A happy marriage just doesn’t magically happen after the wedding. It takes patience, hard work, and a desire to make the marriage work. Love is only one aspect of a happy marriage because there will be times when love alone isn’t enough and you will have to do more to make it work. Here are some tips that should keep your marital bond strong.
1. Exercise together.
Look for sports or hobbies which you can both participate in. This will not only do wonders for your health, it will also do wonders for your marriage.
Research has actually proven this to be a fact:
Lab studies show that after jointly participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner. Exercise is a perfect example of the type of invigorating activity that can have these positive effects. It’s the physiological arousal, rather than the novelty or challenge of the activity, that drives romantic attraction. This suggests that sharing a fitness goal (such as training for a 5K or triathlon), taking regular runs together, ballroom dancing, or having a date night at the gym can boost the quality of your romantic relationship.
Exercise induces the symptoms of physiological arousal—sweaty hands, a racing pulse, shortness of breath. These symptoms mirror, in many ways, the thrill of romantic attraction. Interestingly, people can easily mistake the two and misattribute physical arousal for romantic attraction. Use this phenomenon to your advantage by inviting your romantic interest to workout with you. The results? A likely boost to your attractiveness in his or her eyes.
2. Manners matter.
Even if you have been with your husband or wife for years, you should still make them feel respected and like you don’t take him/her for granted. So whenever it is appropriate say “please” and “thank you”. Good manners go a long way, even in marriage.
3. Laugh together.
A marriage without a sense of humor is a dead marriage. Learn to laugh at your silly mistakes and never take life too seriously. Find laughter and humor in predicaments which would have otherwise made you angry, you will both feel better.
Michelle Obama actually attributes laughter as the key to the longevity of her marriage:
“I think a lot of laughing,” the first lady said at a White House luncheon with reporters who asked about the Obamas’ union. “I think in our house we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of unity, I think, in a marriage.
“So we still find ways to have fun together, and a lot of it is private and personal. But we keep each other smiling and that’s good.”
4. Fight right.
Fights are part of every relationship and marriage, there is no couple who does not fight, but the secret in fighting is fighting right. Keep your arguments productive, not destructive. Avoid name calling, yelling, and accusations, this is very hurtful and can damage your marriage. When things really get tough and you feel like you are about to lose control of yourself, take a break to relax yourselves. Furthermore, you should never initiate a discussion when you are angry. Words can be very hurtful and you can’t take back what you’ve said in a fit of anger.
5. Have variety in your marriage.
A dull marriage can lead to dissatisfaction for both parties. Try something new every now and then to inject variety in your marriage. Eat at an unfamiliar restaurant, go on a vacation, try salsa dancing together. Whatever it is just make sure you step out of your comfort zone. Your adventures will help keep you close to one another.
6. Learn the art of communication.
This is one of the most important keys in a happy marriage, do not avoid discussions on important subjects such as money, raising your kids, fidelity and more, this is a must for a happy marriage.
I actually expand on this topic in my book and reveal 60 questions all couples should ask each other.
7. Spend time with friends.
Just because you are married does not mean your social life has to end. It’s still okay to hang out with your friends and will actually improve your marriage. Doing things without your husband will actually make you miss each other, which will reinvigorate the love you share.
8. Tackle problems as a unit.
When you are in a marriage, you are in a union. Do not look at problems as an individual, tackle your problems as the unit that you are.
9. Learn to compromise.
No one likes to be demanded upon. No one likes to feel like they are being forced to do something or have no say so in their relationship. You must learn to compromise to maintain a healthy marriage.
10. Keep things in perspective.
Keep your eyes on what you want, a happy marriage, and work together towards that goal.
11. Seek therapy if there is a need for it.
If you feel like you need help in making your marriage work, do not be afraid to seek counseling.
12. Share chores.
Modern times call for modern ways, it is not only the woman’s responsibility to keep the household running, especially now that more and more women are working. Husbands must also help out with the household chores.
13. Have a ritual with your spouse.
This will help keep your love for one another alive, it can be kissing your spouse before going to sleep, or having a date night once a week so you can spend time with each other.
14. Be impulsive.
And I mean this in a good way. Sometimes you just have to just go with the spur of the moment urge to seek adventures and spontaneous fun. Routine and predictability lead to boredom. Boredom is the enemy of long term relationship success. Don’t be afraid to have fun.
So there you have it, the 14 keys to having a happy marriage. Yes, it is easier said than done. But at the end of the day, doing all these things will be well worth it.