Some marriages are blissful, while others are hateful. Some couples fight incessantly and others don't fight at all. Some marriages end in divorce and others last forever, but what is the secret to a lasting marriage? What makes some couples endure and others give up?
I asked some of the happiest couples I know about their secret to marital success, and together we made this list of 8 secrets that always lead to blissfully ever after:
1. Marry your best friend and then never stop being each other's best friend
Don't just love him for his body or his brain, love all of him. Adore him. Spend every moment with him and marry the man who will do the same for you. If you two are each other's number one BFF, you will find effortless joy.
Best friends are never perfect, they have annoying habits and quirks, but you love them for their uniqueness and abundance of good qualities. Keep that perspective and all will be well.
2. Put each other first
Your spouse is your number one. This means they need to come before your house, your kids, your friends, your salon day and yourself. This may sound difficult, but if you put each other first, you will both always be aware of each other's needs, and no one will feel neglected or lonely. Marriage has no room for selfishness.
3. Don't sweat the small stuff
Put each day and daily stressors into perspective. Life is made up of trillions of little moments, and you get to choose which ones you want to remember forever. Choose the ones that bring you true happiness. Let the bad moments slip away and make sure your spouse knows you would rather spend time with them than anyone else in the world.
4. Enjoy each moment
Too often we let the little moments slip quietly by because we are too focused on things to come later. The destination or goal may be grand, but the joy is in the journey. Enjoy and savor every single moment you spend together and never take the each other for granted. Marriage is crazy, bumpy and sometimes tumultuous, but as long as you stay on it together and live in the moment, it will be the greatest adventure you ever have.
5. Date night should be the first thing on your calendar each week
Make it a priority. It is too easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and put your spouse on the back burner. Work, kids and chores often take precedence, but they shouldn't. Schedule date night before you schedule anything else and let it be your weekly reminder of why you fell in love. Let date night reignite the spark between you each week.
6. Find the right person and be the right person for your spouse
If you aren't married, be sure the one you agree to spend the rest of your life with is the one for you. If you are already married, remind yourself daily why your spouse is the right one for you, and never forget why you chose them. Put your best self forward and never forget the reasons why you fell in love with your other half.
7. Do things together that don't necessarily have to be done
Make sure there is joy in your marriage by doing things you love together! No, I don't mean grocery shopping together or taking the car to the shop together. Besides taking care of necessities, take the time to do spontaneous things together just for fun. For no other reason than to enjoy each other's company.
Finally, never give up. There will be struggles, and not every single day will be full of carefree bliss, but you can live each day joyfully if you make it a goal to do so. If you are not happy, don't settle for sadness and defeat. Don't accept a life of misery because you think it will be too hard to change or that you can't do better. You always have the choice to be a better person, and your spouse does as well, so choose every day to better yourselfs, to love each other and to never stop trying.
Marriage is a joyous thing. It is the act of two people coming together as one. It involves learning to depend fully on another person and allowing that vulnerability to strengthen your life. It is a daily effort, but a blissful marriage is one where both parties are determined to make the other happy.