We always look at successful couples and think to ourselves, how? What are their secrets of a happy marriage? While you’ve been spending your time reading books on marriage, attending seminars and browsing the web, they just seem to have it all sorted out.
Listen, that didn’t come easy. Their realization didn’t come from a seminar, it came from trial and error—lots of it. Of course, everyone wants a happy marriage but not everyone wants to actually put the effort into it. Honestly, it’s exhausting.
Add children and work on top of your marriage, and it’s easy to forget the small things which make your marriage happy. [Read: The subtle signs of an unhappy marriage]
The must-know secrets of a happy marriage
There some secrets that happy couples keep close to them to make the marriage work. Now, it’s going to take some work, from both of you, but once you develop a habit, these tips will start to come naturally to you.
I know you don’t want to be one of those people that can’t stand their partner or is waiting for the right moment to break things off. When two people get married, they do it because they love each other, right? So, if you want to keep the love flowing, test out these 13 secrets of a happy marriage. Because no one said marriage was easy.
#1 You don’t have to win every fight. You’re going to have plenty of arguments throughout your relationship, but what’s important is to not focus on being right. There will be times where you’re just going to have to agree to disagree. And that’s okay.
What’s important is that you respect your partner’s views and not belittle them. Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean you have the same opinions. [Read: The immature things couples fight about all the time]
#2 Accept them, all of them. You know your partner’s flaws before you married them. You know them very well. What causes many marriages to disintegrate is the lack of acceptance between partners.
We’ll nag each other until dusk, but what’s the point? These flaws aren’t something that just “popped” up. Focus on changing your perspective rather than trying to get them to change who they are. [Read: 10 cohabitation tips to live together happily]
#3 Stop trying to control the relationship. It’s easy to lose yourself in a relationship. But you need to remember that you and your partner are two people who are married. You’re not one person, so don’t think you can try to control your partner. It’s not going to work out well for you. One of the secrets of a happy marriage is to truly understand yourself just as much as you want to understand your partner. If you feel like you’re lost, do more things on your own to rediscover yourself.
#4 Don’t mention divorce. It doesn’t matter if you’re arguing or not, you should never mention the big D word. Divorce. If you’re planning on using it as a threat, then you might as well get divorced because that is what’s going to happen. Using the word “divorce” is just a way for you to manipulate and control your partner which isn’t cool. [Read: 15 signs of manipulation in a relationship you should never ignore]
#5 Stop focusing on being happy. When you see a happy couple, they’re not spending their days trying to be happy. Of course, everyone wants to be happy but that’s not what’s important.
Doing activities together and apart, communicating, and being intimate is what makes a couple happy. What’s important is that when you’re not happy, you focus on bringing it back into your life.
#6 You’re intimate. There are some couples that prefer not to have sex and you know what, whatever makes you two happy. However, for many couples, intimacy is extremely important which is why you need to work on keeping it alive.
Okay, there are going to be times where you’re not feeling sexual and that’s okay. But sex should be regular with you and your partner both coming up with ways to keep things spicy. [Read: The key reasons why intimacy in a marriage is what makes it last]
#7 Communication is essential. You need to make sure that you communicate with your partner. This isn’t just “hey how was your day” conversations. You need to talk about how you’re feeling, both good and bad. Your partner needs to know what’s going on and what they need to do in order to support you and vice versa.
#8 Stop with the fantasy. You probably had an idea in your head about how your marriage will look. We all have that fantasy. But listen, drop it. This fantasy isn’t going to help your marriage because your fantasy isn’t reality. Marriage isn’t perfect, there’s no white knight or perfect princess. Be realistic. [Read: 14 unrealistic expectations that can ruin your love life]
#9 Compliment each other! Okay, you’re married, so what? Your partner has a new haircut and is looking great. Tell them! You should acknowledge your partner’s positive traits and attributes, making sure that they know that you see them. Stay away from the negative, stick to the positive.
#10 Have your own life. This doesn’t mean you need to live on your own, but you should be independent. Have your own group of close friends, do activities on your own, and be okay with spending time away from your partner. Remember, you’re not one person, there are two of you, so spend time on your own to check in with yourself. [Read: Why you need time apart and how to do it right]
#11 It’s about the small things. At the end of the day, you don’t think about the big things that your partner did for you, you remember the small things. The day they made you soup when you were sick, surprised you with a picnic, or washed your car. It’s a small act but shows true appreciation and love for your partner.
#12 Don’t forget date nights. A couple that stays together goes on dates. It’s so easy to get stuck sitting at home on a Friday night in your PJs with your partner. However, schedule a date night at least once a week.
Try something that you two haven’t done before, go see a movie, or cook a sensual meal together. Date nights ensure that you reconnect with your partner. [Read: Here’s where to start if you want to improve your marriage]
#13 Never take advantage of them. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget what your partner does for you, but you should never take them for granted. It’s good to be comfortable with your partner. In fact, it’s encouraged, but you should never get to a place where you’re too comfortable with your partner. They’re not your maid, butler or cook. They’re your partner.
[Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]
No one said marriage was easy. In fact, most married couples say that marriage is a lot of work. But if you use these secrets of a happy marriage, you’ll improve your relationship almost overnight.
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