How to Survive a Long-Term Relationship

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Most people struggle to keep marriages and long-term relationships alive and well. Judi Schindler shares the secrets to her 53-year marriage success.

In 2012, Judi Schindler began entertaining audiences with her witty, candid advice on men and marriage. Her program, Husbands: An Owners Manual—How to Survive a 50-Year Marriage, explains how to select a husband and how to maintain him in good working order. Five years later, she wrote a funny and wise book with the same title.

Schindler began her career as a public relations and marketing consultant, heading a 10-person firm for more than 40 years. In 2008, she took up a second occupation as an actor, performing in local theaters, commercials and films and recording voice-overs for a variety of organizations.

Check out highlights below for episode #296: Husbands: An Owners Manual (A humorous look at how to stay married).

How to Survive a Long Term Relationship

What inspired you to start talking about and writing about marriage?

I started writing about and performing when I became an actor. As an actor, you’re at someone else’s mercy, and I had always been my own boss. That’s why I wanted something that was my own that I could perform. I knew about this topic, because I was married for so long!


What’s the best advice you can give someone who wants to stay in a long-term relationship or married for life?

The secret to my marriage is that my husband and I never had a single meaningful conversation in 53 years. If you want a meaningful conversation, call your girlfriends. On our 35th anniversary, we were at a restaurant, and I asked what he liked best about me. He said the best thing about me was that I was his. That wasn’t what I was hoping to hear.

I really think one of the secrets to a long-term relationship is nurturing and protecting a man’s ego. Men have very fragile egos. You have to brag about them in front of their friends. You need to say things like, “Gee you look great today.” Men need those kinds of ego boosts.


What do you like about your marriage?

We built a family. We care about each other’s relatives. He’s an emotional support that goes above what I’d get from a friend. We’ve been by each other’s side for so long.


You advise women to stay away from professional athletes. Can you explain why?

Unlike rock stars or movie stars who struggle for years, professional athletes are adored and treated like gods from when they’re very young. As they get older, girls start hanging around. In college, they get better food or excused from tests. [Why would you want to date a man who is spoiled and thinks he’s superior to others?]


What are the benefits of a long-term marriage?

You never have to date again! You’ve built a life together, and it’s very special. One of my sisters recently died, and my husband was there for me in an instant. He didn’t hesitate to spend $1,500 a ticket for me to travel to be with my other sister. He has stepped up in moments of crisis. It’s wonderful to look back on your life and know that he’s with you all the way.

I consider myself so lucky that at 22, I was able to find someone I could be with for so many years.


What are some basic truths you’d like to share about the secrets to a marriage that lasts?

Your marriage is as much you as the man you’re married to. If you can’t adjust to his quirks, he can’t adjust to yours. I don’t believe in unremitting togetherness. Be responsible for your own life and enrich it.


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