Marriage Is Alive And Well On Valentine’s Day*

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
"the marriage doctors"

Award Winning Authors of the NEW Hardback Book
Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage
Makes a GREAT Wedding or Anniversary Gift
Also available at and your local bookstore.

“Til death do us part” are the words couples use in committing their lives to each other. It is the promise we made to each other 42 years ago and to this day we have a lasting love that burns even brighter now than when we first said, “I do.” Why has our love lasted when so many of our friends have long since ended their marriages in divorce? This is the question we began researching more than 25 years ago.

We continually remind others that the divorce rate in America is 50%. And the news gets worse. Close to two-thirds of those who get remarried get divorced again! And 75% of those who marry for the third time get divorced. And the simple truth is, most all of this suffering and unhappiness could be avoided. Yes, avoided! How, you say? Well, successfully married couples can tell you. They know!

That is why we are committed to reducing the divorce rate and increasing the success rate of marriage by sharing what we have learned from decades of research and our own 42 years of marriage—most marriages are worth saving and can be saved!

Hundreds of marriage and relationship books have been written in the past 30 years telling people how to have a successful marriage. So why would anyone want or need another? Well, to begin with, the practical advice outlined in these other books is almost exclusively derived from experts who have studied relationships that have failed in order to predict what will work.

On the other hand, we have taken a completely different approach—we decided that the best way to understand how to make a marriage a success is to study successful marriages.

Our criteria for determining a successful marriage are stringent:
• First, the couple had to be married to each other for at least 30 years;
• Second, in response to the question, “How would you rate the overall happiness of your marriage on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 the highest)?” the couple being interviewed had to agree that it was a 9 or 10.

We gathered more than 15,000 years of collective wisdom from happily and successfully married couples in the USA—people of different faiths, ages and ethnicities including Whites, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans married in the Judeo-Christian tradition. In addition, we interviewed successfully married couples in China, France, Great Britain, Argentina, Chile, Taiwan, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and Canada. After 25 years and hundreds of interviews with successfully married couples (as well as our own successful 41 years of marriage) we discovered seven pervasive characteristics present in all successful marriages.

While successful marriage isn’t difficult to understand, many couples fail to do the simple things required to make their marriage work. They either forget to do them or they haven’t learned them in the first place.

Successful couples talked about their marriages going through cycles similar to the stages of life. Many of the couples described experiencing difficulties and turmoil with the transition into a different stage such as the addition of children, the increased pressures of striving for success in their careers, or the empty nest syndrome. While each change brought its own rewards, it also brought with it stress on each individual and on the relationship within the marriage itself. Their stories shed light on ways to use the Seven Secrets to effectively handle the stress of these anticipated transitions.

Johnny Cash and June Carter said it best in their famous duet, “We got married in a fever hotter than a pepper’s sprout. We’ve been talkin’ ‘bout Jackson ever since the fire went out.” So, how do successful, happily married couples keep the fire from going out? How do they stoke their fire until it warms everything around them? Marriages change over the years, and in enduring marriages the partners find ways to grow closer together and improve the relationship that once began with the fiery passion of young love and then matured into a lasting love. Their stories are here, within these pages for you to enjoy.

These poignant, real life stories were garnered from hundreds of interviews conducted over decades with happily married couples so the secrets for success could be uncovered and explained. Obviously, rather than divulge the true identity of the people we are describing who have been happily married for at least 30 years, we changed their names and the places to protect their identities unless they granted us permission to identify them by name. However, their stories had to be told, because no writer could create such perfect examples of how to build lasting relationships. Only the real life experiences of long-time happily married couples could be filled with such intrigue, humor, sadness and joy. We know you will find their stories fascinating and helpful.

The important point is that successful love and relationships are an accumulation of the little things. The little things matter! It isn’t enough to just think about the little things or just talk about the little things. You have to just DO the little things every day. That’s what makes love and relationships last! If you understand and implement the simple ideas presented in our book, Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage, we are convinced that your marriage will be well on its way to becoming a very successful and wonderful experience.

*Excerpted from Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage, ©2008, Briarcliff Publishing LLC

Author's Bio: 

Now you can order the Doctors' new book entitled , Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage at or from their website with FREE Images of Love DVD. With 25 years of research experience on successful marriage and their own 41-year marriage, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz know what makes marriage work. From their hundreds of interviews with happily married couples, representing 15,000 years of marriage, they've discovered the seven pervasive characteristics present in all successful marriages. Their book exposes the secrets for success through these poignant, real life stories.

Get started with “the marriage doctors” by taking their Marriage Quiz or asking them a question at Ask The Marriage Doctors or downloading their FREE eBook at Salad Recipes For Love and Health.

During their distinguished careers the Doctors have received some 60 local, state, and national awards; published nearly 200 articles and manuscripts; delivered over 1000 speeches, workshops and public presentations; traveled throughout the world; and appeared on radio and television and in the print media. Dr. Charles D. Schmitz is Dean and Professor of Family and Counseling Therapy at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz is President of Successful Marriage Reflections, LLC.