25 Ways to Have A Happy Marriage

cheerful multiethnic couple resting on couch under blanket
Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com

When we first get married, we are in what is called the “Honeymoon Phase,” and the whole world is a wonderful place.

We see our lives through the sparkle of a new life with our new love, and it feels like we can handle anything as long as our best friend and lover are by our side.

After a while, and the timing is different for each couple, life becomes a bit more routine, and we and our partner/spouse may need a reminder that we are still just as special to one another as we were in the beginning.

Below you will find 25 ways to let your significant another know just how special they still are to you:

Return to Your “Special Place of Romance”

Take your spouse to the “special place” you used to meet at, or maybe the spot where you first laid eyes on each other.

Is there a corner coffee shop you used to meet up at just to talk? A lake at a park where you walked along the beach holding hands and getting to know each other better?

Maybe there is a certain vacation spot you have gone to every year that holds great significance. The location doesn’t matter; it’s the memories made there that will help your partner feel the love.

Mind Your Manners

Saying Please and Thank You never loses its meaning. In fact, the longer you are in a relationship, the more important it is to continue using respectful communication.

Tell your spouse thank you when they feed the dog, or when they wash the dishes in the sink, no matter if there are three dishes or a sink full of dishes.

Remember to say please when asking your partner to hand you the soap or to take out the trash. Minding your manners will always be a sign of respect.

Pick Your Battles

There will always be something that you and your spouse cannot agree on. When you first fall in love, it may seem like you have so much in common that you’ll never disagree. This is never going to be the case in any relationship.

Unless it crosses a major personal boundary for you, learn to agree to disagree. It really doesn’t matter whether Pepsi or Coke is the better-tasting soda.

Stop Looking for the EXIT sign

In a committed relationship, calling it quits is really a last resort. There will always be difficult times, storms to weather; just remember to keep in mind that you likely said the words “Till Death Do Us Part” at your wedding ceremony and that the only thing constant is change. Hard times will come, and then they will go. Hold on to your spouse during these times.

Let Your Husband Have the Last Bite

This could be literal (or not). Letting your spouse have that last delicious bite of chocolate cake or the last handful of popcorn at the movies relays that you care that they are enjoying themselves.

Skip the Sweatpants Sometimes

You used to wear those heels, and he used to put on that great cologne, but for a while, it’s been all stretch waistbands. Spice things up by turning your partner’s head every once in a while.

Spend Time with Shared Friends

It’s nice to be able to hang out with the friends you’ve had since you were single, but sometimes it’s nice to hang out with another couple who are mutual friends for both you and your spouse. It can be very affirming and build the bond you share as a couple.

Acknowledge your part in arguments and be quick to forgive your spouse when they acknowledge theirs too

No one is perfect. Don’t make excuses for yourself, and don’t hold back your forgiveness when your spouse says that they are sorry. Be quick to apologize, and you will solve your issues more quickly than if you decide to hold a grudge or deny that you have done anything wrong. It takes two.

Maintain Shared Values

Maintaining similar life goals and views will maintain a relationship. When people who used to hold similar values evolve into new belief systems, it can be very hard on a marriage. If you think that your spouse may have changed their view on something that you hold as a solid belief, you may want to see a counselor to help.

Continue Your “Couple” Traditions

What’s your favorite way to spend a free afternoon with your significant other? Rock climbing? Skiing? Reading books at the bookstore over coffee? Making dinner together or watching reruns of your favorite Netflix series? Whatever it is, don’t neglect these traditions as they build lasting memories and connections.

Romantic Gestures

Write your spouse’s love notes, on paper stuck into their lunchbox, in lipstick on the bathroom mirror, or on a piece of scented stationery. The best part about this is that you surprise your sweetheart when they least expect it.

Mutual Respect

When you respect someone, you do not talk down to them, put them down or tease them in a mean-spirited way. Marriage partners love being respected, and it helps keep the relationship healthy as well.

Don’t Forget Special Dates!

Some people are more sensitive to forgetfulness about this subject, but everyone enjoys being remembered on their special days: birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, whatever the occasion; remembering your loved one makes them feel special and loved.

Display Your Memories

Displaying years of memories and special times is a way to make your house a home. If your spouse is having a hard day, seeing a special memory, like the day of your wedding, could be a great little pick-me-up!

Never Leave Without a Hug and Kiss Goodbye

Grandma’s Marriage Advice: “Never let the sun go down on your anger” is also true for saying goodbye when your spouse heads off to work or to the grocery store. Always be sure to hug and kiss your partner goodbye, just in case it may be the last time. Morbid, maybe, but pretty realistic.

Yes! To PDA

This doesn’t have to mean groping each other. Complimenting your spouse in public can be just as meaningful a public display of affection as holding hands.

Find the Funny in Hard Situations

We all have those days when we feel that nothing worse could happen. The basement floods, we wreck the car, and we lose our luggage during a trip.

It can be easy to get angry in these kinds of situations, but really, what good will that do you? Stuff happens. There’s no one out to get you. Make the most of the time you have with your spouse by finding humor in every situation.

Prioritize Alone Time

When we are in love with someone, we usually spend the first year of marriage or time in a relationship, spending most of our time together.

We rarely have time for our friends, let alone time to ourselves. This can only last so long before it becomes unhealthy and damaging to the relationship. Take time out for yourself. It’s important.

“Me Time” is so essential that relationship coach Laura Doyle encourages that we make it a daily ritual. “Make a list of 20 things that put a smile on your face and do 3 of them each day,” she says. “It can be as simple as sipping your favorite tea while reading a book or as exhilarating as rock climbing. The important thing to remember is chores don’t make the list,” which is something we should all take note of. If we are more relaxed, we are less likely to explode on our partners. 

Unplug from the Matrix and Plug into Your Marriage

Social media, checking our email, surfing the web, all of these things are time stealers. We tend to spend time that we could be having quality time with our spouse, wasting it on these useless endeavors.

Do what you need to do, and then, when you find yourself scrolling and scrolling, just staring at the screen, it’s time to stop and engage with your partner. Unplug, plug into nature, to reality, to your marriage.

Give Them A Choice

Don’t pick the movie, the dinner location, or the vacation spot every time. Letting your partner choose, although it should be obvious why allows them to retain their independence. Sharing everything is part of being in a long-term relationship.

Pig Latin and Inside Jokes

Remember in elementary school when kids in your class, maybe even you, spoke “Pig Latin” and thought that the teachers or people who weren’t in their “clique” couldn’t understand them?

It gives you a feeling of comraderie to share an inside joke or secret language. You and your spouse can use this same concept, reminding each other with just a look or a few words about an experience that only you have shared with each other.

Adventure Somewhere New

At times we can get comfortable going to the same old hang outs with our spouse. Adventuring out to a new restaurant, a new place to go canoeing in a nearby town, or even adventuring out to a more remote area can add excitement to your everyday routine.

Reminisce About the Good Times

Sharing time together in new places can be an exciting experience that keeps on giving. Years later, looking back and reminiscing can feel nearly as good as having been there.

Make Kindness a Daily Practice

When others are unkind, even when it’s our spouse, it isn’t always easy to refrain from returning the behavior. Trying to remain calm and kind, however will usually bring the other person down a notch and cause them to reconsider their behavior.

If not, you can always walk away, but making kindness, toward your marriage partner, a daily practice will greatly increase your chances of a happy marriage.

Take Time to Celebrate

Celebrating the good times doesn’t always have to be a birthday or an anniversary. Celebrating life’s little victories, like a presentation that went well at work or losing 10lbs when you have been trying hard to diet and work out, will be a source of joy in your life and in your marriage.

It can be easy to leave it at a quick “Congratulations!” and move on, but how special would you feel if your partner backed that up with, “Surprise! I bought you flowers!” Making the most out of life means celebrating every moment together.

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