From Newlywed to The Golden Years: Advice for a Successful Marriage

written by: Andrea Peterson

I have been married to one of the most amazing men for just over 10 years. We got married young—not by Utah standards, but on the east coast (where we lived prior to moving to the Beehive State), we were young. We met in college and, bam, got married shortly after. We made it through grad schools in Boston, work in Miami, and now a new life in Utah.

Ten years later, we’re still having fun. We often get asked how we make a marriage work—especially after ten years. It’s hard to put into words what it means to be married to Travis Peterson or how we make marriage work. But here it is.

I can’t say this enough: Marriage is whatever you make it.

This has been and will always be our motto. Marriage is between two people and ONLY those two get to decide what that looks like—not society, not your family, not your friends, not your strangers. And so we did and have made our version of marriage.

Every day we try to learn something new about each other and do something new with each other so that it still feels like we are dating each other. But at the same time, we know each other on a raw and deep-rooted level that makes us feel like an old married couple. I thank Travis for letting me be crazy, free-spirited, creative, loving, passionate and wild. But I also thank him for letting me be angry, sad, frustrated, hurt and annoyed. I thank him for both, because that is all of me and he let’s me be me. I love what we are and I am excited to see what we will become. 

Don’t take my word on it. We reached out to several Utah brides to find out what they have learned about marriage be it one year or thirty one.


Charla Cochran and John Bocchicchio – Married 1 year

“I wish I had fully understood the fact that John is perpetually running a few minutes behind. We can’t ever get out door on time, but I adjust my expectations or I tell him everything is happening 10 minutes earlier. As long as we are laughing and communicating, life is grand.”


Jan and Dave Willams – 31 years

“Take it one day at a time. There will be ups and downs. Don’t do anything rash during the down times or the really up ones either. Save big decisions for the stable, level times. Take time each day to remember why you married your spouse. Be grateful.”


Maureen Conroy and Kit Webber – Married 8 years

“Designing your own wedding rings is completely impractical and unnecessary. And strapless gowns are BS.”


Stephanie Howell and Eric Peterson – Married 20 years

“That the things I fell in love with—the kind eyes, the unexpected laugh, the sharp intellect, the dry humor—are the things I would fall in love with again, 20 years later…in the faces of our kids.”


Anne Lee and Claude Halter – Married 4 years

“Every marriage is different. People may try to tell you how your marriage should be, but it’s whatever you build together with your partner and what makes the two of you happy.”


Jessica Ohlen and Stephen Bronson – Married 10 years

“Habits are really hard to break and you really need to accept your partners habits. Ten years in, I still can’t get Stephen to put down the toilet seat. I will forever have to check before I sit down in the middle of the night.”

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