There are no guarantees when it comes to having a happy marriage. There's no reference guide at the back of any magazine. There isn't a club you join and stay married by paying your monthly dues. There is no recipe to find in a cookbook. It starts with two people who want to commit to each other for the rest of their life to have a chance at a happy marriage.
Here is my guideline for a happy marriage. Please remember one important thing. Having a happy marriage does not mean that there will not be any troubles.. There definitely will still be troubles and problems. The key is to treat these times as an opportunity to find even more ways to grow and strengthen your marriage. This will require patience, understanding and a willingness to accept each other without fail.
This is when you discover that the other person is worth fighting for and keeping your marriage intact. Instead of feeling the emotions behind the troubles, identify the reason you have those feelings and create a new and nurturing behavior
Let Me Count the Ways
From my experience and for what it's worth, here is my ten step guide so that you can have a happy marriage also. These are all things that my wife and I have learned are important in the 43 years we have been married.
- Commitment: You are promising to be faithful and loyal to one, and only one person; your significant other. No matter what, through thick and thin, you will be there and share all of your feelings, heart, soul and mind. Couples that have good marriages retain their mutual respect and understanding of each other no matter how dire a problem becomes.
- Be Friends First: Love is more than just physical attraction. Be nice to each other and always be there for each other. According to Susan Boon, PhD, a social psychologist at the University of Calgary in Alberta, a happy marriage is based on deep friendship, knowing each other well and having mutual respect. Karl A. Pillmer, a PhD. and Professor of Human Development at Cornell University and the author of, "30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans", reported that when asking elders their secret to a lasting marriage, a common answer from people in long marriages was: "I married my best friend." The sexual desire is great, but it won't last forever.
- Listen: Always be willing to listen. Couples who are good at communicating have fewer misunderstandings. The more time you spend enjoying each other's company and the less time spent arguing about who said what will certainly make for happier times together.
A Few More....
- Tell Them They Matter: We all have felt like we are not important at times. Tell your spouse how much you appreciate what they have done for you. Tell them how much you need them and could not imagine life without them. It is important to remember the spark and excitement you felt when you first met.
- Like First, Then Love: I believe that the order of this sequence is essential. It's rare that you love someone instantly. First, you like them, have a definite interest in them, have an attraction towards them, respect them as a person, build a friendship and then from the progression of all of these steps you may fall in love. You will build a fulfilling marriage.
- Be Affectionate: My wife and I like hugs and small tender kisses. We like holding each other without it leading to sex every time. We like back rubs, foot rubs and neck rubs. We still like holding hands. Spend quality time together. You are showing affection when you recognize what your spouse needs and then meet those needs in a way he or she can understand. Affection leads to intimacy, satisfaction, anticipation, and contentment.
Last but not Least
- Compromise: Love and marriage means that two people are now living as one. The days of doing what you want without regards to how it affects others are over. Selfishness must turn to selflessness. You and your spouse should both give in a little and it truly is a give and take proposition. You will not always be right in every situation.To some degree, you have to be willing to accept the 'other' point of view.
- Humor: No marriage survives without some laughter and humor as part of your lives. You can tell jokes and laugh at their jokes. You don’t have to take everything so seriously and try being more spontaneous and witty. Laughter does make the world go around and is often contagious. E.E. Cummings wrote, "The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." Laughter has a way of bringing the two of you together.
I am not a professional in relationship counseling. I am not a marriage counselor. I am married to a wonderful woman for over 43 years and we have practiced these principals in our life. We are just two people who want to be together until the end of time.
Take the time out of your day to appreciate each other. Smile, be happy and don't forget to tell each other, "I Love You." As I read in an article while researching items for this hub and a sage reminder to us all, “Do Not Disturb: Marriage In Progress.”
Charlotte on December 14, 2014:
Yeah, that's the titkec, sir or ma'am
Kitty Fields from Summerland on March 24, 2011:
very good advice...i need to start following some of it myself. thanks and voted up and useful! :)