At one point or another, every couple wonders if there are secrets to a happy marriage. You may see a couple that seems so perfect together after so many years, and wonder how in the world they accomplished that. Despite what people think, marriage is hard and it takes an enormous amount of give and take, compromise, and self-control to be and stay happily married. In fact, you will find that one of the secrets to a happy marriage, is sitting tight during turmoil and not throwing in the towel every time you want to. Which can be often.
The internet is full of advice; counselors are constantly writing books and sharing their theories about what makes a happy marriage. There are millions of self-help, church based, workbooks, workshops and couple’s camps that all try to sell the idea of the perfect marriage. Sure, they might render some good ideas, unveil personality flaws that make things difficult and even help to mend the constant ebb and flow of breaking hearts that occurs when you love your spouse. What many people tend to leave out of the mix when it comes to making a marriage work, having a happy life is that far too many people are searching outside of themselves, to their mates and families, to provide something that only they can provide. Happiness. The real secret to a happy marriage is a happy person one who is grounded and comfortable in their own skin and who feels responsible for their own happiness, fulfillment, and reactions.
You cannot control your spouse. If they drink, smoke, have emotional issues, a temper, talk too much, complain, are OCD, overly involved in the kids, spend too much money, depend on their parents, don’t fight fair or any other flaw you are not going to be able to change it. At least not fully. Most people will conform for a while in order to reassert the peace in the home, but will be left with resentment that they aren’t accepted just how they are. What you do have control over in your marriage is your own outward and inward reaction. If your spouse treats you like a child or constantly does things that irritate you, you have the choice to allow it to make you feel whichever way you choose. In other words, you have a choice. You don’t have to condone or try to fix your spouse to be happy, you just have to make the personal decision about how you will react and feel. In fact, in some ways it is important to learn how to disconnect from certain parts of the people you love the most.
What confuses people is that choosing your reaction and not allowing things to bother you, many people tend to try and ‘ignore’ it. This usually ends up being passive aggressive and while they aren’t talking about IT (whatever it is) they are still angry and disgruntled. They may pout or go out of their way to ACT as if it isn’t bothering them. This isn’t the answer. The answer is a full disconnect. You say your peace, you make sure your spouse knows how you feel; you realize that you aren’t going to change things and then you move along with your own life, living and feeling it the way you choose and want to. Angry people are not made angry by some force outside of themselves, they are instead somehow comfortable living in that drama and choose to stay.
Certainly some certified marriage counselors are choking on their food about this point. The bottom line is that each of us has personal responsibility for our own satisfaction. Whether it is sexually in the relationship, it is impossible and silly to live based on contingencies of how someone else acts. Some behaviors can be too trying to fully understand and in this case, it is best to move on. However, 90% of what couples argue about that turn into larger issues of self, are silly. Just plain silly. Are they worth being upset over for several days? Are they worth arguing? Are they worth nibbling away at the love you feel for that person? Eventually, you will find that the answer is no.
Even with the perfect spouse, happiness in marriage comes from each person. It also comes from learning to detach from things about your spouse that you aren’t going to change. If you can’t live with it, then you have to choose to move on. But if the good outweighs the bad and the love is stronger than the irritation, you will find that your marriage can be happy. When you decide that there are some things in life that are not worth fighting over or arguing, your marriage will be happier. By the same token, when you take personal responsible for your own happiness you realize that neither storm nor upset can ruin your marriage.
Happy people are fun to be around. Happy people smile a lot, are generally positive, and put off an essence that positively makes them a joy to be around. They are easy to talk to, easy to say they are sorry, easy to forgive and easy to understand. They are honest and eager to see the sunny side of life. They are awesome partners and while they may not always agree or like what their spouse does they are able to take responsibility for their own happiness and live life by their outline rather than someone else’s. So, in conclusion it is fair to say that when it comes to the secrets to a happy marriage, there really aren’t many. Instead, the secret to making marriage happy and living life to the fullest is the ability to make yourself happy first, foremost and beyond all other things.
Save your time, your money, and your research and learn how to make yourself happy. Then, when you get married, you will see how easy it is to make your marriage happy as well.