If you’ve been with your partner long enough to have your first fight, or maybe lots of fights, you realize relationships aren’t always made up of whipped cream and sprinkles with a cherry on top.
Maybe you THINK there is such thing as a “perfectly happy couple”, but you consider your relationship seems far from it. You enviously look at the “happy” couples all over your Facebook newsfeed flaunting fun date nights, flowers, chocolates, and posts about their amazing spouse… or maybe it’s those obnoxiously happy couples you spot while out grocery shopping or even your co-workers gushing about their amazing boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife.
Okay, perhaps you aren’t that much of the jealous type, but are still wishing you and your significant other had less issues, were “the happy couple” more often, and could make your relationship last.
So how do these happy couples do it?
How do they seem so happy?
The better question to ask is, how do we make our relationship a long and happy one?
In actuality, no couple has a perfect or happy relationship all the time. So before criticizing the bond between you and your spouse, remember that all relationships have ups and downs. Let’s just help yours to be a happy one despite the tough times.
Maintaining a relationship or marriage takes consistent commitment and attention to the relationship. Many couples forget to nurture their relationship. It is like going to the gym. You can’t work out long and hard for 2 weeks and expect to maintain the same results if you don’t go back for 6 months.
Here are 4 tips to having a happier relationship:
1. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
Choose a consistent time each day to share with your beloved and 10 – 20 things you are grateful for. You can share about things from the past, present and future. You can express gratitude not only about each other but what you have learned or experienced throughout the years. You can do it through text or perhaps when both of you are vying for the bathroom sink getting ready in the morning, just be creative, but most importantly just do it!
2. Be Vulnerable with One Another
When talking with your spouse, don’t be afraid to show your vulnerabilities. This shows you trust your partner, and it opens a door for effective communication. When your partner is being vulnerable with you, respond with love, compassion, caring and empathy. When you are upset about something he or she did, try explaining how it made you feel before attacking or blaming. (*During couples counseling I teach couples effective communication skills to enhance their communication, connection and relationship).
No matter how busy your lives are, always make some time for spending some quality time alone with your partner. Use this time to go out for a date night, spend some intimate moments in the bedroom, or get creative with some activity you can do together.
Some fun ideas are do a blindfolded taste test, go exploring around town in your car and kiss at each red light, share an ice cream cone, or have a PJ dance party together in your living room… even camp out in sleeping bags for a slumber party! Be creative and as fun as you want.
4. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
It’s easy to let the little things your partner says or does get to you, but most of the time it’s best to pick your battles. Accept your man or woman’s quirks and brush off the smaller problems when you know it’s really not that big of a deal. If the “small stuff” does become bigger, it is important to reach out for support, involving a 3rd party like a therapist skilled in couples counseling can help enrich your relationship and love for one another.