Why are some couples happier than others?
Are there secrets to having a happier marriage?
What can you do to create a happier relationship?
Scientists who have studied happy couples found that there are actually simple things you can do each day to increase your chances of having a happier, more satisfying marriage.
Wives, believe it or not, we do have a lot more influence on the happiness of our marriages than we realize. We often have a tendency to focus on our problems and grievances rather than channeling our energy in positive ways that can strengthen our marriages.
Here I will share with you 7 Secrets to Having A Happier Marriage that Can Make All The Difference:
Maybe you are familiar with the old adage, “A happier wife makes for a happier home.” You may want to spit that one out but the truth is, the happier we become the happier we will be. This can start just by the act of smiling. The simple act of smiling around your house and throughout your day will lift your mood and make you happier. Remember when you were dating your spouse? Do you recall how you would just smile or glance at your husband and he would smile back? Smiling at your spouse can bring a feeling of understanding and tenderness. It says, “I notice you” and “I feel happy to see you”.
- Try to smile at your spouse a couple times during the day and see what happens.
2. Focus on the positive things your spouse does.
Studies have shown that couples that focus on the positives in their marriages have a 94% change of experiencing a happier marriage. These happy couples also know the secret of having 5 positive interactions for every negative one!
Do you want a happier marriage? Start by focusing on the positive and reining in your negativity. Be on the lookout for the positive things your spouse does. Open your eyes and focus on his positive actions. When I consciously practice this behavior, my perspective changes and I become more grateful.
How do you feel when you’re in the presence of someone who is positive? It makes a big difference, doesn’t it?
- Look for at least one positive thing your spouse does today and express your gratitude. Experience what a difference it makes!
3. Practice Humility.
Some of us view our spouses as improvement projects. When we do this, we are assuming a superior, “I’m better than you” stance. It doesn’t feel very good when someone is trying to change you, does it? Nor, is it a very motivating way to get someone to change. The same is true for your spouses.
When we become too quick to criticize in order to change our spouses, we’re fighting the wrong battle. Instead, channel your energy on becoming the kind of spouse and person you want to be. Make a habit of working on your own quirks that are bothersome to him so that your spouse feels you are sensitive to his feelings. This isn’t easy; it takes humility. By practicing humility, we not only bring about the best in us, it can also bring out the best in our spouses. Why? Because we will be more pleasant to live with.
- Next time you find yourself feeling “better than” your spouse, catch yourself. Instead, practice an attitude of humility by focusing on your own behavior.
4. Think before you speak.
How often do we think about what comes out of our mouths on a daily basis? Here is a great rule of thumb to think before we speak:
Is it kind?
Is what I am about to say something that will motivate, build up, or tear down my spouse?
If I say this, will it deposit happiness or bitterness in the love tank?
Am I blaming him rather than taking the initiative to ask for what I want?
- So here’s the challenge, go through an entire day of only saying what is kind. See how this feels.
5. Show appreciation for things big or small.
Sometimes it’s easy to feel taken for granted in our marriages. We forget to say thank you. When we feel under appreciated, we can start building resentments. When we get stuck in this pattern as a couple, we can get stubborn and limit our expressions of appreciation for each other.
How often do you let your partner know how grateful you are for everything they do? This might be taking out the garbage, helping to pick up the kids, going to work everyday, or his being sensitive to your words. Have you ever noticed how good it feels to have someone truly appreciate you and say thank you? Sometimes we never forget it.
- Make a list of 3 specific things you appreciate from your spouse. Now, place the list where he will see it.
6. Do a Random Act of Kindness.
Little random acts of kindness shown to our spouses can go a long way. The acts of kindness don’t have to cost anything or take very much time. This may be bringing him a cup of coffee, making his favorite dinner, or running an errand for him. My spouse has a little thing he does, nothing big, but I love it. He takes the electric toothbrush we share and puts my brush head on for me after he’s done brushing his teeth. It is such a small act of kindness, yet it makes me feel loved.
- Do one thing that you normally don’t like to do that means a lot to him without expecting anything in return.
7. Make spending time together a priority.
Studies show that happy couples talk more. Couples who have had the most successful marriages spend 5 more hours a week talking together. And, the couples who spend time alone together, at least once a week, were 3.5 times more likely to report being happy in their marriages.
With our busy schedules, this takes time and a commitment to make our partners one of our top priorities. We often spend more time with our kids than we do our spouses. Spend some time with your spouse without distractions— take an evening walk, have a date night at least every other week, try a new activity, buy tickets to a concert, or steal the time in the morning to talk over a cup of coffee.
- Be intentional to take a little time this week to talk to your spouse. Don’t wait for it to just happen—be proactive.
Want a happier marriage? Rather than focusing on your problems, embrace your power by practicing these simple secrets to building a happier marriage. Focus on the positive, smile, be humble enough to focus on your own behavior, show appreciation and kindness, and be intentional to make him a priority by spending time together.
Questions – What has helped you to build a happier marriage? What is one thing you can do to show your spouse he matters to you today?