It’s a well-known fact that relationships take a lot of work. The truth is marriage is not that much different. Yes, there are rules for a happy marriage, but if you go out and ask various couples what their secret to a happy marriage is, the answers will definitely differ.
There is no single universal answer to what you can or should do to have a happy marriage, but rather there’s a set of rules that help to create a deep and meaningful loving partnership.
Almost everyone has their own doubts when stepping into a marriage. And many will tell you that the first year of marriage was the hardest. Why? Because it takes a lot of dedication and effort to make a successful transition from being in a relationship to marriage.
Suddenly, you find yourself not just thinking about yourself but also your partner. You’re not the priority anymore. It’s definitely not easy. But if you and your partner are ready to commit to making it work, there is no obstacle tough enough to break the two of you apart.
And many people think that from the moment they say each other’s wedding vows, everything will be smooth sailing. The truth is the problems that you had in your relationship continue to appear in your marriage if they’re not dealt with.
There needs to be a lot of adapting by each one of you if you want to keep your marriage harmonious. Also, it’s important to have patience with one another and be courageous enough to admit your mistakes – because there’ll be plenty of them.
1. Express your love for your partner every day
If you want to have a happy and love-filled marriage, you have to prioritize showing your partner how much you love them each and every day.
While it might be easy for some people to express their feelings every day and say “I love you,” others have their own love language.
Showing physical affection should come to you very naturally and you shouldn’t hesitate to express your gratitude if your partner helped you in some way.
And expressing your love, in whatever shape or form, should be a part of your relationship – you already learned how to do that before you got married.
On the other hand, sometimes loving someone takes effort and patience. That’s especially true if your partner did something wrong or annoying.
But you should be able to admit to your partner that loving him takes a lot of effort sometimes.
Your emotions go up and down, just like they do when it comes to you loving your family and friends.
Loving your spouse can be tough sometimes and you might not be into it today. That’s normal, don’t worry.
But putting in the effort to express your love despite your own emotions is the key to a happy marriage. And sometimes that’s what marriage is.
Maybe you’ve been married for quite some time and you don’t know how to express your love for your partner.
It may take something as simple as a flirty or loving text to make his day.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and send him a message saying you’re thinking about him!
2. Let go of the past
Are you the type of wife who has a hard time forgetting about past arguments or fights?
Well, I know it’s tempting to bring them up again and again, and it’s easy to refer to them when you are in the heat of the moment.
Maybe your spouse didn’t clean up after he ate so you start digging up the past: “You never did… even when we were still dating,” or “Remember the time you…” The list goes on and on.
And the truth is old wounds need more time to heal. I know that.
But you shouldn’t haul out past issues (especially if they were already sorted out) every time you have an argument in your marriage.
Don’t use the past as a way to ease your frustration or gain the upper hand, because it will only lead you to a dark and scary place.
You don’t want to use it as your escape hatch every time you two have a fight.
It’s destructive and it will lead you nowhere. The issues that you’re having won’t get resolved that way.
Try to talk only about the issue at hand. Don’t let it escalate into a conversation about past mistakes.
And if you do have a problem, then talk it out and let it rest for a couple of hours. Some issues are really unresolvable and you need to accept that.
Try to reach a truce with your spouse and move on with your happy marriage.
3. Remember that magical spark
As I’ve already mentioned, when you get married, everything is different.
And it’s normal that you don’t feel the same way you did at the beginning of your relationship.
So, try to think back to when the two of you first met. Remember those sparks you felt when he ran his hands through your hair?
Try to remember those beautiful nights when you had deep, meaningful conversations and stayed up until sunrise.
It’s important to stay connected to your partner even though you might feel like the chemistry has faded. It hasn’t, you just have to work a bit to feel it again.
Try to be as self-aware as possible, so that you can tell your partner when you feel a bit disconnected from him.
Make sure to take care of that feeling so it doesn’t escalate into something more serious.
Never sweep those feelings under the rug because they won’t fix themselves.
Have an honest conversation with your spouse about your feelings. Try to find a solution that works for both of you.
4. Don’t be afraid to confront your partner
There are many myths about marriage that are making the rounds.
One of them is that people who are happily married don’t argue or have fights. That’s simply not true.
Remember, marriage partners are two different individuals who are trying to make it work.
Each of them has his and her own preferences and wishes.
That’s why there are going to be arguments and fights, no matter how hard you try to avoid them.
You’ve had arguments with your parents even though you love them dearly, right? Well, marriage is similar in that aspect.
Every now and then, you’ll disagree on things and it’s expected that tensions will run high.
There are healthy arguments and unhealthy ones.
But the fact is they can make you and your partner grew stronger, as long as you deal with them right away and not sweep them under the rug.
If you find a proper way to deal with arguments and come out of them stronger than you were before, your spouse will have more trust in you.
On top of that, he’ll feel comfortable expressing his emotions and let you know when he’s unhappy about something. B
y doing so, you’re going to avoid many unnecessary fights in the future.
5. Always be there for each other
There will be days when you don’t feel good and everything frustrates you.
There will also be days when you and your spouse don’t get along. In those moments, you have to be there for each other.
Set aside your problems and always kiss each other goodnight. Hold hands, give each other hugs when one of you doesn’t feel well.
Make a promise that you’re always going to be there for each other, no matter how difficult things might get.
Remember the reasons you two got married in the first place and try to work things out together.
Don’t hold onto negative emotions and thoughts, even though your partner frustrates you that day.
Let go of those feelings and try to focus on positive thoughts.
6. Don’t lose grip of your own emotions
One of the rules for a happy marriage is to be in charge of your own emotions.
It’s a wonderful thing always having your partner’s support and knowing you can count on him forever, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of shifting your problems to him so that he can fix them instead of yourself.
Many times, people who are married start to develop reassurance-seeking issues, questioning every decision they make and every word they say.
However, you have to remember that you are the only one in charge of your own emotions.
But you’re not just in charge of your emotions, you’re in charge of your actions and self-worth.
This is an important rule for a happy marriage and you should always try to practice it.
Strive to be more mature in handling your own emotions, because it’s the adult thing to do.
Don’t shift your problems onto your spouse and expect him to fix them. That’s not the way marriage and companionship works.
Eventually, you’ll end up blaming your partner for feeling so miserable and sad when it wasn’t his responsibility in the first place.
So next time you find yourself in a conflict situation, take ownership of your own emotions.
Try to control the negative feelings and not take them out on your partner.
You feel comfortable with your spouse, so that’s why you try to take the blame off of yourself and shift it to him.
But that’s the worst thing you could do!
Remember to take a step back and recognize the truth for what it is. Identify the source of your emotions and deal with them yourself.
7. Be supportive of each other’s dreams and goals
There was once this old tradition where a woman who wanted to get married had to give up her ambitions and dreams to support those of her husband.
But that was back in the past.
In modern relationships, both partners have their own dreams, goals, and careers.
If you’re lucky enough, you might find a partner who dreams to have the same career as you so that both of you can work together on them.
You should never expect your partner to ditch his own goals and dreams because he needs to support yours.
Women were mostly perceived as housewives whose only job was to take care of the household stuff. Well, good thing that’s not the case anymore.
Don’t settle for a guy who expects only that from you – a guy who wants just a girl who will give up on her dreams just to be a housewife.
That’s not the rule for a happy marriage. The rule is to always be supportive. And I don’t mean supportive with words, but actions too.
Encourage each other to continue on your paths to achieving greatness.
Also always help each other remove those obstacles to achieving your dreams and goals.
8. Keep up the communication
In these busy times, when everything is going at lightning speed and most of us live a fast-paced life, it’s important to slow down and listen to what your spouse has to say.
When your partner is talking about something that’s important to them, try to stop with your business and just listen with intention.
I know it’s sometimes a difficult thing to do, yet the main takeaway here is that you shouldn’t only hear his words, but truly listen to what your spouse is saying.
If you are unable to pay attention to what your partner has to say or if you are unable to focus on your conversation at that moment, just tell him.
You won’t offend your partner if you say that you’re not ready to have the conversation yet.
It’s much worse if you pretend that you’re there and you’re focused when you’re not.
9. Embrace change
Most married couples who are on the verge of divorce, when asked what pushed them away from each other, cite reasons such as “He/she isn’t the same person I married,” or “He/she changed a lot.”
Changes will inevitably happen.
Your opinion about a certain subject, hobbies, and even your lifestyle will change eventually and there’s nothing wrong with that.
It wouldn’t be good if you stayed the same and never grew to be a better person.
Different situations and challenges shape us and sometimes they irreversibly change us, whether for the better or for the worse.
Don’t hang on for too long to the past, longing for something that should stay there.
Don’t fantasize about how it used to be. Instead, embrace the change and focus on your marriage right now.
One of the rules for a happy marriage is that you have to embrace those changes that happen in you and your spouse – and it’s important that both of you do that.
Growing together can only strengthen your bond as it becomes an intimate thing that you two only share.
10. Maintain physical intimacy
Treat your relationship like the intimate connection that it is. It’s one of the key rules for a happy marriage.
Even though our lives are hectic and we have a lot of stuff going on, it’s easy to forget when the last time was that you and your partner actually shared some intimate physical moments.
In a blink of an eye, your relationship shifts from being lovers to roommates.
Those spontaneous, magical moments are the most exciting ones, right?
You have to keep the spark alive in the bedroom, even if all you want to do right now is binge-watch some TV show and nothing else.
Physical touch and intimacy are necessary to keep the spark alive and deepen your emotional connection.
One way to achieve that is to date your spouse.
Pick one day a week where only the two of you go on a date, just like the old times. And I know you’ve heard this one before, but it actually works.
When was the last time you and your partner went to watch a movie and then grabbed dinner afterward?
Well, if you can’t remember, then you’re not doing it right.
Create time to do things together that both of you enjoy. And they don’t necessarily need to cost a lot of money.
Remember, small things really do make a difference. Cook dinner together if your budget is too tight to go for a fancy dinner.
Put a movie on your laptop if you can’t afford cinema tickets.
Pick a date night and let your imagination run wild.
11. Be patient, affectionate, and grateful
You know that the people who are closest to you can hurt you the most, right?
Even though you can’t avoid being hurt sometimes by those who are closest to you, you should always be patient and kind to your partner.
By doing that, you’re taking the first step in trying to solve the problem at hand.
When you’re arguing with your partner, it’s easy to lose your cool. But you have to remember that this is the person you love.
Always try to be compassionate and understanding of each other’s needs and emotions.
And if you can’t work things out now, then let it rest a bit. Once your emotions settle down, then try to solve whatever the problem is.
Also, remember that little things do really matter.
Even the smallest act like bringing your spouse a glass of water to her bedside is showing him that you love him.
Say thank you and be appreciative.
12. Do things together as a team
One of the golden rules for a happy marriage is to do all things together as a team.
That means you have to take the trash once in a while. It also means that your husband needs to do the dishes if you don’t have time for it that day.
Sometimes when your schedules don’t match, for instance, it’s easy for one to blame the other for not preparing dinner by the time they get home.
That’s why it’s best to try to do everything as a team and give each other roles or tasks that you need to do for that specific day.
Maybe one of you can cook great burgers while the other one knows how to perfectly mow the lawn.
When you’ve been married for quite some time, it’s easy to overlook the importance of working out those tiny details.
BONUS: Things you should never do in a marriage
Don’t ever be selfish.
Even if you were used to being solo while in a relationship, once you get married, you have to put your spouse’s needs above your own.
Selfishness is when you spend more time with your friends than with your spouse.
And it will certainly make the other person feel unimportant and insignificant.
Tackle life as a team and never be selfish.
Don’t be jealous.
Another toxic thing that can ruin your marriage is jealousy. Things like arguments over jealousy issues can wreck a marriage.
Ask yourself this: Do your own insecurities contribute to you having fights with your spouse?
Try to be honest with your partner and work together as a team to find a solution.
Never stop communicating with each other.
We all have old habits and baggage that we carry into marriage, and poor communication is certainly one of them.
Many married couples are on the verge of divorce because they simply don’t communicate well.
That’s why you have to act with kindness and listen to what your partner has to say. By doing so, you’re nurturing your relationship.
Communicating with your partner should be something that you embrace when you decide to get married, not be seen it as another chore.
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