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7 Tips to a Happy Marriage

Is the happily married couple a myth?

One of our best couple friends recently separated, after trying to save their marriage for over a year.

And there’s my friend who’s still within five years of being married, but goes months, and I’d bet years at this point, without sex and full days without speaking, even though they’re in the same house.

And then there’s my Hubby and me… A fun-loving, laid-back couple that’s exceedingly happy to be together. And I look around us and don’t see anything close to what we have.

It’s not that we’re perfect. We’re far from it. And we’ve had our issues, major issues that have come close to splitting us up. But they didn’t. We worked through them. It took, literally, blood, sweat, and tears, but these problems helped us learn what works for us.

So it makes me wonder, are happy couples normal? Or is it rare to find couples who actually like one another and enjoy each other’s company?

And it got me thinking about what makes couples work. I wonder what it is about our relationship that allows us to be happy that other couples are missing.

So I can up with a list of things that may not necessarily work for everybody and every relationship, but that help to keep us happy and together.

Molly’s Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Sean McGrath/Flickr
Sean McGrath/Flickr

Lots of Sex

Now, I’m not naïve enough to believe that good sex can save a marriage, but I know from experience that it can’t hurt. No one has ever filed for divorce, saying, “You know, he just made me cum too much.” And I know sex can’t fix everything, but it can bring you closer, increase intimacy, and releases oxytocin, making you bond more.

Bite Your tongue

When your mother taught you don’t say anything if you couldn’t say anything nice, she wasn’t just talking about on the playground. Our partners tend to get us at our worst. We take things out on those closest to us because we know they’re safe. We can scream, yell, and say nasty things, and they’ll still love us when it’s done. Although they still love us, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay. In the long run, it causes sadness, anger, and resentment. So when you want to snap about stupid shit, like leaving the toilet seat up or socks on the floor, bite your tongue, especially if it’s already been a bad day. Instead, simply say, “I need a hug.”

happy marriage

Learn to Let Go

We all screw up from time to time. But if you want your marriage to work, you’ve got to learn to let go of past transgressions. All of them. If every time you fight, the time you got drunk and showered your tits to his friends in 2002 comes up, it needs to be dropped. Get over it, or don’t, but quit dredging it around through the mud.

Pick Your Battles

If you like to fight, then sure, fight about every little thing your partner does that pisses you off. But if you don’t like to fight and want a happy marriage, pick your battles and pick them carefully. Does it matter if the toilet paper goes over or under? Does it matter if he doesn’t fold the towels right like you do? No. None of it matters. If you’re going to pick a battle, pick one that matters, one that you’re willing to lose your marriage over. So if you’re not going to get divorced over a tri-folded towel, then just drop that shit and let it roll.

happy marriageKnow Your Role

Now this one’s hard for many married couples, and I don’t want to get my feminist friends all worked up, but we each have a role in our relationships. For some women, it’s as a stay-at-home mom, taking care of child rearing and PTO meetings. For others, it’s as the primary breadwinner who’s gone 60+ hours a week. For many of us, it’s somewhere between. And same for our partners.

Now, the roles that were traditionally held in a marriage are not longer relevant in today’s world. I’m not saying they are. But I think it’s time to give up the pissing contests. When certain roles are defined, there are no power struggles and the conflicts surrounding them cease. So define some lines, even if they’re blurry, and say that you do the dishes and walk the dog, while he’s responsible for folding laundry and mowing the lawn. Regardless of what these roles are, setting some sort of expectation keeps those outrageous ones at bay.

Communicate

Perhaps on of the biggest issues with today’s couples is their struggle with communicating. In this crazy world of instant messaging and status updates, it’s harder than ever to sit down and talk to someone, even someone you love. Finding a way to talk to one another, really talk, is key to a lasting and happy relationship. Figure out what works for you and your partner and use them!

improve your marriage

Have an Adventure

Science has shown that situations where adrenaline increases, so does attraction. So grab your partner and have an adventure. It doesn’t matter if it’s a backpacking trip across Europe, a hike across town, or a new sexy adventure in the bedroom. Just do something exciting that gets your heart pumping and do it together. Remember, couples that play together, stay together.

So What’s Your Secret?

I’ve given mine, now tell us your secrets to what keeps your relationship hot, happy, and healthy.

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