20 Things I Learned From 20 Years of Marriage


20 Things I Learned From 20 Years of Marriage
By Bernadette A. Moyer


1) Commitment is key
2) With the right partner all things are possible
3) Most things aren’t worth arguing over
4) Loyalty matters
5) Your partner must feel that they come first
6) Falling in and out of love to some degree is normal
7) Always choose love and it is a choice
8) Kids and money really are the stressors
9) Not every day is going to go your way and that is okay
10) Check in multiple times during the day
11) Choose wisely, make big decisions together
12) There is a time to come together and a time to give each other space
13) Set goals and work together to achieve them
14) Always make the time for fun and laughter
15) Do as many things together as you both enjoy
16) Share a common vision, gratitude and willingness to learn and grow
17) Support each other’s dreams and goals, show up and be present
18) Compliment and appreciate each other frequently
19) Make love, lots and lots of love
20) Talk to one another and really listen and hear one another

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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Taking Responsibility – Making Time


Taking Responsibility – Making Time
By Bernadette A. Moyer



Today our son achieved his weight loss goal. He lost 50 pounds in six months, six months almost to the day. He has taken responsibility for his health and his life. He set a goal for himself and he achieved it. There was no trick, gimmick or special pill; it was all diet and exercise. He had to change his habits and how he thought and he had to make an effort.

When we change our thinking, we change our lives.

We take time and we make the effort for people and for things that are important to us. If our health is a priority we make the time and the effort to achieve good health. The same can be said about all of our relationships including the one we have with ourselves.

We show people we care about them by taking time out of our lives to spend time with them. How we treat ourselves also says a lot about who and what we are all about.

Recently my husband and I were talking to a salesperson and in that casual conversation he shared that he was recently divorced. He said that it was the result of neglect. The marriage died due to a lack of effort. As we drove home my husband and I continued the conversation that most relationships will die without any real effort. It takes work and it takes effort to make a marriage work long term.

A good marriage takes work and it takes effort, it is pretty plain and simple, there are no gimmicks or special secrets. We agreed that we work really hard at making our relationship a priority. Taking responsibility and making time for the things that matter to us is what we do to feed out hearts and our souls and to live our own best life.

Here is to taking responsibility and for making time … for all the people, places and things that make us happy and whole.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

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By Bernadette A. Moyer


It was the middle of summer 2016 and our adult son was acting out, it was one episode after another and one lengthy hospital stay after another. No matter what we did or what we said our son was determined to end up at our local hospital. He always had “issues” we all have “issues” but this summer he was full blown acting out in ways that not only weren’t helping him but they were in fact hurting him.

I raised him from the time he was just an infant although he was not my biological child, he was his father’s son. We were at wits end and really uncertain as what we should do next, nothing was working. We literally were on standby mode, our son was in charge, it was his life and as an adult he was making all his own decisions.

We felt completely helpless as we witnessed him doing things that were not going to help him and definitely were hurting us too. During the midst of the crisis my husband woke up one morning and said, “I had a bad dream last night. I dreamt there was a note left on the kitchen table. It was from you and it said “bye” just one word “bye!” We both laughed really hard.

They say behind every joke there is a hint of truth. I knew right away what he was saying. No one needed to be put through some of the stuff our adult kids put us through. Some marriages don’t survive it. After everything we had been through together with our kids he knew that someone else might have said that is it, I’ve had it, “Bye!”

Until you are a parent yourself and until or unless you have raised children to maturity you have no way of truly knowing just how much work and effort and love and determination go into raising kids. There is just no way to know until you do the job yourself.

“A simple bye can make us cry, a simple joke can make us laugh and a simple care can make us fall in love.” Author Unknown

What would “bye” have done for him or for me or for our family? Yes I wanted out of this situation with our son but I didn’t want to leave my husband or my marriage over it.

Some relationship need a healthy “bye” when it is over and time to move on. Today after everything we have shared in our marriage we can laugh and say “bye” but what we really mean is we don’t want that issue or that thing to be creating any harm or hurt or upsets between us.

And now that some time has passed and we all survived the drama and recent episodes our son created and survived it together, our marriage is stronger and better and healthier and we hope and pray that adult son takes the good and the lessons and leaves the rest behind with a big healthy “bye” of his own.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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You Can’t Have History with No History


You Can’t Have History with No History
By Bernadette A. Moyer


One of the very first things that my husband ever said to me was, “I can’t wait until we have some history together.” He was longing for a long term relationship and marriage that had eluded him. He had two previous marriages not only end badly but both lasted just over a year. One marriage ended in divorce and one in death.

I knew what he meant because we shared a similar history. I had one relationship end in infidelity just like he did and before that a husband who died.

In my marriage to my husband Brian, we both wanted the same things; a long lasting and loving marriage. We wanted to be in it together.My prior relationships both lasted just over five years. Some history but really not that much and history dies when the partner dies. It is there, it is part of the past but it is also just a memory. You can’t build anything on what is already dead. When it is dead, it ends.

“If you change partners every time it gets tough or you get a little dissatisfied then I don’t think you get the richness that’s available in a long-term relationship.” Jeff Bridges

Nothing can take the place of history. You either have it or you don’t. Nothing can take the place of years and years of time spent together. And when you have the desire to continue to grow your history, you know that it is only possible because it is a living loving thing that you share and work toward together.

When we have history it is harder and harder to just let it go. You begin to cherish each other more and more because you have shared a significant period of time in your lives together. We shared our 30’s and our 40’s and now our 50’s together.

Love grows. I can honestly say that I love and I enjoy my husband more today than during many of our earlier years. It took the times together, the experiences both up and down that helped us to build a life together. We definitely have history. This year we honor our 20 years of marriage and 25 years together.

Like all couples with a history we have endured many challenges. Some could have torn us apart and they didn’t. Looking back our challenges brought us even closer together. Today our history is not only long but rich.

When we lose people that we loved our loss is of course in having that person in our lives gone from us, and what we also lose and what gets wiped away is the ability to share more and to create more history.

You cannot have a history without what takes time, lots and lots of time and years and years of investment and most of all commitment to acquire.

Bernadette on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

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No Trust – No Relationship


No Trust – No Relationship
By Bernadette A. Moyer


Think about it? You might tolerate someone that you don’t trust but you won’t be close to them. A lack of trust equals a lack of closeness and the ability to form truly close interpersonal relationships.

I know people that worked through their trust issues in marriages and in family relationships but it took time, it took maturity, it took forgiveness, it took ownership and most of all it took the ability and the desire to fix and to attempt to repair what was broken.

Because of all my writings I hear from parents around the world, parents who had adult child estrange themselves for whatever reasons and the number one take away when that adult child makes an attempt to come back is “guard your heart” and “I could never trust them again.”


When we hurt others and when we are truly sorry most people will forgive us and if the relationship is important and meaningful, they may try to repair it. But when you have someone in your life that not only hurt you but shows no true sense of remorse, it is virtually impossible to have a relationship with them. You may decide to tolerate them but there is no true closeness and no real relationship.

Every single one of us has done something in our life that we regret and are sorry for and about, and if we want to be forgiven and to be acknowledged and accepted we must start by 1) owning what we did and 2) try to right any of our wrongs.

Sometimes it is worth the time and the effort to work on repairing and in other relationships it may just be healthier and better to let sleeping dogs lay. Some people just don’t deserve another chance. Some people do.

In my lifetime, I have forgiven everyone, everything and I didn’t do it for them or because I wanted to have a relationship with them, I did it for myself, I did it so I wasn’t stuck and burdened with that kind of garbage. I have also owned my stuff, what did I do wrong? What could I have done better? Sometimes ownership is all it takes.

My husband and I have been together for over 24 years now soon to be 25years, in that length of time we have hurt each other, we have done things to one another that required true forgiveness.

“It takes seconds to destroy what it takes years to build.” Lou Holtz

Forgiveness that was always followed by our truest sense of sorrow, sorrow over our hurts toward one another and our willingness to put our ego aside and humble ourselves enough to not only be sorry but willing to accept the consequences of our actions and work toward rebuilding those hurts.

Anyone in a long term relationship or marriage knows that inevitably we will hurt our partners either knowingly or unknowingly but the desire to work through it is greater than the need to be right. The greater goal and the greater good are always to get through it together and remember than there is no “I” in “we.”

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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Trust Your Wife, Dear!


Trust Your Wife, Dear!
By Bernadette A. Moyer


It is being reported that Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders wife is one of his most trusted advisors and that Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is often advised by his wife “to act more Presidential.”

For years when I suggested something new to my husband it was often met with comments like “did I ask for that” and “I don’t want that” and today we laugh about it because he knows it is true. When I wanted to hook him up to social media he was giving me such a hard time that I just set him up and then forgot about it. Today he has more followers on Twitter than I do and he is much better versed in Twitter too!

He balked initially at the iPad I gave him for Christmas several years ago and yet today I don’t think he could live without it. He uses it multiple times each day, the same can be said for the electric tooth that he balked at using and now readily uses every single day.

So what is it? Is it that it is my idea? Or that male thing that is so afraid of being cared for and supported by a woman? In his words he doesn’t want to be “whipped” by a woman. That just makes me laugh!

And here is why, when you enter into a partnership like a marriage, to be successful, you support each other. That’s just how it works. Their success is your success and your success is their success. I don’t try to control him and he makes that easy by being so committed and dependable. Trust is a natural byproduct when someone stands by you through all the events in life, the good events and the not so good ones. Through time and tests you learn that they are there for you.

My husband is a tough guy who knows who he is and even though we spend a lot of our time together, he is an individual. We are a traditional couple. He has his jobs and I have mine.

Learning to trust takes time, for me it took a really long time because I had only ever experienced close family relationships that really could not be trusted. That was all I knew. My husband being who he is that regular guy, who just never lets me down, allowed me to learn that I could and that I should trust him.

His resistance to trusting in me was rooted in something completely different. For him it felt like giving in or yielding. It was like I was asking him to give up his manhood. I wasn’t. I wanted to share with him the things I liked and I wanted to support him. Now he knows that and we laugh at how often he tried to resist.

At almost 25 years together, I know that he knows that he can “Trust your wife, dear.” And that any good marriage is one that has been battle tested and through those battles you do learn that you can trust one another and that in the right relationship/marriage you will have mutual trust, love and support.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

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An Amazing Love Story!


An Amazing Love Story!
By Bernadette A. Sahm


It is an amazing love story and it is ours! My husband has often said, “Wouldn’t it have been great if we met in high school and started our relationship then?” My answer is always the same, “no because we would not have been ready for one another.”

In my view our timing was just right and some have even called it “a marriage made in heaven, by heaven.” We were both widowed with children when we met and we had both been pretty broken up by some life events. We knew what it feels like to be hurt by love.

No one is more surprised by how happy and content I am in our 24 year relationship than me, in the past I was averaging about 5-years as a “long-term” relationship. After 5-years I was either bored or broken.

Brian and I have faced many life altering events together, we came together with two broken families and tried to merge two half’s to make a whole. I give him the credit for having the patience he has with me. Early on he often said, “You are not alone.” This was in response to my extreme independence and my history of going it alone. I had trust issues and they were multi-layered.

I came from a family that had no boundaries when I was growing up and severely lacked any respect. Sadly this has remained the same throughout adulthood. And learning to let my guard down and to trust was really difficult for me. I did not come from a loving family, hard as it is to admit it, it is the absolute truth.

Whereas Brain grew up knowing that his parents loved him and that they were really proud of him. He also credits sports as the vehicle that saved him from growing up in the inner city that was surrounded by poverty, drugs and violence.

I always knew that my father loved me and I always suspected that my mother did not. When I was born she remained in the hospital and I was sent home. She had difficulties after giving birth to me. My father favored me and I was his female namesake. When she died I was excluded from her obituary as though I never existed. Affirmed and affirmed over and over again, our strained relationship.

When I left home I immediately jumped into yet another abusive relationship, this was what was known to me and what felt normal. It took a lot of strength and a lot of work to rise above it and to move away from abusive relationships. Today I have zero tolerance for any abuse that is directed toward me, I don’t just walk away, I run and I seal the door shut. I now know better.

Brian and I both knew there was a better way … and together we created that better way. That doesn’t mean that during the early years we weren’t challenged and we certainly did our fair share of hurting one another. Our commitment to our union was always stronger than any desire to flee. We loved each other and we wanted to work through our challenges and we wanted to do it together as a team.

We truly enjoy each other and I can’t tell you how often I have heard, “Brian doesn’t talk to anyone or Brian doesn’t talk to me.” Yet from day 1 we had conversations that went on for hours. I literally couldn’t shut him up! Today he may not initially talk to new people but he does once he trusts them.

He is really good at checking people out and makes really great character decisions. So back to ours is a love story and what makes it so …

First off we are attracted to one another I think he is handsome and he finds me attractive, yep it’s pretty primal but then right after that is that we have so much in common and that we like the same things. We grew up in the same period of time and still enjoy classic rock and roll music and much of what the 70’s were all about.

And even though we are really close, travel a lot together and spend so much time together he makes me laugh with conversations like this one that just took place yesterday. Me: so what are you watching? Him: Football because that’s what men do on Sunday’s. I just laugh and keep cooking! Oh my God, did he really just say that!

My husband really loves me and I really love him, we really like each other too. Pretty basic but that is the secret to our happy marriage and we respect one another. We have boundaries that we have built a very safe, loving and lasting love affair upon … ours is a favorite love story and I hope that yours is too.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble