Some people say that the honeymoon phase lasts anywhere from six months to two years into the relationship. If you are already married, chances are you have survived and thrived for far longer. So you will know there is no marriage rulebook and no step-by-step guide to creating a lasting marriage. But there are certain secrets to a happy marriage that you may find useful if you are going through a rough patch.
Or, if you are a newlywed and want to put your best foot forward and learn how to have a happy marriage that lasts.
Here are some of the top marriage tips that will help almost every couple.
1. Remember You Are a Whole Person First, a Partner Second
People may tell you that marriage is about compromise, give and take, and putting the other person first. While this might be true to a certain degree, it does not address the fact that you are a whole person and not someone’s “other half.”
To have the best marriage possible, you need to explore your own interests, have hobbies, friends, and alone time. Your spouse is not your whole world. But they are part of your world and they make it better by being in it.
Another misconception is that you need to be single or separate to love yourself and pursue your life’s purpose. In fact, it is far easier to chase your dreams with the support of a loving spouse.
2. Appreciate the Small Things
This is one of the easiest secrets to a happy marriage to put into action, yet it is often forgotten. Who does not like someone recognizing their efforts, no matter how small? Especially when it is their husband or wife?
Appreciating your spouse is as easy as thanking them for taking out the trash in the rain. It is giving them a kiss on the forehead when they are grading papers late at night. It’s thanking them for making coffee, even if they do it every day.
Never take your spouse and their small acts of love for granted.
3. Recognize the Peaks and Valleys
Often when married couples think their relationship has turned sour and it’s time to call the divorce lawyers, they are experiencing something very natural. They are experiencing the organic ebbs and flows of their relationship.
Some nights you cannot keep your hands off each other but other nights you want to curl up with a good book instead. Some years you might jet off on vacations every other month. And other years, the kitchen needs remodeling, so you need to tighten the purse strings.
The secrets to a long marriage that last have everything to do with learning to respect the rhythms of the relationship.
4. Make an Effort for Your Spouse
Remember when you were dating and you ironed your shirts or wore your best dress for each other? Didn’t it feel good when your partner made an effort for you to show you they cared?
Now, being 100% comfortable with each other is far healthier than keeping up the rose-tinted dating glasses. But making an effort with your appearance is an act of self-love, as well as an act of love for your spouse. It is one of the most well-known, yet important, secrets to a happy marriage.
5. Be Your Spouse’s Number One Fan
To have the best marriage, you need to be your partner’s cheerleader.
Let’s say they are preparing for a job interview. You are the one that needs to be helping them with notes and building up their confidence when they feel anxious. You are the one that tells them to “go for it” and wants to see them succeed.
You are a married couple, which means your partner’s success is your success and vice versa.
6. Don’t Keep Score but Play Your Part
Believe it or not, you and your partner are on the same team and you are shooting in the same hoops. Do you know who wins when one of you cleans the dishes? Both of you, because you can both enjoy clean dishes and an empty sink!
But it is not a partnership when one of you takes more than you give. Forget gender roles and what works for other couples, figure out how to split the daily chores and tasks so that you are both happy.
If one of you likes cooking more than the other, they are the chef in the marriage. If one of you is a planner, they are in charge of vacations. No one likes cleaning the bathroom, so you have to figure out a way to make it work and avoid resentment.
Keep communicating and, to keep up the sports metaphors, stepping up to the plate in your marriage.
7. Always Be Honest No Matter What
In her book Daring Greatly, researcher Brené Brown states that feeling shame is taking off the mask and hoping the “real you” is not too disappointing. In a marriage, you cannot hide, soften, or disguise parts of yourself.
It is not fair nor healthy, and you are not giving your spouse a chance to accept and appreciate the real you.
It is tough to be vulnerable if you feel ashamed. But you will never learn how to have a great marriage by not being open, honest, and trusting your partner. Don’t forget your spouse is a flawed and messy person, too.
8. Be Kind
No “I told you so.” No “that is so typical of you.” No snide remarks, petty comments, or below-the-belt digs.
Your spouse deserves more than your judgment, criticism, and for you to hit where it hurts. When you know someone so well, it is too easy to take advantage of their Achilles heel in an argument or when you want something.
Sometimes, it takes strength to do the kindest thing and it is a muscle you both need to exercise.
You also need to learn how to apologize when you haven’t been kind. Remember, even if you think you are right, the relationship is always more important than being right.
Unlock the Secrets to a Happy Marriage Today
These are only some of the secrets to a happy marriage. Every relationship is different and you both need to find the key to unlock the secrets to help your marriage be a long and happy one.
Contact us today to see how we can help you make that happen.