Marriage is a beautiful thing. It brings two people together who share a common goal, love each other, and support each other unconditionally. However, marriage is tough. It takes work, patience, and sometimes sacrifice. But with a little effort and planning, you can make sure your relationship lasts forever.
My top 10 hints for married couples to stay happy
One of the key components to a happy marriage is to do little things to remind you two of why you fell in love with each other in the first place. These 10 simple marriage advice suggestions will help provide you practical advice on building a strong foundation and create a long lasting marriage.
1. Make laughter happen
Studies show that smiling can improve mood and increases oxytocin levels in both the sender and receiver. Oxytocin is known as the “cuddle hormone,” and it plays a role in bonding and empathy. By finding things to laugh about together, you will build a stronger bond.
Also, when dealing with stressful situations, use laughter to your advantage. Using a bit of humor can help to lighten the mood of a tense situation. A smile or chuckle can diffuse angry feelings and help people relax.
Just remember not to poke fun at your partner, but use shared humor to let him or her know that you understand they are stressed out and needs a little help right now.
Sometimes, when life gets stressful, it’s nice to laugh. Even if you’re not feeling particularly happy or funny, you might feel better after sharing a joke with your spouse.
2. Use your words
A successful marriage is built on trust and communication. One of the most important aspects of any healthy relationship is learning how to communicate effectively.
You should never assume that you know what another person is thinking or feeling. Instead, try to ask questions and listen carefully to find out what they really think and feel.
Asking your partner about his feelings or thoughts may seem awkward, but it works wonders. Sharing personal stories about your experiences and feelings helps couples build trust and intimacy, and will help keep your marriage strong.
3. Put on your spouse’s shoes
Empathy is a key ingredient to any healthy relationship. Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to others’ feelings. Being empathic means being able to imagine ourselves in someone else’s position. We must try to understand where our spouse is coming from before we can effectively communicate with them.
Trading places is a simple exercise that anyone can practice anytime to help them become more empathetic towards their spouses. By putting themselves in their spouse’s shoes, they are able to gain a deeper understanding of what makes them tick.
4. Keep dating each other
Married life can start to feel a little repetitive and even boring when the day to day activities rarely change.
Treat your relationship like it’s brand new every day and never stop dating your partner. Keep doing all the things that made you fall in love with your partner in the first place.
This means continuing to express affection, showing interest in your partner’s hobbies, and being attentive to his/her needs. Work to keep your relationship fresh and exciting. This is still important even if you have a solid foundation.
If you treat your relationship like it used to be at the start, then you’ll find yourself being taken right back to where you started and enjoying the fun of being together.
You can also show your commitment and dedication to your relationship by making sure that you spend quality time together. Spend time talking, listening and sharing interests. Don’t forget to include the physical aspects in the mix, since intimacy is important and it helps strengthen your bond.
Schedule a regular date night that works for your routine, whether that’s one night every week or every month or two. It helps you stay accountable and establishes a pattern of importance regarding your relationship.
It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you ensure you do something together that is special to you both. Having a dedicate couple time will help show that you still care to make the effort and create a strong marriage.
Whether it’s watching movies at home, going hiking or roller blading, or doing anything else you enjoy, it doesn’t really matter. Just make sure that you do something special together.
5. Be present in the moment
When you are together, work to give your spouse your undivided attention, especially when they are talking to you. This will help make him or her feel valued and loved when you are in each others company.
You might think that you’re being attentive, but your spouse may actually feel ignored. Ensure you are not being distracted by work or other activities, like constantly scrolling on your phone.
Whenever you talk to your spouse, try not to multitask – you might think you are able to do it, but they will know that you are not fully paying attention. Instead, focus 100% of your energy on listening to your spouse.
The positive and loving feeling this action creates will last throughout your entire relationship, and is what helps create healthy marriages, so it’s worth putting in the effort.
6. Take a deep breath (then take another)
When you and your partner disagree, try not to get angry or let yourself become too frustrated. Instead, try to listen to their point of view and consider whether you might be missing something.
If you are getting annoyed when you disagree with your partner, it’s best to walk away and calm down. It’s best to discuss the issue again later when you’re both feeling calmer and clearer headed.
Don’t forget to compromise on problems so that you can both give a little. As long as you remain open-minded and willing to listen to your partner’s point of view, you’ll be able to work out any differences between you.
7. Get away regularly
A romantic vacation from time to time is a great way to rekindle your relationship. You’ll enjoy a relaxing break without any distractions, allowing you to connect on a deeper emotional level.
Planning a romantic vacation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either. You can keep it simple like a weekend away camping, or finding a quiet little BnB in a small town. Or if you can’t get away for a full weekend, a day at the beach can be enough to recharge your batteries and refresh your love.
The most important thing is to make sure you include some activities that will appeal to both of you. Whether you prefer hiking or kayaking, there are plenty of options available.
Take advantage of the opportunity to get way from the stress of daily life. By making the effort to reconnect with your significant other, you can renew your desire for and commitment to each other.
8. Fight fair
Sometimes, you feel like you’ve tried everything to resolve a conflict between you and your partner, but nothing seems to work. You may feel like you’re at a dead end. But there are still options available to you.
Fighting fair means treating others with respect and dignity. To argue in a civil manner is where you are able to discuss issues without resorting to anger.
A 2012 UCLA study found that couples who argue civilly are less likely to divorce 10 years later than those whose arguments escalate into fights.
Constantly arguing also doesn’t solve problems, it only makes them worse and it isn’t healthy either. You’ll end up feeling bad after a fight, and you won’t feel any closer to solving the problem. So if you find yourself getting angry at your partner, try to talk things through instead.
Fighting fair means being honest and open about your feelings. Be respectful of your partner’s feelings and opinions, while talking about what’s bothering you. Don’t let anger build up inside of you and avoid saying hurtful things that might cause resentment.
You should also never yell or scream at your partner during fights. Doing so makes it harder to solve problems and increases the chances of both you getting angry and hurt. Instead, if you find yourself getting angry, take a quick break to calm down. When you have regained your cool, you can then work out solutions together.
9. Let your care cup run over
You can never underestimate the importance of being empathetic and caring. You’ll find yourself happier if you focus on others instead of focusing on yourself. A lot of times we tend to forget about our partner and focus on ourselves too much, often with both people ending up feeling lonely and frustrated.
When you care about another person, you’ll find yourself doing things that are beneficial to that person. These small actions add up over time, and eventually become big changes that lead to a happier life.
Ensure you show your partner support for chasing their dreams. Whether it’s becoming a pilot, doctor or teacher, as a loving spouse, you should encourage them to pursue those goals.
You should encourage your spouse to pursue his/her dreams. Talk about your dreams and let him/her know that you’re there to support them in any way necessary.
You should also talk openly and honestly about what you want for yourself. By doing so, you’ll give your spouse the opportunity to support you in whatever way he/she feels most comfortable.
10. Eat dinner together
You may think that you don’t have enough time to sit down and eat meals together, but there are plenty of opportunities throughout the week to have at least a meal or two together. Instead of fighting for time together, try scheduling regular times to eat dinner together. You can even plan special meals around holidays or birthdays.
Make it a habit to schedule time every week to eat dinner together. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just cook simple meals that everyone enjoys. Not only does it give you a chance to connect with your family if you have children, but it also helps strengthen your relationship.
Studies show that families that eat together tend to have stronger bonds and happier marriages. Eating dinner together helps your children develop strong communication skills and encourages them to work through problems. You’ll feel closer to your spouse and enjoy healthier foods.
Secret sauce to a long happy marriage
These aren’t the only 10 ways to keep the spark alive in your marriage, but just some pieces of advice. Your list may be shorter and it may be extremely longer, just be creative!
My personal favorite one is to never stop dating each other and keep it fresh to avoid boredom in a marriage, plus having a sense of humor is always helpful to get through hard times. I think it is important not to fall into the trap of being complacent with each other.
If you want to have a successful relationship, you must first understand that relationships require hard work, dedication, commitment and trust.
If you have a healthy relationship with your partner, you’ll find that both of you will benefit from marital satisfaction, so it is important to find ways to improve your own relationship so both can be happy. Couples can do one or even all of these small things daily to create a togetherness in the relationship and strengthen your bond.
If you are really struggling, it might also be a good idea to see a Couples Therapist who can help you with finding the best healthy marriage tips that work for your marriage.
What are some ways you keep the spark alive between you and your spouse?