1. People & Relationships

How to Have a Happy Marriage

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A happy marriage is a lofty but worthy goal. Although you’ll have to work hard on constantly developing and improving your relationship, you will have an enduring marriage and happiness when all is said and done. Great satisfaction comes with great love, so it’s definitely worth the effort. However, there is a warning: Often, you’ll have to swallow your pride, be completely honest, and remain humble. If you’re ready for all that, then you’re ready for a happy marriage. Here’s how to get started—

Build trust.

The foundation of any relationship is trust. Without trust, you have nothing. Frankly, you will doubt everything from your spouse’s honesty to his faithfulness. Committing to being honest with one another, developing intimacy, and being consistent in your actions can help build trust. But it’s not something that happens overnight, nor is the work ever done.

Communicate well.

Being able to talk to one another – about everything from your day at work to a difficult relationship with the in-laws – is an integral part of a successful marriage. But talking isn’t as easy as it sounds. Saying out loud what you want or need, especially if you’re unsure of your spouse’s reaction, can be terrifying. Getting comfortable enough with one another to have those big talks requires time and patience.

Fight fairly.

Arguing is a sign of health and passion in any relationship. But you can’t let fighting get out of hand, nor can you fight dirty. Learning to fight fairly – without using offensive language or hurtful words or manipulation – is a skill that most married people work on for their entire relationship. I’m not sure if anyone has perfected this talent, but it’s necessary to keep trying.

Stop the money fights.

Money is the number one issue causing fights between spouses. Getting your finances in order and learning to discuss money – in a calm and rational way – will go far in putting end to those pesky money fights.

Compromise with and for one another.

Give and take is never easy, especially for those of us who are used to getting our own way. But compromise is necessity in any relationship. Married couples have to work together like a team, and sometimes you have to take one for the team. Other times, your teammate has to do that for you.

Say you’re sorry.

Apologies are as important as love in a marriage. Those three little words, “I am sorry,” can bring closure to an issue, prove you take responsibility for your actions and words, and temper or eliminate anger. Still, getting up the nerve and having the courage to apologize – and do it correctly – takes acquired skill.

Learn to forgive.

Once in a while, you will be on the receiving end of the apology. You’ll have to be willing and able to find forgiveness in your heart. Depending on the gravity of the offense and how it affects you and your relationship, you may find it difficult to forgive and move on. Still, you should try to forgive because it will lift weight off your shoulder and help your relationship evolve in the way it is supposed to.

Keep sex spicy.

Love and sex usually go hand and hand in a marriage. But being together for a while, sex can get stale. You can make sure to keep the sex sexy by spicing things up, talking to one another about your sexual needs, and being romantic.

Go for marriage counseling.

Marriage experts often suggest getting marriage counseling from the start, even if you don’t think you have any problems or issues to work out. They say it’s like a checkup on your relationship and a way to prevent problems from creeping into your marriage and causing major problems down the road. Certainly, if there’s something causing a rift or disagreement with both of you, then marriage counseling is of even more importance.

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