Marriage is such a wonderful thing, but like all good things in life it takes work to make it wonderful. No relationship works well without a little nurturing along the way. Marriage is like a roller coaster, with endless ups and downs, but if you put in the work in can be the best ride of your life.
Here are my personal secrets for a happy marriage.
One of the most important parts of creating a happy marriage is learning to argue respectfully. Fights are bound to happen and can actually be quite productive in the long run – if you set some boundaries first. Our personal rules for arguing are: no name calling, no fighting in front of the kids, no using the word divorce (even as a thinly veiled threat to get what you want) and no going to bed angry.
I feel it’s important to note than on a occasion we’ve broken all of these rules in the heat of an argument, but we try to follow these rules. When we do abide by these tips though, our arguments are quick and painless.
Pursue Your Own Interests
Couples often assume that they should do everything together, and that may work for some couples, but in my experience it’s important to give each other room to pursue personal passions individually as well. My husband has many hobbies (hockey, golf, shooting, wood-working, etc) and I have learned to be supportive of his passions. He supports me, I support him and it makes our marriage better.
Technically, I don’t think shopping is a hobby, but besides drinking coffee and napping, I don’t pursue many other interests. I read…yes, let’s go with reading as my hobby.
This is so important in a relationship. Being able to laugh together is one of marriage’s greatest joys. Some of our greatest moments are when we’re playing a game, wrestling over the remote (yes, we wrestle like children) or watching a funny movie together. Don’t forget to be your spouse’s friend.
Learn Your Spouse’s Love Language
Thanks to my dear friend, I recently took the test to find out my love language, as well as my husband’s. I learned that I feel loved when my hubby compliments me (words of affirmation) and when he does kind things for me, like takes out the trash or brings home dinner (acts of service). I shared this information with my husband so he would know how to best show love for me, then I learned his love language. His is affection or touch. He feels loved when I show him affection, which to be honest I’m not very good at – but now I’m trying to make more of an effort to hold his hand, rub his back and be more affectionate towards him. I recommend learning your spouse’s love language (book linked below), it will improve your relationship for sure.