Lifestyle & Nutrition

8 Ways To Bring Happiness Into Your Marriage

One of my goals for this year is to read through The Happiness Project, apply the principles and share my findings. This book has been challenging and very eye-opening.

A happy spouse may offer their companion more lifestyle changes than an unhappy one, as they are often more focused on their own needs. A happy spouse, especially one who leads a healthy lifestyle is also more likely to motivate their spouse to follow their foot steps and become healthier in the process. In addition, a happy spouse is likely to place fewer demands on their partner, which reduces the likelihood of unhealthy behaviors such as drinking alcohol.

Having a marriage also means having a shared history. The long time that a couple spends together, the ups and downs that married couples go through, give the relationship a distinctly deep bond. Of course, spending a long time together also carries risks. For example, a marriage that loses its liveliness can also become dull and boring for the partners.

So how can you create a happier environment within your marital life?  Today I am going to share 8 ways to bring happiness into your marriage.

1. Quit Nagging

nagging

Let me first say, nagging does NOT work. How do I know it doesn’t work? Because I am guilty of it. Nagging creates tension, resentment, bitterness and a lot of other negative feelings that you really do not want to invite into your marriage. I have to constantly remind myself where the line is between nagging and accountability.

It is very easy to convince myself that the 20 reminders a day to my husband about cleaning the kitchen is simply “accountability” however THAT is nagging. Because this is something I struggle with, my husband and I are open about it. I ask him to let me know ways I can help remind him of things and he gently lets me know when I have gone too far.

2. Don’t expect Praise/Appreciation

When I first read this section, I thought this one is not fun. I thought to myself, “My husband should be giving me words of affirmation all the time”. As I continued to read, I realized I missed Gretchen’s point altogether. Her point was not to EXPECT it, whereas, words of affirmation is something that I NEED from husband within our marriage. That would fall more into The Five Love Languages which is a completely different can of worms.

If praise and appreciation is something that you need from your partner then that is a separate conversation that you need to have with him/her. What Gretchen was trying to say, was not to expect praise in terms of it being owed. Anytime I have had expectations that have not been communicated I have always been disappointed. My husband is not a mind-reader which means we need to communicate with each other. Share what we are thinking and what we need.

Read also: How To Be Happy and Content With Your Body and Mind

3. Fight Right

couple fighting

Fighting right is very important. In marriage, fighting is inevitable. It WILL happen and if it has not happened yet…give it time. When fighting with your spouse it is so important to fight right. Do not bring up old stuff, once it has happened and is solved leave it be. Another one that makes fighting worse, is being the “one upper”. Do NOT be the person who has to have it worst. Arguing with someone who tries to one-up you is not fun.

Not only have I argued with someone like that but I have been that person. You cannot reason with someone like that and things do not get solved. When you fight right you are addressing the issue at hand, honestly listening to the other person, and extending grace.

I was very intentional about applying this principle this past month, and as a result, Hubby and I have really listened to each other. We want to solve issues instead of avoiding, and have grown closer to each other.

4. No Dumping

Next principle in the ways to bring happiness into your marriage is so simple and yet I completely overlooked it. The example Gretchen uses in the book is she gets a letter from their credit card company informing them that their card has canceled. After reading the letter she has two options, show it to her husband all upset therefore ruining his day OR calmly resolving the issue and then letting her husband know that they have a new credit card. The correct response is, of course, option two.

If I was having one of the best days ever and hubby came up to me all flustered about a problem that was easy to fix I would then be upset at him for ruining my day. Now, when I have a problem, I take a deep breath and decide if it is something I can handle on my own or if I need to calmly ask my husband for his help. This principle is difficult to start but once I had momentum it has made a huge difference in our day-to-day marital happiness. Seriously, give this one a try!!

Read also: Simple Tips to Practice Self Reflection

5. Forgive little imperfections

forgive your spouse

A successful marriage is not the union of two perfect people. It is the union of two imperfect people who have learned the value of forgiveness and grace. Forgiveness is such an important ingredient in relationships. Being resentful keeps you in a negative space and prevents you from being the best version of yourself.

6. Cultivate common interests

If there is something important in the life of a couple, it is passion. When it fades, it is usually because there are no common tastes, no desire to do things together in your free time, the interests of both are different and there is no longer the necessary attitude to change them. Don’t let this happen! In a couple it is vitally important to spend time together doing something you both enjoy.

7. Feel good from within

Before committing to and being comfortable in a relationship with another person, find peace and be comfortable with yourself. You need to know how to be alone and not depend on the other person.

8. Give Proofs of Love

couple smiling

And the last principle is to bring happiness into your marriage is a fun one! Giving proofs of love is basically spoiling the one you love. That could be verbal, physical, gifts, etc. I really enjoy spoiling him so this one was easy for me. The more proofs I gave the better he felt which boosted his ego, and that is a GOOD thing. I have noticed with my hubby the more I spoil him, the more manly he feels and the more manly he feels the more he wants to either impress me or spoil me! So really it is a WIN WIN!

My goal within my marriage is to always strive to be better and these principles have really helped me achieve that. Now, I am not saying that these five principles are the cure-all to a bad marriage. Marriage is complex and difficult and is not fixed with a few ideas, however, these concepts have the potential to help you become a better spouse.

What are your thoughts on these 8 ways to bring happiness into your marriage? How do you bring happiness into your marriage?

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Kara Bout It