Isn’t marriage supposed to make us happy?
Once we find our perfect partner, we’ll have a lock on happiness, right? That’s what we thought. And with good reason: The notion has some truth. Marriage does make us happy. The problem is that marriage will not make us as intensely happy — or for as long — as we believe it should. Studies reveal that the happiness boost from marriage lasts an average of only two years.
Unfortunately, when those two years are past and fulfilling our goal to find the ideal partner hasn’t made us as happy as we expected, we often feel there must be something wrong with us or we must be the only ones who feel this way. But we’re not. It’s the common course of love. And if left unattended, if we’re not deliberately “happy marriage” together, our relationship suffers.
So what’s a couple to do? How do you have a happy marriage? The answer is found in this short post.
1. Remind your partner (and yourself) that you appreciate them.
After you’ve been married for many, many years, that passionate kiss when your partner walks in the door can easily morph into a peck on the check that can then morph into an inability even to look up from your computer.
Studies show that nearly half of men who have cheated say it was because of emotional dissatisfaction — and not sex. When men don’t feel connected or appreciated by their wives, they are vulnerable to the advances of an attractive woman who casts a lustful glance their way. And fellows, it works the other way as well.
2. Say thank you for the little things.
“I cleaned out the kids’ closets, so you have to clean the basement.” “I moved for your job when we first got married, so now you need to move for mine.” “I initiated sex last time, so now it’s your turn.” But playing tit for tat is childish and will do nothing but chip away at the trust and connection you’ve built with your spouse.
If you are so inclined, keep score of all the positive things your partner does in a day — and then thank them. Hopefully, they’ll get the hint and do the same for you.
3. Practice honesty, even when you’re ashamed.
If you have maxed out a credit card or two and find yourself hiding the bills each month, you can bet it’s going to come back to bite you. Eventually, whether you’re applying for a home loan or simply talking about the costs of summer vacation, these kinds of money issues will either be brought to light by a credit report or by the simple fact you can’t afford a trip away.
Although infidelity usually happens in bed, it also can happen with money. And it will be a tough road gaining back your spouse’s trust if you’ve lied about overspending.
4. Take care of your appearance.
With many years and a few kids under your belt, it’s easy to let your appearance slide. Think about when you first met your partner. Would you have walked around in stained sweatpants and without brushing your teeth? My guess is no.
5. Watch your words.
There are many things you should never say to a long-time spouse, the first being: “Don’t you think our new neighbour is attractive?” That’s a question you just think you want to know the answer to. It’s also never a good idea to start a sentence with: “You know it’s always been your problem that…” Who wants to hear that from their partner? We hopefully all have a pretty good sense of ourselves at this point and having someone you love to point out a failing in this way does little to engender a loving relationship.
Getting married is never an issue, staying in marriage doesn’t even come close. But staying happy in marriage is the always the major issue. It’s not easy, then again it’s not impossible.
This is why you need to learn to always appreciate yourself and your partner, say thank you to little things, honesty is the best policy, your appearance matters a lot and lastly, watch every word that comes out from your mouth.
Do you have other tips you’d like to share? Kindly leave a comment!