Have you ever wondered the difference between happily married couples and those who are not? Did those happy couples just win some cosmic coin toss in which they were blessed with unwavering attraction and compatibility?
Have you ever wondered the difference between happily married couples and those who are not? Did those happy couples just win some cosmic coin toss in which they were blessed with unwavering attraction and compatibility? The truth is, couples who maintain love and satisfaction in married life do so through hard work and good communication. Fortunately, this is possible for every married couple not just a few lucky winners. The following is a list of the six things that happily married couples do to keep their relationship alive.
1. Make time to talk
Happily married couples talk to each other on a regular basis about pretty much everything. Intimacy fades quickly when couples stop talking to each other. Don't let life get in the way of this fundamental relationship builder. If you find that your schedule or workload makes it difficult to do this, fit in small chunks of conversation whenever you can. For example, do the dishes together after dinner. This will give you a chance to chat for at least a few minutes and allow you to connect. Make this a priority in your marriage and don't let other things get in the way.
2. Work out your problems together
Your spouse should be the first person you go to if you have a problem, even if that problem involves him or her. Happily married couples are able to talk to their spouse about anything, whereas unhappy couples are often more comfortable talking to their friends. It is tempting to do so because often a friend will sympathize and agree with your side of things. However, this is an unhealthy pattern that will only drive a wedge into your marriage.
3. Surprise each other
The more variety a husband and wife introduce into their life together, the happier their marriage will be. Make a point of doing routine things differently, simply for the sake of change. One couple said that every once in a while they like to meet at a restaurant where they pretend they're strangers who are powerfully attracted to each other. There are no rules about how to introduce variety into your life. All that matters is that you both find it exciting, adventurous, and fun.
4. Pursue your own interests
Too many men and women use marriage as an excuse to stop growing and challenging themselves as individuals. Happily married couples, on the other hand, don't hide in their marriage. For your sake as well as for the sake of your marriage, you must always strive to reach your goals. The first step is defining your goal; the next step is breaking down what may seem like an impossible dream into a series of small, manageable steps. Remember to encourage and support each other in your individual pursuits.
Happily married couples, no matter how many years they have been together, no matter how many children they have, always remember that they are lovers, first. Remind yourself how you felt when you were first dating and continue to treat your spouse that way. Do your best to maintain your physical appearance and good hygiene habits. Listen attentively when your partner speaks to you. Flirt with your spouse the way you used to. Let him or her know that you still find them to be an exciting and interesting partner.
6. Maintain healthy priorities
There is a limit to how much you can cram into one lifetime. If your marriage is suffering because you have too many things on your plate, it is time to reevaluate your commitments. List all of the demands, both self-imposed and external, that are filling your life and review them with your spouse. Decide which ones are absolutely necessary and eliminate those that are not. Be realistic about your expectations. Being "perfect" is far less important than being happy.
A. Lynn Scoresby, founder and president of My Family Track , First Answers , and Achievement Synchrony , and has been a marriage and family psychologist for more than 35 years. He has published more than 20 books and training programs.