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Anniversary Gifts


June brings lots of anniversaries. If you’re wondering how to let your husband or wife feel your love, I want to help. Q. If I take my wife away for a just-us weekend, do I also need an anniversary gift? A. Etiquette does not apply to a marriage. Neither does the opinion of any other woman you know or even a survey of 3,057 women you did not marry. All that matters is this: does your wife...

50th Anniversary


The summer after my sophomore year in college, I followed the man I’d met and fallen in love with ten weeks earlier to Bakersfield. We were talking at the park and found ourselves planning a fun 50th anniversary celebration. Only then did it occur to us that we were going to get married, because we would not know when to hold this wonderful celebration if we didn’t. Eleven and a half...

Tunnel Vision Keeps You From Really Enjoying Your Marriage


Tunnel vision is like looking through an empty paper towel roll. You still see things, but you don’t see all of your options. And it will sneak up on you. In my first marriage, I wanted to take ballroom dance classes. We were young. We were invited to many weddings and other events. I bugged my husband to take lessons with me. He was not interested. It wasn’t until after his death at...

A Total Should Show


I spent over an hour reading comments this weekend on Facebook, about a letter to Miss Manners in the Washington Post. Never saw her column, and none of the commenters even touched on etiquette. They opined on what everyone involved should do. I got sucked into this should show. I couldn’t stop reading. I just kept hoping for someone to stop looking in all the wrong places for what to do...

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Valentine’s Day? Lean In!


I was surprised by my sadness right after the birth of my only child. Such a beautiful moment, but I felt like I had lost something. My husband and I had no preference for a girl or a boy, so we did not ask which it would be in advance. However, in those last two weeks of waiting, we both became convinced it was a girl, and we began calling our overripe belly bump Sara. When our gorgeous, healthy...

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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