At some point in any relationship, reality sets in and the honeymoon period comes to an end. Then, you will both need to put in extra effort to make your marriage work.
While according to Dr. Terri Orbuch: “it doesn’t take hard work to keep a relationship happy or stable over time,” it also doesn’t hurt to be in tune with the evolving needs of your partner and your relationship. So how do you know what makes a happy, healthy marriage? For starters, it will help to know what isn’t.
Here are five key distinctions that set happy marriages apart from miserable marriages.
1. Those in happy marriages apologize and don’t dwell on mistakes
Have you ever had an argument with your spouse where all of your past mistakes are brought up? Well, that’s not exactly healthy. In fact, bearing grudges can hurt your relationship in the long run. In healthy relationships, both partners are slow to anger and quick to apologize.
They truly move on once any conflict is resolved, not allowing any toxic words or thoughts to fester, or to seep into their relationship.
2. They practice honest and respectful communication
Effective communication, the kind that’s honest even when it’s embarrassing, may be challenging, but achieving it will help strengthen any relationship.
Through the years, you will both learn what makes each other tick. Though you may have difficulty adjusting to one another’s moods at first, being consistently invested in making it work and being patient and understanding will help you have more meaningful conversations. It will also free you to be more open, knowing that your partner will not judge you for speaking your mind.
3. Those in happy marriages focus on the good
Happy couples focus on each other’s great qualities, instead of dwelling on their flaws. They value one another and they appreciate the little things. Being consistent about focusing on what you love instead of what annoys you will result in good habits.
Constantly thank them for the little things, instead of allowing the negative things to be amplified. Have realistic expectations of your partner and be patient and kind. It may seem simple, but there will be days when this will be more of a challenge.
Though there will be tough times and moments when you just can’t stand one another, fostering the habit of celebrating postitivity will help you get through any hardship.
4. Happy couples celebrate their partner
Those in happy marriages refrain from saying anything bad about their significant other. This may seem obvious, but we often don’t notice, while ranting or venting to friends, that we’re inadvertently bad-mouthing our partner.
Each time you express something negative about your husband or wife, whether it’s to a close friend or relative, it seeps deep within your consciousness, putting you at risk of eventually resenting them.
5. Healthy relationships promote self-improvement
Happy couples still value the importance of taking care of themselves, doing their best to correct negative behavior, and cultivating meaningful relationships outside of their marriage.
For you to be fulfilled in your relationship, you shouldn’t take individuality for granted. Those who are secure and happy in their personal lives make better partners!
While there is no set formula to maintaining a genuinely loving and joy-filled marriage, these five reminders will surely affirm or enhance whatever season of marriage you are in!
READ: 42 Things people in happy marriages should NEVER do
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