How to Have a Happy Marriage
When it comes to marriage there’s no “secret sauce.” It’s a two-way street, and if you want to ensure both you and your spouse are happy and fulfilled then you both need to put in the time and energy towards connection.
While we’ve definitely had our struggles, my husband and I have learned through trial and error how to have a happy marriage. It’s a choice, not something that magically happens, and these are some of the ways we maintain a happy marriage.
- Be Sweet. Compliment the good and only discuss the “bad” when you aren’t angry. Choose to think loving thoughts about your partner, and focus your energy the things that are great about them. Sure, everyone has their flaws, but why harp on those? How will that create a happy partnership? Instead, put your efforts into loving them and appreciating them just as they are. Encourage them, compliment them, and lift them up. No matter how long you’ve been together your significant other should always get the special treatment, just like they did when you first started dating. Have great conversations, ask them about their interests, and make them the priority in your life.
- Be Free. Encourage personal time and independence. Just because you’re a couple doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking moment together. Both of you should take time for yourselves, doing the things you love and are passionate about. Have your own friends, hobbies, passions, interests, and identity.
- Have Fun. Make time to hang out, have fun, and try new things. The dinner-and-a-movie date is tired. Go bowling, try bumper cars, go for a hike, bike in the park, go to a play, check out a comedy club, try a bootcamp class together, go salsa dancing…. Most importantly, make time for it. Block out a time – at least once a week – to spend time together.
- Talk Later. Choose to speak kindly to each other. Don’t take your anger out on each other. No matter what kind of day you’ve had or how you’re feeling, always speak kindly and respectfully to your partner. If you’re upset or angry, choose to be a wise, mature adult and let the emotions subside before you have a conversation. Otherwise you’ll likely end up saying some hurtful, stupid things you don’t even mean. Focus on having a clear, productive, respectful conversation – even if it’s a few hours later than you’d like.
- Accept. You can’t change your partner, you can only change yourself. So love him and accept him just the way he is, and let go of the ideas you have on how he “should” or “could” be.
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