Jessica Schroeder from Emovere Intensives & Retreats helps newly engaged couples keep the joy, excitement and magic in their relationship after the wedding ceremony for several years to come. She is an expert on making your marriage last and shares 5 tips for a blissful marriage for decades to come:

I love this quote by Nora Ephron, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” This quote captures the feeling I got when I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my spouse. The feeling I got in my stomach, the joy I felt in my heart every time I saw him. Ahh…it feels so good!

But…it doesn’t come easy. We’ve been married now for almost 19 years, and we’ve had to learn a few things along the way to keep that loving feeling (see what I did there). Plus, it does help that I’m a licensed marriage therapist. So, I’m happy I can pass on these tips to you so you can keep your own loving feeling for decades to come.

01. Learn about Adult Attachment Theory

Many people think of parent and child when they hear about attachment theory. The idea is that as mammals, we are wired to find emotional safety in the connection to our loved ones.  Think about an infant. The infant cries, the parent comes to give her a bottle. The infant cries, the parent comes to change her diaper. The infant cries, the parent holds the infant. As the parent continues to meet the needs of the infant, the infant develops a felt sense that the parent is trustworthy and will be available to soothe and comfort the infant when the infant is in distress.  

This is still true in adulthood. As adults, we still need to have a felt sense that someone will be there for us to soothe and comfort us when we are feeling distressed. But instead of our parent, this is our romantic partner. 

Here is the kicker…when we sense that our partner is not emotionally available to us, we go into secondary coping strategies like overly pursuing our partner or overly distancing ourselves from them which then leads to conflict and arguments. Adult attachment theory is very important in understanding the inner workings of humans. An understanding of this will help your marriage overcome the changes that come with the decades.

02. Always Remember Emotional A.R.E.

An easy way to remember how to make secure attachment bonds with your partner is through the acronym A.R.E. This stands for emotional accessibility, emotional responsiveness and emotional engagement. Each of these are associated with a question that when the answer is “yes” will lead to an emotionally secure relationship.

Emotional accessibility: are you there for me? When I need support, are you available to me?
Emotional responsiveness: can I reach you? When I need comfort, will I be able to connect with you?

Emotional engagement: will you respond to me when I call on you for comfort?

Make it your life mission to make the answer “yes” to all of these questions.

03. Learn How to Make Effective Relationship Repair

We will hurt the ones we love. This will most often happen unintentionally from a misunderstanding. For this reason, it is imperative that all couples learn how to effectively repair ruptures to their relational connection.

A good repair is more than “I’m sorry.” Don’t get me wrong, that is important too. However, it is more important to be able to hear your partner’s pain and to let them know it makes sense to you why it hurt so much.

04. Give Your Marriage Regular Tune Ups

Recently I spent the night with my friend at her cottage. She is a therapist too. We were talking about relationships and I asked her, “how many couples do you think are really prepared for everything marriage will bring?” Her response was “very few.”

I agree. We are just not taught about things like adult attachment theory and emotional accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement. So, make time every year to attend a couples retreat and learn about relationships. Or, find a therapist who is a good fit for you and your partner and have regular check-ins to ensure your marriage is still headed in the right direction.

05. Make Your Marriage the First Priority Always

In graduate school, I had to attend clinical supervision with one of my professors on a weekly basis. Anytime his wife would call, he would stop our conversation, pick up the phone and attend to her. At first it felt very awkward and somewhat disrespectful to me. But my relationship with him took a backseat to his relationship with his wife…and that is how it should be.

Your marriage, and family, will go through several different stages. No matter what stage, your marriage needs to be the first priority. When you come home from work, your partner needs to be the first person you greet. Your partner is your person. They are your life partner. Your partner in crime. Your ride or die.  Find creative ways to let your partner feel how important they are to you.

Jessica Schroeder

Jessica Schroeder


Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist
Certified Emotionally Focused Therapy Therapist & Supervisor

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