5 Highly Effective Habits of Happily Married Couples
We talk a lot about how you can make your wedding day more amazing, how you can avoid catfights with your bridesmaids and how you can make sure your mother-in-law doesn’t run interference with your husband-to-be. What we don’t talk much about, however, is what to do after the honeymoon is over. And that’s strange considering that’s actually the most important part of your wedding; the actual marriage that follows. Forgetting to remember that you will be married forever after the wedding and honeymoon are over is something a lot of couples do; the magic of that “we are so in love and happy” moment wears off and suddenly you’re married and paying a mortgage and changing diapers and deciding whether or not you should stay home with the kids or go back to work or make steak or chicken for dinner or what Santa is going to bring the kids. You’re not dating anymore, you’ve put the magic on the backburner and you’ve made so many priorities outside your marriage that you’ve forgotten this is never a good thing. So how lucky are you that we are going to tell you how to make your marriage last once the wedding is over. We’ve got some highly effective habits of happily married couples to share with you, and we encourage you to take a minute or two to try one or two of these – if not more.
Change Yourself – Not Your Spouse
Change is something people will make only if they want to. You cannot change someone. If you want your spouse to stop leaving his dirty underwear on the floor, he has to want to. You can’t make him. If you want him to love shopping and want to do it with you every single day, he has to want to (and he probably doesn’t, I’m just saying). If you want him to be more romantic, he has to want to. You can’t expect him to, or ask him to, change. He has to want to change. If you want change in your marriage, you have to be the change. You have to change you for the better and hope your example causes him to follow suit. Oh – and you should also just accept him the way he is. You did marry him like this, and we know you didn’t miss the dirty underwear on the floor the past few years. Why is it bothering you now?
Appreciate One Another
My husband takes out the trash, unloads the dishwasher and does laundry. Yet what did I do for years? I complained to my girlfriends that he hangs my clothes in the wrong places when he puts laundry away. It wasn’t until one of those wonderful women gave me a, “Shut up. You’re complaining he puts your dresses in the wrong dress spot in the closet. My husband has never washed, dried, folded or put away any laundry in his entire life,” that I realized I have no complaints. I should appreciate him. So I went home, thanked him for doing laundry and dishes and cooking and waking up with me at night to feed our newborn babies those first few weeks they didn’t sleep through the night, and I felt good about that. And he felt good about that. I noticed that as soon as I began appreciating him vocally and noticeably, he began upping his already pretty awesome game even more. And then when he started thanking me for doing little things for him – like being a good mom to our kids and being a good wife to him – I wanted to be even better at those things and upped my own game. It’s a good habit to create.
Yep; that’s it. Just be happy. Wake up, thank God for your blessings, and be happy. Choose to be happy. It’s not that hard. You can choose to be mad that you have to wake up early or that your day is going to be a long one or you can choose to be happy that you have another day to live. Be happy; it is a choice. You can just make it a habit to be happy and see the good in your life and your spouse, and you will feel so much better for it. Unhappy people focus on the negatives in their lives, and they shouldn’t. As soon as you make focusing on the positives a habit, you will be astounded how easy and how simple it is to be happy with one another and with your lives. If you need help in this particular area, check out The Power of Positive Thinking and start taking small steps to change your outlook on life for the better.
Date Each Other
Just because you are married does not mean you have to stop trying to win one another over. If you treat one another the way you did when you first met, your marriage will never see a bad day. No one starts dating one another by taking each other for granted or making the other feel about this big for putting that one sweater in the dryer and shrinking it. You love, laugh, and try to impress one another. It’s very simple and it’s very effective in any good marriage. Go on date night once a week or every other week or once a month; just date. Even with kids in the picture, you need time alone. Even if that time comes in the form of an at-home date night after the kids go to bed; do it. Go away on trips for a night or two every so often. Vacation together. Be together; do things together. Can't think of any fun ideas for a date? Try this Pinterest category to gather up some ideas.
Instead of always saying no to what the other wants, whether it’s something intimate or something you don’t think is a lot of fun, like a work dinner with his people; say yes. When you say yes to one another and get involved in things for your spouse without complaint, it makes him feel really good. And he is going to return the favor. It shows that you are a team and that you value the other’s lives and interests and passions. Saying yes can be very invigorating and very effective when it comes to making sure your marriage is on track and strong. It’s a good idea to say yes to your spouse. You might not realize how often you say no or complain about something until you just smile, say yes and see the shock and appreciation on your spouse’s face. It’s a nice feeling to make someone feel good without actually putting forth much of an effort.
Practice these good habits the moment you come home from that honeymoon and you will see that your marriage does well for it. It’s not going to promise you an absence of bad days or an absence of unhappiness at some point in your life. What it’s going to do is minimize the bad days and put focus on the good ones. It’s going to make you more appreciative of one another and happier together. It’s going to make you happier and more forgiving. It’s going to make you more of a team; and that’s what makes a marriage strong.