The Secret to a Happy Marriage (According to Mid-Century Advertisements)

Today is our 27th wedding anniversary.  It seems like yesterday that we were two crazy kids embarking on a life together.  We had no idea the adventures that were in store for us.  But we wouldn’t change a single thing (although we do sometimes ponder what our life together would have been like if The Mister had become a tap dancing jazz musician like he wanted to be when he was a kid…)!

In celebration, I will share a few secrets to living happily ever after…according to the mid-century advertisements…

 Let someone else burn dinner every once in a while…

Discover a Happy Marriage Secret

Lamb…always on the menu of America’ finest restaurants advertisement; Image courtesy of Jordan Smith/The Pie Shops Collection on


Pretend that you are thinking of him when you buy an electric blanket and crank your side up to the highest setting…

"The Happy Marriage Blanket"

“The Happy Marriage Blanket” General Electric advertisement; Image courtesy of Salty Cotton on


Be proactive.  Stop waiting for things to happen like regular folks…

A Marriage Rejuvinated Thanks To Post Bran Flakes

A Marriage Rejuvenated Thanks To Post Bran Flakes, 1939; Image courtesy of Paul Malon on


Don’t ever change a thing about yourself…

He Married Her For Her Lip Stick

He Married Her For Her Lip Stick, 1956; Image courtesy of Paul Malon on


And, if all else fails, get a manual…

12 Rules For Happy Marriage

12 Rules For Happy Marriage advertisement, 1957; Image courtesy of Paul Malon on


In all seriousness, the secrets to our happy marriage are:

  • Knowing that The Mister isn’t responsible for my happiness–I am.  Likewise, I’m not responsible for his happiness, either (but see the rest of this equation)
  • Finding lots of ways–large and small–to show The Mister that I love him and that I’m glad to be on this journey with him
  • Discovering all of the ways The Mister shows me that he loves me and is glad to be on this journey with me 

We’ve been together for 33 years and married for 27 of those years.  Just when I think it can’t get any better, it does.  The Mister really is my very favorite person to be around…and he still makes me laugh all of these years later!

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Dr. Julie-Ann

I'm Dr. Julie-Ann, living life in its Technicolor finest by channeling my Grandma, Donna Reed, and June Cleaver with a bit of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly glamour thrown in for good measure, too. I work outside of the home full-time as a university administrator but I nourish my soul and find my greatest happiness by trying to be the "perfect" 1950s homemaker.

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  1. 1


    Love those adverts Julie-Ann. Would it be that it was that simple, but your ideas are keepers. I find way too many people think that the someone in their lives should MAKE them happy. Will they not learn that “only you MAKES you happy”? Loving someone else is one of the ways to make oneself happy. My “mister” & I have 20 years of marriage that is both loving & happy – AND we make sure it stays that way by both working at it.

    May your new year be happy & productive!
    drMolly recently posted..Holidays and God IS goodMy Profile

  2. 2

    Lisa says

    Thanks for the ads!

    Like weight loss, there aren’t any “secrets” to a happy marriage. Most people know what they need to do, they just don’t do it. Congrats on 27 years!

  3. 3

    Susan says

    Couldn’t agree more. My hubby and I have been married 22 years and counting! Our marriage sounds much like yours, and we are happy for it after all these years. We feel like we are the luckiest couple in the world to have the marriage we do. All couples who truly love and honor each other should feel this way!