About This Book

Marriage is a wonderful institution, and in this fresh collection of stories, husbands and wives share their personal, funny, and quirky stories from the trenches. This book will inspire and delight readers with its entertaining and heartwarming stories about fun, family, and wedded bliss. Whether newly married or married for years and years, readers will find laughter and inspiration in these 101 stories of love, romance, fun, and making it work.

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Five Ways to Build a Stronger Marriage

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Amy Newmark

Marriage can be a lot of fun — especially if you embrace your sense of humor and remember that while your spouse may not be perfect, he or she is perfect for you. Inspired by the 101 stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!, here are five tips on how you can keep your marriage strong and your relationship fresh through whatever life throws at you.

1. Recognize the gifts you receive. As Zoanne Wilkie dressed for work one cold January morning, she was thinking about how her husband had not bought her flowers in 25 years. But as she braved the icy weather to start her car that morning, she discovered to her delight that her husband had taken the time to warm it for her. She suddenly had an idea: to thank him for the "flowers." Later that week when she found an empty trash compactor, she was again overcome with gratitude. "I called him at work again. ‘David, I just found daffodils in the trash compactor. You are so thoughtful, thank you for the flowers.’ I’m sure David smiled as he hung up the phone," Zoanne said. She realized that while he might not actually buy bouquets, the little things he does daily for her are more than enough.

2. Remember marriage involves gives and take. Nearly 20 years of being a firefighter’s wife has taught D’ette Corona about sacrifice. Her husband’s long shifts have caused them to miss many important family events like anniversaries, first soccer games and holidays. But D’ette knows her husband has a job to do, and they have adjusted their lives accordingly. Daily calls when he is away and quality time spent together when he is at home have gotten them through. While this type of marriage may not work for everyone, D’ette and her husband have come together as a team to make it work for them. "What makes him a hero to me are all the things that he gives up in his personal life while being a firefighter in his professional life," D’ette says.

3. Teasing is part of a good marriage. When Robert Campbell decided to buy a lottery ticket he received a 15-minute lecture from his wife on the evils of gambling. But then his wife showed so much interest in it that he hid the ticket from her before the winning numbers were announced, claiming she must have misplaced it when he had showed it to her earlier. The next day he bought a new ticket with the previous day’s winning numbers and hid it where he knew his wife would find it. "She still hasn’t forgiven me," Robert says, "but there are no more lectures."

4. Laughter makes a marriage strong. Linda Apple and her husband Neal are a perfect example of how opposites attract. Linda is creative, messy and forgetful. Neal, on the other hand, is rational, logical and orderly. That’s why it was so funny when Neal did something completely unlike himself. While driving and eating an ice cream cone, his cell phone rang. Instead of answering the phone, he accidentally answered the treat — shoving the ice cream right into his ear. Linda and Neal laughed together until they cried over this silly act. "There’s another proverb that claims a merry heart is like a medicine," Linda says. "I can attest to its truth. Laughter is the prescription that keeps our marriage healthy and has for over 34 years!"

5. Teamwork is essential for a lasting marriage. Dayle Allen Shockley and her husband didn’t know what they are getting into when they bought an outdoor gazebo that needed assembly. As they stared at the 162 pieces spread across their lawn, they knew they would have to work together as a team if they wanted to get it done with their sanity still intact. They decided the most efficient way would be if one person read the instructions while the other did the assembling. Soon, the gazebo was standing strong. "Marriage is a lot like that," Dayle says. "It takes both of you to make it work." Now as they enjoy their outdoor shelter, Dayle is reminded they are a team.

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