Ever wonder about the secret to a successful marriage? Of course you do; everyone does. I remember having that discussion with my husband 11 years ago when he proposed to me; a sort of, “I wonder how we can make sure our relationship is always as great as it’s been so far,” kind of conversation. The secret, my friends, is that marriage is work and it is commitment and it takes your time and attention. Couples who’ve been together for decades aren’t just happy because they’re happy; they’re happy because they work hard to be happy.
I once had a friend say to me, “You have nothing to complain about. I wish my husband were more like yours,” when I was complaining that he doesn’t dust the furniture the same way I dust (petty, yes). At that moment, I realized that if I wanted to stay a happily married couple, I’d need to be grateful for all that my husband does. When you focus on being grateful for what your partner is rather than what you want him to be, you’re going to be happy for a long time. So what if he doesn’t dust the same way you do…he dusts without being asked, right?
Time Together is Important
This is something I’ve always thought important. Couples who stay happy forever are happy because they never stop spending time together. It never surprises me to hear about a failed marriage followed by a, “Well, it’s not really surprising. I mean, they didn’t spend any time together. She was always by herself doing this or that or he was always doing this alone.” When couples spend time together, they stay happy.
You have to Show it
You can say, “I love you,” a million times a day, but after a while it always sounds a bit like a habit that you use when getting off the phone, before going to bed and before saying goodbye. However, when you use your actions to show your love, it’s a different ballgame. Couples who know that the secret to a good, happy marriage is to always find ways to show their love are just plain happy. My husband, for example, always has a few reese’s cups hidden in the freezer for me so that when I’m complaining about a bad day, he can pull them out. I like to surprise him by having lunch with him a few times a week. The first trimester of my current pregnancy, I was so exhausted and sick I wanted to cry. He made it a point to take over grocery shopping – with our 2 and 5-year-olds in tow – without even saying a word. It’s the little things, really.