Stefanie Wilder-Taylor’s Tips For a Happy Marriage

So I was at Trader Joe’s yesterday, chatting up the Sample Girl when I heard a very disturbing story. It seems she was helping out a family friend with toddler twin boys for a few weeks and on the last day things got very weird when the dad tried to hit on her. Apparently, he decided to tell her about his imploding marriage and how unhappy he is and how his wife doesn’t understand him and how they’ve cheated on each other and how difficult having twins has been on their marriage. Sample Girl told the guy he was being way out of line and then it got all uncomfortable and weird.

While we’re standing there talking, Sample Girl suddenly says, “Oh no. He’s walking this way.” And sure enough, a kind of creepy looking dude sidles over pretending to be interested in the pumpkin cheesecake Sample Girl was dividing into little cups, and attempts to engage her in conversation. I was disturbed on about fourteen different levels. First off, really? This truly goes on? I watch Lifetime Movie Network for escape, not for a reality check. Secondly, do men have to be this typical? The girl was barely out of high school and this guy was at least forty and had a beard. Beards are never going to be attractive to twenty-year-olds (except maybe Kate Hudson but that’s a whole other ball of crazy).

I also started wondering if it’s true that kids are a marriage killer. And if kids are hard on a marriage, are twins exponentially tougher? And are kids only tough on marriages that weren’t strong to begin with or can they screw up even a happy couple? It’s probably a lot more complicated and probably depends a lot on the people involved.

As disturbed as I was by this story, I couldn’t help but think that I have a pretty good marriage despite my nineteen children. And that just maybe, people were wondering what my secret is. So I’ll give you a few of mine and feel free to leave a few of yours and then maybe, just maybe, we can save someone else from finding out their husband is trying to bang the sample girl.

1. Jon and I still have sweet pet names for each other. Jon calls me Dumb Ass and I call him, Asshole or whatever swear word I’m overusing the most that day.

2. We keep a coffee cup on my desk for spare change and when it’s completely full, I bring it to the Coinstar at our local CVS, and get cash so that Jon and I can have a real live date night. Sure, it may take six months to save up forty dollars but it’s always worth it to spend some time together without having to actually spend real money on each other.

3. Once in awhile my husband surprises me with a gift. One month he might just unload the dishwasher on a whim or another month he will throw a load of laundry in the dryer that’s been sitting in the washer for a few days. Obviously when I get one of these surprises it will be expected that I reward him with sex but, really, I WANT TO.

4. If we’re going to fight, we try to do it in public. That way, we can show others that even seemingly perfect couples do argue once in awhile.

5. We try not to let our annoyances build up which only leads to an explosion somewhere down the line. What we do to prevent this is point out the things about the other person that bother us all day long, making sure to accompany the complaint with disgusted faces and grumbling.

6. When complaining about something the other person does, we make sure to give credit for all the times the person disappointed us and not just that particular one. The trick is to say, “You never help me with the kids” or “You always forget to bring the garbage bins in from the curb.”

7. When my husband tells a story around a group of people I try to roll my eyes sarcastically at the other people as if to say, “Yeah, I’ve heard this a million times already” or “God, I can’t believe he thinks this is funny.” Because undermining is sexy.

8. Lots of exasperated sighing for no reason.

9. If we’ve had an especially great day together, I will try to pick a fight just before bed to really keep him on his toes.

10. Passive Aggressive behavior is the key to any long lasting happiness. We try to compliment each other by saying things like, “I said you need to go to the gym because I’m worried about your health not because I think your ass is getting fat. Stop being so paranoid!”

11. Oftentimes I will stomp around the house and when my husband asks me what’s wrong I will say “Nothing.” If he says, “It seems like something’s wrong,” I’ll say, “Well, should something be wrong?” Guessing games are like catnip to the fellas.

I hope some of these tips helped and be sure to leave your own!

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on November 15, 2010 9:28 pmUncategorized31 comments  


  1. melissa said,

    Oh my gosh I love this post, so funny, but so real. Our 10th anniversary is this week and I think I’m going to print it out and stick it in his card.

    | November 15, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

  2. Marinka said,

    I like to ask my husband if I’m the smart one or the good looking one in the relationship. It’s a total trap and he owes me big time no matter which one he picks.

    For some strange reason he’s not interested in polygamy.
    Marinka´s last blog post ..Pop Quiz

    | November 15, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

    • Becky said,

      I love this! I’m going to ask Brian tonight.

      | November 16, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

  3. rebecca said,

    I am totally in love with you. This was funny. As is everything you write. And your girls are beautiful. I saw the dress Sadie was wearing in the Facebook birthday photos from Elby’s party and I want that dress for my daughter except she’s about the size of Elby…..Where did you get that dress and does it come in a much larger size?
    rebecca´s last blog post ..Oh My Word This Place Is Amazing

    | November 15, 2010 @ 11:25 pm

  4. Rebecca said,

    Hilarious, and spot on!
    Rebecca´s last blog post ..massive fail

    | November 16, 2010 @ 1:27 am

  5. Wendi said,


    | November 16, 2010 @ 2:02 am

  6. rita said,

    you so get it…

    | November 16, 2010 @ 5:20 am

  7. Tracy said,

    I miss Trader Joe’s, and not just for the free samples.

    Hilarious…and each one resonated, so I feel good that we must be doing something right.

    | November 16, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  8. Kir said,

    and here I thought I was the only one rolling my eyes at John’s stories.(My John..although I am sure yours has the same stories..;)

    this was funny and just what I needed this week. I’m going to write an email to my man telling him what a jerk he is….(and maybe I’ll get laid tonight) Toodles
    Kir´s last blog post ..Songs and Stuff

    | November 16, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

  9. m said,

    Here’s another: Use sex as a weapon. And never ever have sex if you’re not 100% in the mood. It’s healthy for a couple to go months and months without having sex.

    | November 16, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

    • Stefanie Wilder Taylor said,

      Absolutely. My husband would HATE for me to put out unless I was really into it. Especially oral.

      | November 17, 2010 @ 2:41 am

      • Diana said,

        Um, no he wouldn’t. He doesn’t care where he gets it. I mean, the man is a flat-out whore. Have you met?

        | November 22, 2010 @ 2:58 am

  10. Kelly said,

    A good door slam at the end of a sentence often gets my point of view across.
    Kelly´s last blog post ..De-Violeting Process

    | November 16, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

  11. Kelly said,

    ROFL!! I am proud to say I do MOST of your tips already… Yay me!!

    | November 16, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

  12. Becky said,

    I love this! I will have to print this and hang it somewhere in the house where he’ll be sure to see it. I think right int he middle of his big screen TV would be ideal.

    | November 16, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

  13. Mary said,

    My husband and I eloped almost 11 years ago and the guy/preacher/weirdo who married us told us basically that no matter what happens ultimately it is the man’s fault. SO, we joke about it all the time. Like the other day, my husband left our puppy out of her crate just to “see what would happen” while we were gone. She shredded our winter coats and ate a hole in our couch. One jacket was down so there was like a foot of feathers all over the living room floor. SO his fault.

    | November 16, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

  14. MOV said,

    Love it! You are an inspiration. Keep it up.


    MOV´s last blog post ..213 Dream Interrupted

    | November 16, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

  15. elizabeth- flourish in progress said,

    what? I don’t get this at all? Sounds like you may need some counseling.

    Real couples don’t fight at all. they just stare at each other blow air kisses at each other. When they have kids, they use words like “precious” and “delightful” to describe parenthood. Real couples have sex at least six times a week and the woman often begins and ends with an oral delight. Real couples also call each 10-15 times a day to remind each other how much they love each other.
    elizabeth- flourish in progress´s last blog post ..Monday Dare- the Tim Kermitathoponolisis story

    | November 16, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

    • Stefanie Wilder Taylor said,

      I’ve never heard of only being in contact 10 times a day. Anything less than 20 and I feel like my husband doesn’t love me anymore so I’m sure to ask him over and over if “something’s changed in the way he feels about me.”

      | November 17, 2010 @ 2:42 am

  16. Dr. Heather said,

    Oh, and don’t forget this one: Use “YOU” statements when arguing. As in “YOU make me sick”, “YOU are the reason I never married my ex-boyfriend who is now fabulously wealthy and still has his hair”, or “When YOU leave your socks NEXT TO the hamper, it makes me want to strangle YOU”.

    Just a little professional shrink contribution for ya. Aloha!

    | November 17, 2010 @ 1:20 am

  17. MamaC said,

    I follow most of the rules, but here are some I love to do:

    -be sure to bring up an issue that will cause a fight right before husband leaves for work

    -overreact whenever any type of constructive criticism is given

    -on the weekends when the family is trying to get out of the house, have a total meltdown b/c of x, y, or z

    They all work like a charm.
    MamaC´s last blog post ..I feel the need for randomness

    | November 17, 2010 @ 2:33 am

  18. Ginger said,


    | November 17, 2010 @ 3:05 am

  19. Erin @ Mommy on the Spot said,

    6, 10, and 11 – check, check, and check.

    I babysat for this family when I was in high school, and the dad was totally hitting on me and asking me to wake him up from his “nap” before he went to the bar to meet up with his wife.

    That was the last time I babysat for that family. Ick.

    | November 17, 2010 @ 3:07 am

  20. courtney said,

    Nice tips! Glad to see I’m doing something right.

    But I take issue with your assertion that 20-year-olds never find beards attractive. I love beards and always have! Even when I was 20. I think it’s a personal preference that has nothing to do with age (but probably everything to do with the fact that my dad and every other male adult I grew up around had beards).

    This my first time visiting your blog, and I think I’ll be back! Good stuff.

    Happy National Beard Month!

    | November 17, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

  21. Melinda said,

    Funniest thing I’ve read in a long time!

    Another good tip is NEVER forget anything your partner does wrong. And bring it up if you feel like you are starting to lose whatever new arguement you are in!
    From time to time kids do put stress on even the strongest marriage. I always remind my husband that it was his idea to have them 🙂

    | November 18, 2010 @ 2:12 am

  22. keyomi said,

    awesome post! i so agree with you. i end up doing half of those things too! like ‘u always do this to me’..and my hubby goes..don’t exaggerate..but i do it anyways! 🙂

    | November 19, 2010 @ 4:20 am

  23. Migg said,

    Is it bad that I’m newly-wed and we’re already doing these things?
    Just checking….

    | November 21, 2010 @ 1:45 am

  24. Lisa H. said,

    My favorite of your suggestions is #4. Thank you for this very important service!

    I enjoy going on strike from cooking without notice. I encourage the every-man-for-himself approach for dinner, then out of nowhere, I’ll cook dinner out of a box (although I AM capable of “cooking-cooking”) and he flips out and sweeps me up in his arms and tells me I’m the greatest, most giving wife ever. The key to success in our marriage is keeping his expections of me very low. That way, when I do the slightest thing, there’s a ticker tape parade.

    | November 22, 2010 @ 6:02 am

  25. Mrs. B. said,

    I knew I was doing something right.

    Love your blog, by the dubb. So funny.

    | November 22, 2010 @ 6:48 am

  26. Elle said,

    I do all those things!! And my husband still cheated on me. No fair!

    Like just the other day when he assured me he wants to spend the rest of our lives together, I said, “Oh goodie. That will make my life seem so much longer.”

    Thanks for the laughs!
    Elle´s last blog post ..Beware the Bewares- The Difference Between Cant and Dont Want To

    | November 24, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

  27. muskrat said,

    I just get drunk all the time. Wait. I may be commenting on the wrong blog.

    | November 30, 2010 @ 3:17 am

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