it’s hard to be five.

All this was followed by discussion of a short-notice tooth fairy visit. Grace generously offered to share her remuneration with Anthony and set about writing a note requesting that last evening’s deposit be evenly divisible by two.

That generosity comes from the lovely Lisa’s side of the family. Boy Scouts and Girl Guides — who seem to want a good deal of my money these days — will attest to this. It’s among the reasons I’m grateful Lisa married me, eight years ago today. In recognition of the best years of my life, here are eight (on-topic) reasons I would marry her all over again:

  1. She agreed to the wedding. My family and friends have reminded me with some frequency that this was, in and of itself, an extraordinary act of generosity. I don’t dispute that, but I do feel a responsibility to note that she also buys much nicer birthday gifts than I do.
  2. She was frugal before frugal was cool. Lisa’s a stay-at-home mom, and she manages our day-to-day finances like a deficit hawk. I love that about her. The kids never want for anything. I’m going to have to wait for a new iPod, but that’s probably a good thing.
  3. She knows what a price-to-earnings ratio is. Lisa and I were both financial journalists when we met. It’s a pleasure to be able to discuss what’s going on in my professional life — and in the world around us — with a peer I trust and respect.
  4. She reads my blog. And she reads it critically. I often share ideas and early drafts with her before posting. Lisa always makes me sound better.
  5. When we decided to live together, we moved into a downtown Toronto home she owned. Eight years later, we’re a good deal further ahead because of her early real estate investment.
  6. She also earned more than I did. No need to elaborate on that.
  7. We never stop talking about money. It’s never hard to do, and it’s never confrontational. I love Lisa’s approach to budgeting and we value each other’s opinion.
  8. She lets me write about her. That kind of patience should never be taken for granted.

Happy anniversary, Lisa. I love you.

More smart tips for newlyweds:

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Patricia Stephenson on

Congratulations are in order here. It sounds like you have many of the keys to happiness. My husband and I been together for 29 going to 30 in December and still in love. We show each other respect at all times and we have complete trust and faith in each other. These two things I think are the most important ingredients in a good marriage. We love each other and are buddies. We can talk about anything and forgive quickly. Never ever wanted t o be with anyoe else. Patricia

fred on

congrats on your anniversary! Lesson I need to learn

Rosalyne Ficaccio on

Congratulations Kevin and Lisa, I thought this was really heartfelt. You don’t need me to tell you to cherish each other, but others might need to hear me say that I was married for 14 years and let it slip away. I have grown and reached a new perspective that my leaving was a gigantic mistake, but life moves on and you can’t go backward. It’s my fault and I have to live with that for the rest of my life. Nevertheless, be sweet to one another.

Ryan on

The goal I (and my wife) have had from the beginning is to be married as long as our parents; unfortunately, her parents got divorced within a few years of our marriage, and my mother passed away three months after her 65th birthday.

My parents were married for 43 years; my wife and I celebrated our 35th anniversary last week.

Our most important rule: do not do anything that jeopardizes the above goal!

Christine on

Happy anniversary to you both! My husband and I celebrate our 7th this month too. You are a wise man to appreciate the benefits of an intelligent and dedicated partner.

    Kevin Press on

    Thanks Christine. And congratulations to you too.

Joseph on

Happy wedding anniversary to you and your wife Kevin, many more years to come.

    Kevin Press on

    Thanks Joseph.

MarkF on

I still vividly recall the day you matter-of-factly announced to your co-workers that you were getting married later that same day. I suspect your sense of humour is one of the reasons why Lisa agreed to marry you. Happy 8th anniversary to you both!

    Kevin Press on

    So good to hear from you Mark. That story is too good not to share. Lisa and I threw a surprise wedding on a Friday night (we invited our guests to a party, but they had no idea there would be a ceremony). Mark and I, along with two other colleagues, delivered a presentation that afternoon to a group of benefits plan executives. Guess which event I was more nervous about?

Craig McLaughlin on

Is she so frugal that this will be an acceptable anniversary gift though?

    Italia Corigliano on

    Very heart touching. It reminds me that love is really in the day-to-day activities. The anniversaries, the birthdays, and other occassions may be an attempt at tangible manifestations, but true love is expressed in how we live our lives together.

    Happy Anniversay to both of you!

      Kevin Press on

      Thanks Italia. Good to hear from you.

    kevinpress on

    Craig, that was the best laugh I’ve had all day. Let me put it this way. If I go home with an anniversary card, she’ll tell me I should have saved the $5. Having said that, I am on my way to the florist shop.

      clare on

      one thing we do over the 46 years of marriage is write in the same cards over and over…on each special occasion we pull out the old cards and remember past events…what did we do for Valentines 20 years ado what did we do on our 10th…..its a love diary ……We got the idea from a family that send greeting cards around a family that was wide spread adding new cards as the old ones filled up

David Leonhardt on

I love this, especially the last one. One of the things I like about my wife is that she lets me go out and do things when I want to (rare, given that 99% of the time is devoted to the kids). It is never a matter should I or shouldn’t I or whether there is enough time or money. I never get a hard time. It always a matter of what needs to be done to make it happen.

Happy anniversary.

    kevinpress on

    Thanks David. Sounds like you’ve earned that trust and support. Still, I think it says a lot about her and about your relationship.

Robb on

Happy anniversary, Kevin and Lisa! My wife and I celebrated our 6th anniversary yesterday.

    kevinpress on

    Thanks Robb. Congratulations to you too.

    Carol on

    My husband and I just celebrated 18 years of marriage in June of 2012. In a time when so many marriages don’t go past 2 years. Our secret to a long lasting marriage I believe is “TOUGH” times. We have always had to work very hard for everything that we ever needed let alone wanted but “needed” and we talk about EVERYTHING. Many young people today have it too “EASY”, the parents cater to their every want and need. Grandparents make your kids “DEPENDANT” on themselves and that is how they grow and mature into healthy people.

Michelle Smyth on

I’m reminded of that Lion King song…”Can you feel the love tonight?” Congratulations to both of you on your anniversary.

    kevinpress on

    Thanks Michelle.

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