As of writing this post, this year, we are celebrating two years of marriage and six years of being together. And boy, time goes by fast when you’re with someone you enjoy being with!
What marriage is about
If you thought I was going to say that marriage is about love, you are mistaken! Yes, love is important to have in your marriage. But marriage is about teamwork. *cue balloon deflating* Not as exciting as you thought it would be, huh?
Yep, marriage is all about you and your partner working as a team. You can both be different people and have individual lives, but marriage is coming together and working with another person as you go through life.
If one person is thinking about his or her own benefit, the scale of marriage is unbalanced. Think of it as rowing together across a river. You both have your individual oars and your goal getting into a rhythm to pull the oars while heading to the destination without zigzagging along the way. If one is dragging or not doing the work, the boat will diverge from the destination, or worse, you’ll be circling with no end in sight. The sooner you work as a team, and the smooth sailing your marriage will be.
The secret on how to have a happy marriage
1. Dream together
Dreaming together and envisioning your future will help you have something to look forward to as a couple. It’s having a shared vision for your future. Make sure that what you both dream about is exciting for both of you.
2. Have a hobby separately
Having a hobby that’s mainly yours will help you have an identity outside of your marriage. Not only will you as a person grow in an area, but you can also meet other people who like the same hobbies.
3. Have a hobby or project together
Having hobbies or projects that you and your partner can work on, will help strengthen your marriage and make your work better as a team. You can take a massage class together and practice that at home.
4. Talk openly
Your partner is the one that you should be able to talk to openly. It’s scary to be vulnerable, but better your partner than any other person, right?
5. Don’t assume
They don’t always know what you’re thinking about. Sometimes you have to over-communicate so that your partner knows what to expect or what you’re actually thinking.
6. Have date days or nights regularly
This is important to uphold after marriage, whether you’re stuck inside or busy with your schedule. Pick and choose whether you want to do weekly or monthly dates, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
7. Take a trip
only the two of you. There’s something special about taking a private trip together. It rekindles your relationship and gives you experiences to share together.
8. Compliment often
Make them feel good about themselves by complimenting them. You’re probably thinking positive thoughts about your partner, you should voice them to your partner often.
9. Focus on each other’s strengths
It’s easy to criticize, blame, or think of your spouse’s wrongdoings or shortcomings, but no one will be happy if that’s all you focused on in your marriage. Instead, appreciating their strengths will make them feel loved and valued.
10. Love yourself
Don’t expect your partner to fill you. They can fulfill part of you, but giving them the burden of being your “everything” is a lot of pressure. Instead, be a person to love and appreciate (as in, love and appreciate yourself) independently. It’ll take the stress from your partner and will leave him happier.
11. Ask questions
Asking questions helps you connect on a deeper level. I have a blog post to help you there: 50 Deep Questions to Ask on Your Anniversary and 80 Questions to Ask for Couples.
12. Appreciate each other
Express words of appreciation to each other. Saying what you appreciate about them can take just a minute, but it can make your partner feel good for years. Think of it as the spinach that Popey eats! He gets energized and feels like he can do anything.
13. Have a life outside of your marriage
Marriage isn’t the end of your social life. Even though you’re married, you still need your group of friends and colleagues. Your friends and worklife are a part of a pillar in your life that continuously need to be strengthened outside of marriage.
14. Accept your partner
You probably know this by now, but you can’t change others. All you can do is accept them as they are. You fell in love with your partner the way he/she was, he/she will change in their own time. Continue to love them; show your appreciation beyond what they deserve.
15. Praise in public and correct in private
This advice came from Jake and Mandy. It’s best to keep all criticisms private, and always support your partner around other people. It’s not fun when someone makes you feel bad in front of other people, right? Public disrespect (or with friends) can lead to resentment.
16. Treat them as if they already are
Your partner isn’t perfect, they have flaws, and that’s okay! Instead of putting them down or constantly reminding them of their shortcomings, treat them as if they are who you want them to be. Supporting your partner will boost your partner’s ego and make him or her really happy!
Take some time to get to know each other during the first few years of your marriage. This is a beautiful time of learning more about your partner and how to work together as a team.