Writer of Soul-Searching Snark


My lovely niece is getting married on Saturday, the first of the grandchildren to take the plunge. Yesterday, my oldest niece and brother and sister-in-law hosted an impressive BBQ and shower for the couple. Since the wedding present isn’t finished yet and probably won’t be until oh, I don’t know, December or so, I gave the happy couple a series of black and white photographs for their kitchen. I also gave them:

Tips for a Successful Marriage from Claire’s Kitchen.












Many think that love is all that is needed for a marriage to thrive, but love alone grows stale without mixing in kindness and respect.

Similarly, combining two individuals for too long can result in bitterness. Each must have their own unique time and interests before they can properly complement the other.

Apply liberal amounts of patience and understanding as needed.

Much like a making a soufflé, marriage should be handled with care and like a friendship should never be taken for granted.

Your marriage should be your home. Your home should be the place you are the most secure, the place you can be yourself without fear of judgment. Trusting one another is vital, as is sharing your dreams, hopes and fears. Caring about each other is more than a sprinkling of emotion. It comes from the soul and extends through your heart.

Approach Love and Cooking with Reckless Abandon

What are your tips for a successful marriage?


Comments on: "Marriage" (21)

  1. Claire, what a beautiful gift. When I read your question, the first thing that came to mind was that respect is every bit as important as love in a marriage. But, you already covered that in your excellent list.

    The one thing I would add, (and that I’m surprised YOU didn’t include) is humor. 🙂

    Best wishes to your lovely niece and her fiance. I wish them all the best!

  2. Reblogged this on Jan Morrill Writes and commented:
    Do you have anything to add to Claire’s excellent ingredient list? I added humor — no measurement. Add to taste. 🙂

  3. I always think of marriage less as a cake and more like a loaf of complicated, whole-grain bread. Sometimes the yeast bubbles up, sometimes there’s something in the air, and no matter how carefully you baby it along, token bubbles is all you’re going to get and the bread is flat.
    So, high,full and just begging to be enjoyed, or flat, burnt on the outside and gooey in the middle. Either way and everything in between, it’s not just the ingredients you mix daily in a marriage, it’s the way you knead the dough, the humidity or storm in the very air around it. Life happens to that bread and you’ve got to be willing to eat the gooey center and trust a better loaf is coming.

    • Beautiful, Pam. That’s the perfect analogy, especially since bread is the hardest thing for me to make. It’s amazing how many people assume that once they’re married, they’re done. No more work goes into it. It’s a daily thing and something you have to nurture like you would any friendship.

  4. Russell said:

    Whatever happened to obedience? Wasn’t that in the vows somewhere? I find that when I do what I’m told things go a lot easier.

  5. Yes, sense of humor is quite important. One of my family’s oft-repeated stories is the time my mother slipped and fell on her derriere on the ice. My father is reputed to have laughed so hard he couldn’t help her up. Hmm … maybe that was when mom was pregnant with me–that could explain a lot.

  6. As a husband of almost 18 years I learned two simple rules and a phrase.
    Rule #1 The husband is always wrong.
    Rule #2 If the wife is wrong, see rule #1.

    The phrase I learned very early is: “I’m sorry, it’s all my fault.” If all guys were to learn this, the life expectancy of men would be higher.

    • So, tell me, Ric, how long did it take you to learn this lesson? Even though my husband is right most of the time, I’d never let him know it. 🙂

  7. Claire, your relationship with your hubby is proof positive that you know what you are writing about. Wise words indeed.

    I have found that “communication” is a foundational must! To be able to speak our mates language, interpret correctly what he or she is saying, to respond rather than react, and above all “make time to talk.”

    • Oh, definitely Linda. Making time to talk it vital. An evening download is good for every couple. Interpreting correctly is also important. There are so many fights and arguments that come about because a person incorrectly interprets the what the other is saying. Respond don’t react. Good stuff. Darn it all, I should’ve called you when I was writing the tips.

  8. One thing I’ve found to be valuable in my 32 year marriage; don’t hold back your feelings.
    Many times we’ve said, you hurt my feelings when you…, you embarrassed me when you…, you made me feel bad when you…
    The result being; I’m sorry, I didn’t realize, it won’t happen again.
    Follow that up with; you’re so good at…, I love it when you…, thank you for…
    The result is usually: many kisses and…

    • Thank you, Sandra. I wrote a blog post recently on Romancing the Book about romantic gestures. The most important thing is to say “thank you.” So many people expect so much from their partners and yet never let their parents know what they expect. And they never say “thank you” when they finally get it right.

  9. Everyone has such amazing posts I can’t think of a thing to add except to say…
    Marriage is more than romantic love. (True) love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have, doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first”. Love doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the mistakes of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel. Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always. Love always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. True love never dies.

  10. Reblogged this on lindacapple and commented:
    Words to stay married by! Do you have anything to add?

  11. Ya know, Claire. Some of your commenters have only been married a couple times. How much can one learn about marriage in a couple goes? Not much. I think you should collect opinion from folks who’ve been married three, four, five times. They’re the ones who know about marriage.

  12. Fran Young said:

    I’d say that one good course of action is that sometime you have to agree to disagree. In culinary terms for example….I hate beets. I hate the look of ’em, the smell, the taste of beets. My husband adores them, and indeed is always trying to get me to add them to my diet. I refuse.
    Yet, that sneaky dude one day fixed me a “special” smoothie for an early day treat one super hot day. He put a lid on the cup and had it all cooled to perfection.
    I slurped it down in one feel swoop and exclaimed how delicious it was. Then, he showed me the blender and with one glance I knew his “special” ingredient….beets!
    So, we agreed to disagree on eating beets when they’re visible, but I never refuse his “special” smoothie treats!

    • Oh Fran, agreeing to disagree is brilliant! I can’t believe I forgot that! Just because you don’t agree on everything doesn’t mean that one of you is right and the other is wrong. Beets are good for you, but if you don’t like them then you shouldn’t have to eat them. I have the same issue with sweet potatoes! Thanks for sharing.

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