Married, Usually Happily, with Children

What are your secrets to a long and happy marriage?


Boy, we were young back then.

My wedding anniversary is this month. I’ve been married for another year. I’m reflecting on the years my husband and  I have spent together. We met when we were both already working professionals and were able to have fun and travel together as DINKs (dual income, no kids). We had a great time. Life was so different then.  Life is still good today. If I had to decide again today, I’d still choose to be with my husband.

03-11-02 Stevie Sammie daddy
Life is often not picture perfect.

We are now a family with two kids. More specifically, two adolescent children. Becoming parents changed our household dynamics.  Parenting adolescent children has brought the change to an extreme. Regardless of the stress we sometimes face, as two adults and two children who think they are adults living under the same roof, the basic values that my husband and I both believe in are the same as when we first got together. We still want to enjoy life, help others, and work hard (not in any particular order). Actually, if I didn’t have to work hard, that would be okay with me too. But what I mean is that we want to work hard at what is important to us.  I think our children also value those same things and that helps to form the basis of our (sometimes heated) discussions.

Happy Anniversary a few years ago.

I remember when my husband and I first got together, one of my friends (who is older and wiser than I) told me that no matter what, to always put my relationship with my husband first. Without a strong core relationship, the rest of the household will have difficulty. I have found that to be true and still believe in that philosophy today. It is like the airline instructions as we take off.  Put on your air mask first before helping others. If you can’t breathe, you won’t be able to help others around you breathe either.

My husband and I don’t exchange gifts~not for anniversaries, birthdays, or holidays. Instead of spending what little money we have on gifts/material items, we choose to spend our money on experiences. As a result, I don’t have sparkly jewelry, expensive cars, or designer purses. That is ok.  I do have a lot of fabulous memories. The only way that would go horribly wrong for me is if I will suffer from amnesia and forget all these great memories.  (That is why I better work hard.  I have to work hard at documenting all these memories in a photo/journal book before I forget everything.)

The shared experience we enjoy the most is traveling together. We both love to travel and I think we have instilled that same interest in our two children. Traveling as a family and seeing the world and other cultures makes coming back to and living in Hilo all that much more special.  Living Hilo Style.

_DSC5313 Arron, Anne, & Kids
Photo credit:  David Yee


  1. Happy Anniversary!

    I read somewhere that being happily married is less about looking into each other’s eyes and more about looking in the same direction. I think whoever said that might be on to something.

    I came to Tokyo from Chiang Mai in 2010 in order to marry a local gal. I was 50 and she was 40. Mikiko (Kimura) and I have had our ups and downs, with the period following the Tohoku Disaster being especially difficult. I felt overwhelmed and isolated, much uncertainty hung in the air, but somehow we made it through. Although we neither have children nor have we been married long, language and cultural differences can present certain challenges. But by way of patience and being willing to walk in another person’s shoes, obstacles can be overcome.

    May you and your husband celebrate many more happy anniversaries together.

    Santee Williams
    Minato Ward


    • Santee–Yes, patience goes a long way in forging a strong relationship. Thank you for your wishes and I wish the same for you and Mikiko. It is the everyday moments that make a relationship work. The little things. Show your love today in many small ways. 💖


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