Very few people, if any, go into a marriage expecting that it will prove unhappy. Yet, those dreaded divorce statistics — which offer sketchy reliability — suggest that all too many marriages end in unhappiness. While some marriages may well be doomed from the start, it doesn’t mean you can’t take active steps to preserve your happy marriage.
Still, it begs the question, what are the secrets to a happy marriage? Are there successful marriage tips that anyone can apply?
If you’re recently or not so recently married and want some way to build a strong relationship, keep reading for five pieces of marriage advice to help you through.
1. Have Fun
Life is often a very serious business. You have careers, bills, and possibly kids with everything that entails. It’s very easy for all those responsibilities to leave both spouses bogged down in seriousness.
Take opportunities that let you have fun together, even if it’s just an hour doing something silly like hitting an ice cream shop.
2. Keep Talking
Ever see two people giving each other the cold shoulder who looked happy? Every marriage will hit rough patches where happiness seems distant. If you want to get back to happiness, you must keep talking.
It lets everyone get things off their chests, but also provides opportunities for resolving small problems before they become big problems.
3. Keep the Romance Alive
Letting the romance die is a great way for both spouses to end up unhappy. Keeping romance alive also falls on both spouses. You must make time for romancing each other.
Schedule dates that are actual dates, not just excuses to talk about the finances or kids at a restaurant. Get candles. Bring home a bottle of nice wine.
Invest in your romance.
Everybody screws up. They say things they don’t really mean. They forget things they shouldn’t.
Imperfection is the human condition. You must find ways to forgive these lapses and let them go. If you can’t or won’t, neither will your spouse.
5. Get Professional Help
Sometimes, you move out of the “pursue a happy marriage” zone and move into the “save my marriage” zone. If things have spun out of control in your marriage to the point that one or both of you think divorce is the solution, you probably can’t solve it alone.
This is the point where professional help from a marriage counselor can often make a difference.
Secrets to a Happy Marriage and You
Like all advice, your mileage will vary with marriage advice. Even so, the secrets to a happy marriage above can go a long way to keeping your relationship happy and healthy.
If you’re not sure where you should start, just pick one thing and start there. Block out time in your week when you and your spouse will talk. Pick a day of the week or month for a date.
Once you start, starting the others will often prove easier.
Looking for more relationship tips and advice? Check out the posts in our Sex and Relationships section.