Marriage is one of the toughest, most rewarding experiences we can have in this life. And anyone who has been married for longer than a week can attest to the fact that marriage isn't a cake walk. It takes hard work, sacrifice, dedication and a million other little things to keep it strong.
The choices you make every day within your home and marriage are the choices that determine happiness within your marriage.
Here are a few things happy couples do that many struggling couples don't.
They make time for date night
Date night is an absolute must. If you can't do it every week, find a day every other week. Get a babysitter ahead of time and spend some quality time with your spouse. Even in marriage, you are still courting your spouse and you're still on the journey of learning about each other, and making one another feel loved and important.
They have a grateful attitude
Thankful people are happy people. A 2011 study published in the journal "Heart International" found that those who had gratitude as a daily trait had higher cardiac and immune function, and better relationships. Turning toward the positive in every aspect of your life and focusing on your spouse's positive attributes rather than their faults will brighten your perspective and change your marriage for the better.
They go places together
Couples who go camping, take walks or road trips, or plan vacations every now and then tend to feel a lot happier, and don't feel stuck in a rut. Life can get monotonous if you find yourselves doing the same things over and over without anything new or fun to break it up. Whether it be driving somewhere new or renting some canoes for the lake, try new things and discover life together.
They pray together
Many genuinely happy couples center their relationship on their faith. While keeping God at the head of marriage, it's easier to get through trials and pitfalls that life throws your way. Taking time to pray together, study the Bible together or attend church together will strengthen your bond and bring more peace to your home.
They serve each other
While dating, it seems like a no-brainer to buy flowers, spoil each other with gifts or send cute texts or emails. But after marriage, sometimes that stops. Cater to your spouse's love language by serving him or her in the capacity that makes them smile the most. It might mean letting her have some quiet time to read while you put the children to bed. Or maybe it's making him his favorite meal. Be creative and show how much you truly care.
Real love is a daily choice, not a feeling. Happy couples choose to unconditionally love, despite arguments or flaws or the absence of butterflies. Love grows and adapts and gets through the tough things because two people choose to get through them together by choosing each other every single day.