My husband and I have been married for more than 14 years. These years have been the best years of my life thanks to him and his love. A great marriage is a great blessing, and a few months ago we were asked to share with other couples what makes for a happy marriage. Below are my 10 secrets for happy marriages. I hope that by sharing what works for us helps marriages everywhere. Here goes.
1. Kiss each other often Remember the song that goes “If you want to know if he loves you so it’s in his kiss.” A kiss is powerful. Your marriage needs this power daily.
2. Become best friends Think for a moment about your best friend from your youth. Remember how you shared all your secrets? Remember how your best friend was the first person you told when something great happened, or when something not so great happened? Is that how you treat your spouse? Is he or she the one you run to first when you need someone to talk to? Do you share your secrets, your dreams, and your fears?
3. Practice tolerance Do you let your spouse’s idiosyncrasies bother you, or do you overlook them and choose not to let the imperfections bother you? Be tolerant, nobody is perfect, and nagging your spouse about his or her imperfections will bring problems greater than the initial problem.
4. Forgive Be quick to forgive. We all make mistakes, and at times others are hurt because of it. If you are the one hurt, be quick to forgive, and never hold a grudge, or bring up past mistakes. This only causes unnecessary pain and trouble.
5. Avoid criticism Nobody likes to be criticized, and it is very counter productive to do so. Criticism will not help to create happy marriages.
6. Put God first God is perfect, and His teachings are too. Living His teachings bring peace to your life, and peace to a marriage. Peace brings happiness.
7. Spend time alone with each other Alone time is very important for happy marriages. Take time to be alone. Go out to eat, for a drive, or a walk. Take time for the two of you.
8. Look at your spouse with spiritual eyes See you spouse as the perfect creation that he or she is. He or she is God’s perfect creation. Treat him/her as such.
9. Be a place of refuge for your spouse When your spouse has a bad day, be a soft place for them to fall. Listen sincerely, comfort them, be there for them. Be the better alternative to a stop at the bar, or a big bowl of brownie fudge ice cream.
10. Love always This is self explanatory. Love always means exactly that. Love in marriage should be unconditional. Never use it to manipulate, but to bring happiness and fulfillment into your relationship.
Some of these secrets for happy marriages may come easy to you. Others may not. Do not let this list overwhelm you. Work on them one at a time until they become habits. The result will be a happy marriage and a stronger, more fulfilling marriage. To your happiness and success.