How to Keep a Happy Marriage Strong and Brimming with Love
If you're trying to figure out how to keep a happy marriage, you can find massive laundry lists of "Dos" and "Don'ts" to consider every day in your marriage. Looking at those lists and resources that try to tell you how to keep a happy marriage can be overwhelming - you might think: "Oh, sure, if I could do all this, I'd be a saint and my marriage would be perfect!" You don't have to be perfect to have a happy marriage, but you do have to work at it.
Try to focus on little things and tasks you can do to keep your marriage happy and strong. If you want to receive tips on how to keep a happy marriage, sign up for our free marriage tips newsletter.
Be kind and generous to each other.
One of the keys to keeping your marriage happy is to be kind and generous to your spouse. The old Golden Rule is a great rule of thumb for any marriage: treat your spouse as you'd want to be treated. Be supportive of your spouse, plan nice dinners for your partner and sometimes do things that you know he or she loves - even if you don't. Let him watch the baseball game on television while you read a book. He'll appreciate it, and then he may be more willing to talk about his day or let you watch a 'chick flick' while he reads a magazine. If both you and your spouse are focused on making life happy for each other, you're virtually guaranteed to keep your marriage strong and full of love.
Don't let the sun go down upon your anger.
This is an arbitrary rule, but the point of thinking this way is to make an effort to resolve arguments or hurt feelings. Don't let arguments with your spouse drag out for long periods of time. One of you has to be the bigger person, and arguing for an evening or a week is only going to hurt your marriage. If you're both committed to making your marriage work, you should each be willing to make compromises and resolve arguments instead of letting them fester and make both of your lives miserable. Talk about your arguments instead of arguing, and discuss potential solutions with which you can both be satisfied. You don't have to 'win' every argument - you may have to agree to disagree - but don't let things drag out without resolving them.
Most importantly: when an argument is resolved, let it go. Don't hang on to resentment and unhappiness over a lost argument. Definitely don't bring up past arguments every time you have a new one. Your spouse will feel like it's not worth resolving an issue if you're only going to keep bringing it up over and over again. And regardless of whether you're right or wrong - let your spouse win some arguments. Compromise is the great art of marriage, and your spouse will only feel frustrated and beaten down if you win every argument. Make your marriage a true partnership, and happiness will follow.
Marriage is a two-way street: share responsibilities.
You want to know how to keep your marriage strong? Share responsibilities. If one partner has the burden of all of the household responsibilities, it won't be long before that partner begins to feel resentful, unhappy and unappreciated. Responsibilities include all of the day-to-day work of running a household. Share the financial responsibilities, responsibility for chores around the house and the responsibilities of caring for the kids. If both you and your spouse work, tackle household finances together and do what you can to cut corners and save money in case something ever comes up where you need a cushion. Financial woes are one of the biggest causes of tension in a marriage, so if you want to keep your marriage together, you've got to learn to manage your finances as a couple.
The same thing goes for household chores. Practically no-one enjoys doing the dishes, sweeping the floors, mopping and dusting. It can feel like a burden to get dinner on the table every night. Be considerate of your spouse and share these burdens. Neither one of you enjoys them, so doing them together shows your spouse that you're both committed to the relationship - and that includes the unpleasant things, as well as the fun times. If you feel overwhelmed by your burdens, share them with your spouse. Your spouse will probably be happy to help you out every once in a while, and it's much healthier than bottling things up until they explode.
For many couples, keeping a strong and happy marriage is just common sense. However, if your marriage is having trouble, you may need to work through some issues before you can work on improving your marriage. Take a look at Amy Waterman's Save My Marriage Today ebook - it's full of exercises and guidance to help resolve common marriage issues and make your marriage stronger than ever.