It feels like we’ve been trying to figure out how to be happy and how to stay happy. So, it only makes sense to figure out what a happy marriage looks like.
We all know the definition of marriage, when two become one, joining of souls, and all the rest of the poetic romance. But, what’s it really like to be happy in a marriage, especially in today’s society? We’ve talked about how we should try our best not to compare our goals, our journey, our faces, or our bodies to anyone else. This also means we shouldn’t compare marriages. But, good old social media has its way of staging everything perfectly. From the books, we are reading in dim candlelight to our inexplicably happy marriage with our ridiculously perfect spouse.
It almost seems inappropriate to have someone who’s only been married for 7 years to write this article, so know that I relied heavily on the internet webs for this one. P.S. I want to be this couple below.
The first 5 secrets we already know for a happy marriage so it’s not so secret anymore.
Talking it out, talking to each other, but more importantly, talking with one another without having a fight ensue. It’s easy to talk when things are easy and sweet. The real test is when things aren’t easy and when you’re feeling sour. Being able to discuss the hard things like two people who actually love each other and not wanting to win every battle seems to be key in any happy relationship, more so in marriage.
We all know that we’re not supposed to go to bed angry, but maybe it’s better to not say things out of anger in the heat of the moment. So, sleep on it and wake up less heated and talk over breakfast. AOL Keyword: Talk not text each other because this is where technology has killed our ability to talk with other human beings and chances are, more misunderstandings emerge via text messages.
For couples with kids, this one is really important. How many times have you tried to carry a conversation while yelling over yelling kids and then you forget what you were even talking about? Try to win this battle because the more you stop talking to your spouse, the less happy you’ll be.
Talking is one thing, listening is another thing. Listening is something that’s really hard for most people to do because they just want to hear themselves talk. Most people’s world is centered around themselves and whatever they’re thinking. Even if you think you’re listening, you’re already preparing the next thing you want to say in your defense or to bring the attention back to you. Sooner or later, the other party will realize that it’s all about you and they will give up listening and not bother to respond back to you. Talking and listening are a two-way street. Click here to learn how to listen better if you’ve been told you’re a horrible listener.
This one is simple, if you don’t respect someone and they don’t respect you, then there’s no happy relationship let alone a happy marriage. Differences will arise but we have to remember we married someone with their own brain, so they will have their own opinions and thoughts.
With respect comes unconditional support. You probably know one wife who supports all her husband’s crazy antics and they are the happiest peas in a pod. My husband could care less about the different shades of dark berry lipstick, but he will unconditionally support me for at least an hour while I agonize over my decisions at Sephora. Meanwhile, I have negative interest in his football obsession, but once a year, I’ll wear a jersey and watch the first quarter with him.
Whether it’s 5 minutes in the laundry room or 90 minutes on your anniversary in a nice hotel, make time to connect with each other. This is especially important for couples with kids because long gone are the days where candles are lit, music is played, and things are taken slowly. Connecting with your spouse and feeling loved for however long it is, releases all those happy hormones and you’ll quickly feel centered once again. For new parents who are tired and never want to get anything near that area again, find other ways to be intimate so that you don’t lose the spark.
5 other secrets that are pretty new to me because I’m a marital newb. Maybe you’ll find these interesting like I did. P.S. Gad, isn’t this couple sooo cute?!?!?!
This one comes from retirees who are all happy married. For newlyweds, this part is easy because it’s all new, exciting, fresh, fun, and it’s for the most part, still just you two. Hang on to this moment for as long as possible. For young couples with kids, this is really hard to do. You have responsibilities now and the newlywed phase is pretty much over. You’ve got work, the mortgage, in laws, family, and people around you just need all the things from you. Soon, your spouse can become simply your roommate who you’re just trying to chug through life with. Make them a priority and see if both of you become happier in the midst of everything going on in life. We all love to feel like we’re #1 in someone’s life, might as well be that person we married.
There’s no sugar coating this but in-laws can sometimes be the cause of people getting divorced. Google says so. Some men are such mommy’s boys that they can’t seem to cut the cord even after they’ve become husbands or fathers themselves. Keeping the love, fun, respect, and peace with the in-laws is one thing, but being deeply enmeshed is a recipe for disaster. If your spouse is forever fretting over their family’s problems and putting the family you have together as last, that’s a sure-fire way of ensuring a miserable marriage. You and your spouse are one unit now and some things are meant to be kept private within that unit. Oversharing, over dependence, exchange of borrowed and never repaid the money, and even bad manners can cause such a rift in any marriage. So, learn to cut the cord, otherwise keep that umbilical cord on and don’t even go on Tinder right now.
Stay Out of Debt
Finances are such a private and tricky thing to talk about. What you do with your money should be between you and your spouse. If anyone hasn’t figured out by now that money ruins relationships, it totally does. This ties back with respecting one another in that if you are spending all your money and your spouse’s money, things will get sticky. The retirees recommend staying within your limits because debt means stress. And, we all know what stress does to us.
It’s the little things. What wife hasn’t said this to her husband at one point in time? It’s helping daily with the kids or asking how the day was at least 360/365 days out of the year. It’s noticing every time she gets a haircut or when she’s wearing a new lip color. Noticing and paying attention to your spouse almost every day means more than one big shiny present on Valentine’s and then again at Christmas to make up for ignoring her the entire year.
Try New Things Together/Keep Your Favorite Hobby Alive/Learn To Give Space
Whether you both like to ride bikes or only one of you is obsessed with coffee, find ways to support or keep what you love alive. It’s hard not to let life get in the way and when kids are in the picture, it’s even harder. One parent ends up with the kids and the other gets their break to go drink buckets of coffee. Trying new things together can strengthen and form new bonds between the two of you thanks to all the happy hormones again that come up when you do fun things.
The flip side is that not everyone needs to be joined to your ovaries, know when your spouse needs space. Some people love alone time and without, you really don’t want to be sitting next to them in tight quarters. Know yourself, communicate your needs, and nicely tell your spouse you need 10 minutes to play with your eyeshadow. To think you should be like that couple joined at the hips is just no.
Marriage is a beast at times, but it can be tamed to become the most loyal and loving creature you’ve ever known. Give and take, take and give. Say sorry and please often. Take the fault more than placing the blame. Try to make it about “us” rather than only about “me”. Set boundaries. Try to come to an understanding rather than the “I told you so, I’m always right.” And lastly, remember that both of you deserve happiness in this joint union no matter what.