In his book, “What Makes Love Last,” research psychologist and relationship expert John Gottman explains that trust and commitment are the two most valuable secrets to a happy marriage. It’s no secret that marriage is hard work. But if your foundation is strong, you can maintain a happy and healthy lifelong relationship.
According to relationship experts, here are four secrets to a happy marriage:
1. Always Be Kind
Once hurtful things escape your lips in the heat of the moment, you can never take them back. Your partner might accept your apology, but they won’t forget the words you said to them or how it made them feel. Harsh words can end up destroying your bond. If an discussion becomes heated, walk away and give yourself a chance to cool off. Practice kindness on a daily basis. Give your partner compliments, surprise them with breakfast in bed or help out around the house. Let your partner know you appreciate them.
Therapist Dr. Mike McNulty explained, “Listen. Help your spouse express his or her feelings. Empathize. Show support. Don’t problem solve or fix. Most of us just want to be heard.” If your partner needs to vent after a long, stressful day, let them. Pay attention to what they’re saying and show your support. When the two of you are disagreeing, let your partner explain their feelings and listen closely. Let them know that you value their opinion and they are heard.
3. Learn To Compromise
Compromise is often a big part of a relationship, especially marriage. When you don’t see eye to eye with your partner, search for a solution that works for both of you. Being willing to compromise in a marriage will only make the relationship stronger. It shows that you are both willing to sacrifice and negotiate in order to make the other one happy, and when a problem arises, you respect each other enough to communicate openly and solve it.
4. Don’t Forget To Have Fun
Marriage can be stressful. But it’s important to remember what attracted the two of you in the first place. Don’t stop doing all of the fun things you used to do while you were dating! Make time for date night. Take trips together. Cuddle on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a movie. Keeping the fun factor alive in your relationship is one of the best secrets to a happy marriage.