Though people get married for a variety of reasons, almost all will agree they want to be happy in marriage. Unfortunately, not every married couple feels completely happy. In fact, many find married life frustrating and limiting.
So, how do you find happiness in marriage? How do you make sure you and your partner are happy and committed to each other 5, 10, 15 or even 40 years after your wedding day? If you keep in mind the following thoughts, you can create and maintain happiness throughout your marriage.
Don't take work for granted
Don't think of marriage as a milestone to reach with smooth sailing afterward. The work really begins once the wedding is over and all the guests are gone. A marriage requires attention, and the moment you stop working on it, it can start to fall apart.
Find time to spend together, and also spend time apart. You are bound to change as you grow through life, so be sure to keep this in mind as you work toward common life goals.
If you don't voice your issues to your spouse, there's no one to blame but you. The easiest route to marital unhappiness is by avoiding communication about ongoing problems. Problems need to be addressed and solved for continued growth.
No matter how well you think you know each other, there will always be times when you won't be able to pick up on each other's visual cues. So, be sure to voice your concerns in order to stay on the same page.
Be clear with each other
Playing mind games in a marriage is unacceptable. There is no room for being passive-aggressive, not saying what you mean and testing the other person through hints and suggestions.
Communicate clearly about what you want and need instead of trying to manipulate one another into doing what you want. You may think you're trying to protect the other person's feelings by not being blunt, but there is always a way to speak the truth clearly without hurting your spouse.
It is hard to put our feelings and emotions on the table, especially if we've had bad experiences in previous relationships. However, in order to build a happy marriage, you need to put your fears and insecurities in front of your partner and they need to be willing to do the same.
Many people have raw emotions they are unable to share. Try your hardest to open up to your spouse so that you can be better understood. A happy marriage is built on a foundation of trust and understanding.
Take care of yourself
After a few years, it's easy to get into a rut. Your days are busy, and there are never enough hours to get everything done. It may feel impossible to put forth the energy to look nice on date-nights or other special occasions.
But, remember how good it feels to look nice and care for yourself. Put forth a little extra energy to make sure you look as good as you feel. Floss. Exercise. Eat healthily. Look good because it makes you feel good. Your marriage will be better for it.
Finding happiness in your marriage isn't about one thing you can do right. It's about a lot of things you can do right over the course of your marriage to keep it going strong.
Benjamin is a passionate dentist with a strong desire to see his patients happy, healthy and confident. He owns Kirkland Family Dentistry, a high end, yet affordable, dental practice. He loves spending time with friends and family.