How to Make a Happier Marriage

Every marriage has its ups and downs. You hold on during the down times in anticipation of the up times to come. But the ups often need a little encouragement, because negative emotions can easily get stuck in us and grow. So what can you do to shake off the down times and create a happier marriage? A lot, actually.

When you’re feeling unhappy in your marriage, it’s easy to blame your spouse. But it’s likely your spouse isn’t happy either, so look at yourself and see how you can be a better partner. Sometimes when you start making changes, your spouse notices and reciprocates. 

Change your focus

While it’s easy to notice what your spouse is doing that annoys you, stop looking at that and start focusing on what’s good about your life partner. Bring back that great old phrase “my better half” and start thinking about him or her that way. Does your husband have a great laugh? Does your wife always remember birthdays? Think about everything you like about your spouse and start noticing them daily. 

Once you start noticing them, tell your partner how much you appreciate that trait. “You just have the best laugh!” or “It’s so great that you remember people’s birthdays. You really make people happy.” Make it a point to compliment your spouse at least once every day. What a difference that will make in both your hearts! 

Practice “forgive and forget”

Yes, that can be hard. Big things need to be discussed, apologies offered, and forgiveness given. But little things need to just be forgotten. 

Does your husband always leave his coffee mug on the table when he leaves for work? Don’t let that bother you. Think of it as a little reminder of his presence and be thankful you have him. Does your wife put the seat up close in the car because she’s really short and then you bonk your head when you get in? Make a little joke out of it. After all, she needs to be able to reach the pedals, so she’s not doing it to annoy you. 

Rediscover each other

If you’ve been married for a while, your interests may have changed over time. If you’ve been focused on the kids for years and now they’re moving out, you probably haven’t had much alone time for a while. 

Now is the time to get to know each other again. Talk together about what things each would have fun doing and then start trying them together. Find a few things you both really enjoy, and then make that a new shared hobby. 

Take time to intentionally learn about your spouse. The more you know, the more you can connect in a meaningful way. You should also take time to intentionally create scenarios where both of your are engaged in something new. These are great opportunities to find out about whether your partner is spontaneous, can they laugh at themselves, do they have an interest in broadening their horizons, etc.

Embrace change

Intimacy also changes over time, so if sexual intimacy begins to wane or health issues make it difficult, enjoy intimate moments in new ways. Cuddle time, walks along a beach or in the park, and the sharing of a favorite movie with the lights low, wine, and a cheese platter are all opportunities for romance. 

Don’t be static in your relationship. People change, and circumstances affect us, but this doesn’t mean your love has to grow cold. On the contrary, it has the potential to make marriage exciting! If you need a little help working on some of these ideas, give me a call. I’ve helped many couples reconnect and move forward in their relationships.

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