Weddings are a lot of fun, but being married isn’t always a piece of cake despite all the dancing and laughter.(At other times, it resembles the piece of icing that got stuck in your nose during the smash—good intentions, bad result.) Whether you’ve been married for a long time or recently got hitched, there is actually a lot of work that goes into living “happily ever after.” We asked the experts what couples can do to enjoy a good marriage. For a stronger, better, and yes, more happy relationship, heed their wise advice. No marriage experiences constant happiness. There are ups and downs in relationships, according to psychotherapist Erica MacGregor.
But she adds that when couples do argue, happy marriages listen to each other’s viewpoints, spot when the conversation is losing steam, and fix the problem. The fact is that some of the happiest couples Dr. Juliana Morris has worked with “have withstood bad times,” according to the family and couples therapist. Therefore, having occasional disagreements or going through a difficult time with your spouse does not necessarily indicate that your marriage is miserable. In fact, it’s likely a sign that you’re normal. It’s not always simple to look past tiny irritations, and there may even be occasions when you resent your partner.
But according to Ellen Chute, LMSW, in order to have a happy marriage, you must be able to set reasonable expectations and accept your partner’s skills and weaknesses. For instance, if you are better at math, try not to get upset when they balance the checkbook incorrectly. Make it your responsibility to set the budget instead.
If cooking is their specialty, they can handle dinner preparation instead. According to Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, who co-wrote the book Happy Together with her husband James Pawelski, PhD, “using our skills on a regular basis is related with increased well-being.” And we feel more relational satisfaction when we support our spouse in using their skills, she adds.