All relationships differ from couple to couple, but what makes a healthy, happy marriage is forming a trusting and positive partnership. But it doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes work, time and effort on both parties for the relationship to grow strong and stay strong. While the honeymoon period in most marriages has a shelf life, it is not difficult to bring back those beautiful and exciting feelings we all experience and love in the beginning.
The following are essential tips in the art behind making your marriage happy.
By definition, trust is a confident belief in the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. And it goes without saying that with trust there is freedom and security to experience intimacy, love, and vulnerability that a marriage has to offer. Without it, a couple not only experiences insecurity, but also a misguided fear that limits the relationship’s potential and loosens the strong foundation upon which a couple can weather challenges together.
It is because you felt that you could fully trust your significant other that you agreed to marry them in the first place. It was important that you knew that you could fully share your heart with them and you knew that they, in turn, would value and treasure it for as long as you both are alive. Therefore, relationships must begin with trust, and when it is breached, suspicion will inevitably fill the gaps of communication with negative thoughts, and the results can be devastating.
Name-calling, talking negatively about your significant other to your friends or family, threatening to leave the relationship whenever things hit a tidal wave, etc. are things that many couples do in relationships that can quickly break down respect. A common thread in many marriages is a desire for mutual respect, and without it, a relationship is rendered almost dysfunctional.
Respect is critical for any healthy relationship, and it is present when a married couple embraces the concept of acceptance and forgiveness as well as listening, appreciating each other’s unique personality and allowing the other person to make mistakes without judging their motives every time. The following are tips that can increase respect in your marriage:
Actively communicate and listen
Think before you speak
Don't sweat the small stuff
Verbalize your gratitude by saying thank you for the little things
Focus on what your spouse does well
Speak well of each other. Do not belittle your spouse in public, when alone with each other and especially not in front of the children
Look for opportunities to show your spouse that you appreciate and truly love them
Avoid holding grudges and keeping score of your spouse’s wrongdoings
Practice honesty and always watch your words
Accountability and Transparency
These two things keep a couple in check, and they go hand in hand with trust. You really can’t build a meaningful bond with your spouse if you are keeping a part of yourself hidden from them, which is the whole point of marriage in the first place. Couples can inspire transparency and accountability in their marriage through being honest, because, honest people are ultimately loyal to truth and trust, which is what makes it safe for others to be transparent with you.
It is one of the most important makings of a happy marriage. Instead of sweeping issues under the rug, a happy couple has a healthy way of speaking and being heard and expressing their thoughts and emotions to each other. Now, unless your partner has telepathic powers, expecting him or her to intuit your needs or wants is pointless. Therefore, do not rely on intuition, instead tell your husband or wife what you want and need because their thoughtful response to your expressed needs is a sign of commitment.
Become an Active Listener
How many times during a conversation with your spouse do you hear the question “Are you listening to me?” Listening should not be taken for granted because poor listening skills have led to the breakdown in communication in many marriages. The most important thing when it comes to listening, whether during a normal conversation or during a heated argument, is to never interrupt. If you are not the best listener, find a way to remind yourself to remain quite without losing focus on what is being said and allow your spouse to finish what they are saying.
Additionally, looking for the right or wrong in what is being said prevents you from being an active listener. Therefore, keep an open mind, think before you respond, and most importantly, avoid jumping to conclusions, especially if you are having a heated conversation. Letting go of your own agenda when your spouse is talking, making eye contact and being aware of your non-verbal signs such as crossing arms or legs, nodding, looking away, or your facial expressions means that you are focused on the main points that your spouse is talking about and that you are actively listening.
Again, there is no intimacy without transparency, and there is no loving marriage without intimacy. Couples who, even after decades of marriage, still feel the same passion for each other that ignited their relationship in the beginning, are very fortunate. It is not uncommon, among many things, for a couple's sense of intimacy in marriage to suffer due to the constant demands of raising children, earning a living, or running a house - things that often serve as a potent anti-aphrodisiac. Sex is among one of the many characteristics present in a loving, successful, and happy marriage because it is ultimately about intimacy, romance, pleasure and the expression of love.
Take Care of Your Appearance
You don't have to let yourself go just because you have settled down. Having your husband or wife say “wow, you look nice” even after years of marriage makes you feel confident and loved. Putting energy into your appearance not only shows that you value yourself, but it also keeps the sparks alive in your relationship, makes you feel good about yourself and proud of your fantastic looking spouse. Living a healthy life and taking care of yourself often go hand in hand.
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