Bridal Club Magazine
5 Secrets of a Happy Marriage
How do you know, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, that you won't
be struggling to "work on the sparkle"? That it won't be "all about
the couch and the take-out".
A happy marriage is about acknowledging and appreciating
your individual circumstances and accepting that it won't happen
through pure luck or accident. It will be because of the two of you
working at what it takes - dedication and commitment and ,
occasionally, hard work to make it grow strong. But the rewards are
What, exactly, are the secrets of a happy marriage?
1. Live Together Before You Get Married
One of the most important aspects of a happily married life as a
couple is to be realistic in choosing your partner. Love will have
its moments, but you can look forward to a happy and secure future
together only if you've first laid a stable foundation. For many -
though not all (there are obviously many perspectives on this,
particularly across cultures) - that means living together.
So-called "experts" suggest at least a year as an appropriate time
to get to know this special person.
During this time you can not only discuss just your individual
personal goals, you also get to evaluate for how these and other
factors will affect your life as a married couple; to what extent
you or your partner will be compromising any of the unachieved
goals. It's not just the physical living space you share and even
daily routines are intertwined closely. For many married couples
who have never lived together, it's the small, random details
that sometimes become amplified into major issues after
the wedding. Just be aware of that. With a commitment to live
together before the wedding, you learn how to make such
arrangements work, to uncover and incorporate any surprises your
decision will bring and to discuss your respective goals and
2. Be Honest
Building a stable foundation also means that you are true and
honest to your would-be spouse. This covers not just the negatives
but also the positives. With passing time, you'll only be
disgruntled if issues remains unresolved. Have an open discussion.
Financial standing? Plans or having children? Impressive of
his/her family? Longer term ideas for where you want to build your
Don't leave questions
A happy marriage is when you can understand everything your
partner is saying, whether directly or indirectly, with an innate
ability to analyze the underlying message or desire. Be courteous
and listen whenever your partner is talking to you without assuming
and finishing their sentences. At one level, this is good grace to
be applied to any conversation, personal or professional. But in
the context of a marriage, it's so easy to let that guard down and
never realized. Don't let that happen. After all, who
deserves your respect more than the person who has decided to share
the rest of their life with you? Give them your full
attention. Because soon, it'll be you on the other side and you'd
expect the same from your partner, wouldn't you?
If you're unsure with respect to anything, go ahead and ask! Ask
what they want, how they're feeling, even questions whether you're
meeting their needs. The more you converse, especially of your
expectations from each other, the more intimate and happily married
you'll be together. When your partner and you feel it's safe to
discuss opposing views over an issue, you'll not only be able to
solve problems together but also be able to believe the best in
3. Look After Your Time as a Couple
As time moves on and you have kids, it becomes relatively
difficult to spend quality time together as a couple, unless you
put in a little more effort. Eating quiet dinners or going to the
movies occasionally is healthy to maintain the connection.
Laugh with each other; there'll always be bills to pay and
stupid fights over babysitting duties or how clean the shower is,
but remember to take a chill pill and be glad to be with them.
It's crucial that you avoid comparing your relation to what
other couples share. You are an independent couple and unique in
your own right. Act that way and don't play the game about keeping
up with other couples or trying to mirror a lifestyle. Don't ruin
what you have by using someone else's marriage as a benchmark.
Decide what's right for you two and don't
allow any preconceived ideas to dismantle your happy marriage.
4. Consider Change
Are you all in or are you not? There's no middle ground. You
can't be guarded all the time post-union for fear of divorce and
failed marriages abundant around you. You need to invest well
emotionally for a happy marriage and, occasionally, to risk being
hurt for the marriage you want. And despite being so in love with
your partner as you are right now, you have to think about the
possibilities of change. This is just an inevitable fact of married
life - whether professionally, in terms of health, emotionally or
any many other ways. As you ride through life what better strength
might you possess than the chance to do so with someone who shares
your dreams and your passions, alongside you every step of the
You have to stick through thick and thin for one another. Don't
sweat all those curveballs. Embrace them. Life moves on. Pull
together through the rough tide, celebrate the good ones, and just
be supportive of one another throughout.
5. Think Constant Development
It's not uncommon for people in our society to file for divorce
even after being together 20 or 30 years. When we hear this, it
never ceases to surprise us. Despite our protective nature, we have
this delusion that having survived all those years is synonymous to
having made it, to have had a happy marriage. The need to
continually invest in your marriage never goes away. You owe it to
both your partner and yourself to fight complacency, always
respecting and treasuring that lifelong commitment each of you
There's no victory line. You're always compromising, but it's
worth it if you work at it constantly, daily, and earnestly. You
took the vow to love for better or for worse until death, remember?
Been screaming a lot lately? Forgive flaws and let your resentment
go if you truly want your marriage to be successful. Accept and
celebrate differences and understand what motivates your
partner, share. If you must fight, "fight fair" but have mutual
love and respect, become friends with each others close friends and
do everything to show them they matter.
These aren't hypothetical secrets of a happy marriage. They are
just common sense impressions of how to continually enrich and
celebrate your life together.