I had a wonderful time Sunday morning. My brother Michael and his wife Teresa invited my boyfriend Joe and me over for breakfast at their shore home.

It was great: good conversation, delicious (and I mean delicious) homemade blueberry pancakes. Just the ideal way to begin another perfect beach day. The warmth that filled the room was from the love in the room and not just the sun shining through the windows.

My favorite thing about the morning, and something that will always stick in my mind, is my sister-in-law Teresa telling my brother what she was doing for him, and then she asked him in a very loving way, “do you know why I am doing this?” She smiled and continued. “Because I am a good girlfriend.” I love it! She was reminding my brother of how good she is to him in a loving, kind way.

Here they are married for 22 years and they still act like they did when they first met. They are still in love. The best part is they are still friends. So needless to say, Michael and Teresa have a wonderful marriage.

Now, as a woman who has been divorced twice I would often ask myself, what is the secret to a long lasting loving marriage? I like answers. Unfortunately, what I have come to learn is that in life sometimes you will never get the perfect answer. It’s up to us to create our answer or recipe for success.

I will say that I honestly believe that in life it really can be this easy: it’s luck of the draw. I have asked the question for years to men and women of all ages and they all have similar responses. There is always something that one person does in their own way to make their spouse feel special – you might call it their own secret ingredient to their happy marriage.

One woman once told me she always dresses nicely for her husband because she said in a very loving way, “if I don’t look my best for him there are plenty of other women out there who are more than willing to do it.” I cracked up. But, think about it…it’s so true. We should all look our best and be our best for ourselves and our spouses.

What I think Teresa has right is this:

  • She is a good woman.
  • She is a wonderful mom.
  • She knows who she is.
  • She exhibits a level of self-love for herself in a way that is so endearing you cannot help but love her.

So, applause to Teresa for reminding my brother who she is and for loving herself enough to be kind and loving to everyone who meets her.

I recently told her on the beach, “I am going to use that line. I like it so much.” So I used it the other day on my boyfriend Joe. I did something for him and said, “you know why I am doing that? Because I am a good girlfriend.”

Joe and I have both been in our share of failed relationships.

We do believe that we have found what we think will make our relationship a lifetime one, based on what we have created and will continue to build on: mutual respect, friendship and a ton of laughter.

So, I think its okay to remind the person you love that you are a good partner. I think it’s important to find your secret ingredients to make your marriage or relationship special.

Joe and I have found what makes our relationship special. And for me, I will continue on my journey of self-love so that he will never wonder how much I love him. When we love ourselves we can love others.

What have you done lately just for you or your partner? If you haven’t done anything special lately, start cooking up something special!

pancakes