Marriage is one of the oldest and most sacred institutions we have. It is, also, still one of the most sought after covenants in the world.
Unfortunately, it is taken for granted once it is obtained. The effort of marriage is underestimated, leaving one, or both, of the spouses, underappreciated.
There are those that have successfully mastered marital bliss. It is not an impossible task. Look at these top ten ingredients for a happy marriage, to make each day better than the last.
You may think that commitment is only made on the day you said your vows. It extends much further than that.
Feelings are fleeting. It is easy to love your spouse on the good days, but the trials of marriage are on the bad days.
Joshua Becker, author and minimalist, writes:
“Feelings come and go, but a true decision to be committed lasts forever – and that is what defines true love.”
Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., writes:
“Happy couples have realistic expectations, both about relationships in general and about their relationship in particular.”
Always communicate your expectations of your spouse. It is impossible to meet expectations that you didn’t know existed.
3. Sexual Faithfulness
Functional marriages rely on more than the absence of adultery. Joshua Becker writes:
“Sexual faithfulness in marriage includes more than just our bodies. It also includes our eyes, mind, heart, and soul.”
Be conscious of your surroundings, the company you keep, and what you expose yourself to. Refuse to subject yourself to temptation.
No one is perfect, we are all in need of forgiveness. Focusing on improving your own shortcomings rather than trying to point out all your spouse’s shortcomings, will do wonders for your relationship.
Have a daily goal of something to improve within yourself. We all have things we need to work on, and when we do humility is often contagious.
Having patience with our spouse is a demonstration of trust and love. It lets them know we know they will follow through, despite having a different timeframe.
We, also, need patience when unexpected obstacles arise. Patience is being able wait for our spouse to meet a verbalized expectation.
“If you are holding onto a past hurt from your partner, forgive him or her. It will set your heart and relationship free.”
It is easy to hold on to offenses our spouse has committed against us. This grasping at the past hurts you and prevents a peaceful progression of a happy marriage.
Spend quality time with your spouse. When other tasks in life take precedent over being with your spouse, the relationship crumbles.
Be intentional with bonding. Set specific time aside each day to find out what happened in a day and how it affected your spouse.
After years of marriage, it can become easier to give desired responses instead of honest responses.
Don’t let simplicity and complacency guide your choices with your spouse. Be honest when discussing how you feel uncomfortable with your son playing football, or if you don’t really want to move.
No relationship lasts when you are looking out for number one. A true marriage has to be able to do things in the spouse’s best interest at times.
You may prefer to have a new wardrobe each spring, but maybe your spouse has a need that would be better served with the wardrobe fund.
Selfishness destroys relationships. When you decide that “you” are more important than “we”, all other ingredients to a happy marriage are useless.
Barnett R. Brick stated:
“Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.”
Let your spouse know daily that they are valued and respected. Be specific on the ways they meet these characteristics.
Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., did an extensive study for the National Institute Of Health, which examined over 300 marriages over 20 years. The study reported:
“Affective affirmation was key to marriage happiness. Affective affirmation is “letting your partner know that they’re special, valued and you don’t take them for granted.””
Marriage is a God-given privilege. We must not squander the blessings that it holds.
Don’t waste another minute. Take the time needed to invest in your marriage and your spouse, today.
Implement at least one of these ingredients each day until your marriage is in a healthy and progressive state.