Happy Endings: Secrets to a Happy, Lasting Marriage
Every couple has their own love stories to tell, savoring triumphs after getting through many struggles and challenges, and making their way to their “happily ever after”.
With that in mind, we have rounded up the following relationship strategies to help you make your marriage work and last a lifetime – “til death do you part.”
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
Make your marriage healthy.
Marriage may seem as old-fashioned as sepia tone, but repeated research shows that people who remain married to one partner are the happiest. According to statistics, such people live much more happily and longer than their non-married counterparts.
There’s no such a thing as a perfect marriage because it is not a fairy tale. Couples surely have to go through hardships and trials but the sense of “us” and not just “you and me” makes their relationship stronger and more lasting.
One great way to keep it healthy is to bring in humor in the relationship. Laugh together and enjoy each other’s company. Just like what it does to our bodies, laughter remains to be the best medicine.
According to recent research, couples who laugh together and regularly reminisce about funny times tend to be much more satisfied with their relationships. Create a reservoir of funny times and re-visit them often. Lack of fun can wilt a marriage like a vanishing flower.
Be realistic and understand imperfections
Be sensible with your relationship goals and expectations. Also, try not to dominate or change your better half. These two can take your marriage a long way. Romance is a wonderful thing and seeing the best in your partner is a sure way to maintain love and intimacy. However, since you would be together for several years and even decades, expect to see each other’s imperfections – especially now that you are living under one roof.
Your partner’s weaknesses and shortcomings should not be taken as something that will make you fall out of love. Instead of complaining about his or her actions and criticizing his not-so-good habits, why not make it a chance to let him or her know that you are one in making him a better person.
Learn how to say the powerful words.
Saying “sorry,” “thank you,” and “I love you” whenever you think they are needed cannot only make your husband or wife feel good, appreciated, and valued, but can also make you feel better and relieved. Positive interactions can be anything from a word to actions and even some gestures such as smiling with your partner, being inquisitive, kissing him or her on the forehead and caressing him or her to show love and draw intimacy.
Romance and passion may bring couples together, but compromise and respect will keep them there. So when you think you’ve done or said something wrong that hurts him or her, make ways to say sorry and really mean it. When you think he or she deserves a compliment or you need to extend your gratitude, feel free to say “thank you” and “I love you.”
Live with this line: Marriage is about friendship.
Friendship is a wonderful word. As Aristotle says, “friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies” and living together as one. It is indeed a good foundation of any relationship because trust, respect, admiration, faith, and love all blossom into something really beautiful.
In another study, friendship was one of the top responses couples gave when asked why their marriages have lasted as long as they had, which in this study ranged from 38 to 54 years.
Building a friendship with your spouse must never cease. You two have to work it out day by day. You might be busy with your kids, family life, and career, and the competition for your attention and time may be fierce. However, you should still find time to go on a date – just the two of you (yes, without your kids). Schedule it on your calendar and hold each other accountable for building the blocks to a great marriage friendship.
One relationship expert says, “The bottom line of keeping a happy marriage is that even though some level of negativity is necessary for a stable relationship, positivity is what nourishes your love.”
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