Guest Post: Ten Secrets of Happily Ever After by Syrie James

Syrie James is the bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed novels, including The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, Dracula My Love, Nocturne, Forbidden, and The Harrison Duet: Songbird and Propositions. Her books have been translated into eighteen foreign languages. Syrie lives with her family in Los Angeles, California. Connect with her on her Website, facebook, and Twitter.

I’ve reviewed The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen and The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen in the past, and enjoyed them as a Janeite.  I’ve also reviewed a collection of Jane Austen-related stories edited by Laurel Ann Nattress that includes one from James, Jane Austen Made Me Do It.

With the republication of Songbird in e-format and paperback, the first book in the Harrison Duet, James agreed to stop by and share her Valentine’s Day secrets.  Without further ado, please give her a warm welcome:

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day to celebrate love! Admittedly, as a writer of romantic novels, both historical and contemporary, I have love on my mind most of the time! I love to write about people meeting and falling in love. That moment when two people look at each other and just know they’re meant to be together forever—it’s one of the most magical, meaningful, and memorable experiences in the world. And when it’s followed by a lifetime of love and blessings, what could be better than that?

My novels Songbird and Propositions are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat. They feature strong, intelligent, accomplished women who meet men who are every bit their equals, and who experience a love so deep, immediate, and profound, it forces them to rethink their future and the very meaning of romance. And of course they all find their Happily Every After!

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by love in both my professional and personal life. I met my husband in college, and thirty-eight years later, we are still together and very happy. Which has set me to thinking: how do you achieve that Happily Ever After? Thinking back on our relationship, I’ve come up with a list of 10 elements that I think help make for a long and happy marriage. See if you agree!

  1. You consider your partner to be your best friend for life. (Bill is definitely my best friend and always will be!)
  2. You are honest with and implicitly trust each other.
  3. You respect, admire, appreciate, and dearly love one another—and you tell each other so on a regular basis. (You say thank you for even the smallest things, like when he takes out the trash.)
  4. You balance and complete each other. You have similar interests, tastes, and beliefs, but enough differences and skill sets that you can learn from and help each other. (i.e. Bill oversees the finances and house repair, and I handle cooking, laundry, and our social calendar; it works!)
  5. You put the other person’s happiness and well being before your own, and can count on each other to always be there in time of need.
  6. You make time for each other every day, even if sometimes it’s just a phone call to say hello, and create special moments and memories just for the two of you, away from your children, family, and friends.
  7. You support each other’s dreams. Except when his dream is to buy a motorcycle. (LOL.)
  8. You listen to each other. Always. You can share your most personal thoughts, memories, dreams, and fears with each other without judgment.
  9. You make every major life decision together, considering each other’s ideas, needs, wants, and preferences.
  10. You are committed to make your relationship work. You stick with each other through thick and thin, through happiness and sorrow, through good times and bad, regardless of what has happened in the past, what is happening in the present, and what will happen in the future.

Is there anything else you would add to this list? I’d love to hear what you think. To see ten more things I think help make for a long and happy marriage, please visit my blog. And for an ultra romantic Valentine’s Day read, I hope you’ll check out books one and two in The Harrison Duet: Songbird and Propositions. They’re available in Trade Paperback and for Kindle and Nook. Happy Valentine’s Day, and Happy Reading!

Check out her 10 additional times on her Website.  What are your tips for a happily ever after?