What goes into a “happy” marriage?

Let’s dive into marriage

Marriage like motherhood, isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows. Marriage take a lot of WORK. You are now coexisting with another human for the rest of your life. It is a big change and life tends to change a lot.

Oh hey! Life.in.Season

Your marriage is going to have a LOT of seasons. You’ll get the happy, the sad, the hard, the dark, the elated, the lonely, the weathered, and the list goes on.

Here are a few insights about marriage, in case your perception was skewed a bit.

  1. Even happy couples fight

Like all relationships, there are ups and downs. You must remember that marriage is still a RELATIONSHIP, just because you are married doesn’t mean that part of the puzzle goes away. But arguing Is in fact healthy. When you argue, happy marriages listen to each other’s point of view, recognize when the argument is going off the rails, and make the necessary repairs. So just because you maybe are going through a rough patch and are at opposite ends of a point of view, that doesn’t mean you’re in an unhappy marriage, in fact, it means you’re in a normal one.

a couple talking while arguing
  1. Focus on each other’s strengths

The minor annoyances can be triggering, however try to look past those and really understand your spouse’s strength’s and weaknesses.

For instance, if you now your spouse isn’t great with coming up with dinners for the week but he/she loves to cook, you plan out the meals and have your spouse cook them. Or if your spouse isn’t great with numbers but you are, you manage the checkbook. 

a man looking at the paper while holding a coffee and phone
  1. Don’t expect your spouse to complete you

It’s all great and romantic when someone says this, but in reality, it’s setting up for an over-dependent relationship. You can’t rely on your spouse to fulfill your every need. Neither of your will grow as individuals when this happens. Instead- complement each other, instead of complete. Do things that interest you and make plans to see the people your spouse might not generally like to see. 

man love people woman
  1. But still do fun things together

While you’re not fully depending on your spouse for your happiness, you should still do fun things with him/her. It is necessary for a happy marriage to have partners share common experiences. Try new activities together.

man and woman boat rowing in sea during golden hour
  1. Make the conscious effort to be attracted to your spouse

What attracted you to your spouse when you first met? Is that still the same today? It’s ok if that attraction has diminished, but you must find something else to be attracted to. For instance, you could be really attracted to how amazing of a father/mother your spouse is to your children. You could be attracted at your spouse’s eyes, or their sense of humor. Whatever it is, you are keeping that in your forefront.

happy couple embracing in nature
  1. Laugh with each other

There are lot of season in marriage, those dark and stressful ones are really tough to get through. A tool you and yours spouse should always use in those times and in the good times, is laughter. Laugh with each other because it releases endorphins that create the happy thoughts, what help with connecting with your spouse. Laughter also helps us to relax and destress. It takes up away from reality for a moment and take us to euphoria. So tell a random joke, send a funny video, watch your favorite comedy together.

happy couple unpacking boxes and dancing
  1. Be kind to each other

It can be easy to forget to speak kindly to your spouse. That’s because the both of you are so comfortable with each other the filter is misplaced. However, if you re critical and judgmental more times than none, it usually ends in defensiveness and resentment. So try to keep things pleasant, avoid taking stabs at your spouse’s character when you’re upset. For instance: instead of, “you’re such a slob!” Try, “since I got the kids cleaned and to bed, I would appreciate if you could do the dishes.” See the difference???

person holding white printer paper
  1. Celebrate the small moments

Marriage has a lot of big moments that get a lot of attention, but it honestly has more small moments that lack in attention. So celebrate the small stuff. If your spouse tells you they got a great review from their boss and are up for a promotion. Focus on them. Stop what you are doing and turn on your active listening ears. Ask questions, congratulate, and show your appreciation for their hard work.

sea sunset beach couple
  1. Appreciate each other

Getting into a rut is natural and normal. Couples will forget to show gratitude toward their partner because it’s an every day occurrence. But when we aren’t recognized or appreciated for what we are doing right and our efforts, partners can start to feel devalued and resentful & potentially grow apart. 

So if you spouse made the bed in the morning (which you usually do) tell them, it made you smile to see the bed was taken care of. 

man and woman hugging on brown field
  1. Accept and expect change

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it 100million times again. We are not the same person throughout our entire lifespan. Life happens, seasons happen, our views, believes, and perceptions all change over time. We are not the same person we were when we said I DO. Which means, couples having to be willing to accept that each person is going to grow and change as time goes on. Each partner also has to be willing to adapt to these changes. In successful marriages, each person supports the other so that they can grow to become the best person they can be, and that means maturing as individuals and together as a team. 

elderly couple sitting on couch

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, your marriage is going to take continual work. It is naive for couples to think everything will be smooth after the wedding. As much as we’d like for that to be the reality, it’s not. So remember to work on what you fought so hard for in the beginning. Show up for your spouse and they’ll show up for you. Reminisce on the life you’ve created and bask in the glory of what you’ve overcame.

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