How to Have a Happy Marriage—That Lasts
Close your eyes and think back to your first days of married life. For most of us, those days are filled with excitement, wonder, and hope! In the beginning, we looked forward to a happy marriage with our spouse, we had goals and dreams. Every experience was a brand new adventure and the romance probably came pretty easy! All we wanted to do was hold hands, cuddle and talk for hours on end! Over time, we settled into routines and our marriage started to take more effort!
So how do you continually keep the romance in your marriage as fun and as loving as it was when you were first married? Here are a few marriage tips to create the happy marriage of your dreams and keep the love alive throughout the years.
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A Marriage Myth
I taught elementary school in my previous life and I remember having a conversation with some other teachers that rather stuck with me… JUST because it made me so sad! I thought I would share the experience as well as my personal thoughts on it.
We were all sitting in the teacher’s lounge eating our lunches. When asked about my weekend plans, I shared a little about the date I was planning for my husband. A few of the teachers exclaimed things like, “That sounds like so much fun!” and “He’s going to LOVE it!”
A few others mentioned that they wish they had the time or desire to plan a fun date OR they wished HE would plan a creative date. Then came the comment that stuck with me: “Ahhhh… you’re still a newlywed! You’ll learn!”
She laughed as she said it, but I noticed that another teacher nodded in agreement. Yes, it was a joke but they were serious. They continued on jokingly complaining about their husbands.
At first, this made me sad… and then I realized I was also a little frustrated! How is it that people don’t know that you can stay in the “newlywed” phase your entire life? Or that as you continue to work on your marriage it gets even BETTER than the newlywed phase?
Happy Marriage Goals
I know you have all seen them – the sweet little old couples that shuffle along, still holding hands, both semi-blind and pretty darn deaf and looking as in love as the day they were married. That’s how I want Jamie and I to be! Did those couples fight? Of course! But, they also had the desire to work things out, communicate, and then work even harder at their marriage!
Knowing that you are going to have to make an effort to have the happy marriage of your dreams is the first step to creating a happy marriage for you and your spouse.
The Number 1 Marriage Tip
I recently read an AMAZING book called, “Love As a Way of Life“. The author, Gary Chapman (who also wrote “The Five Love Languages“), described his wife in the most loving terms and then revealed his marriage secret. Every day he would ask his wife, “What can I do for you today?” He said that at first his wife was surprised at the question but would let him know how he could help her out. Eventually, she started asking him the same thing!
They began to take pleasure in serving one another. You can’t help but love those that you serve! They quit looking out for #1 and shifted the focus to their spouse. It worked WONDERS in their marriage and after reading that book you can’t help but be a believer in the power of service! (P.S. I TOTALLY recommend that book!!!)
I know we are all SUPER busy and when you have children, life only gets crazier! Add in all the other commitments – jobs, household duties, church responsibilities… You can see how our marriages easily get pushed to the back burner. That is why we started this site, so we could slow down a little and remember to focus on the one we started it all with! You truly have to make the time!
Since starting this site and reading that awesome book, I have made a special effort to serve Jamie. Just last night, I knew he would be getting home late and might want to catch up on some of our FAV recorded TV shows. I quickly popped some homemade cheesy popcorn so he could also have his favorite treat. It took me less than ten minutes. We both laughed when he arrived home… armed with a half gallon of MY favorite treat – ice cream!
It was something SO simple, getting a treat for each other, but it made me realize how lucky I am to be married to such a guy AND that my efforts are paying off! I think we are BOTH making a special effort to try to put the other FIRST! Two days ago I send him a “love text” and he wrote back truly touched by my message. His message BACK to me basically put me on cloud nine for the rest of the day! Such a small thing can leave such a BIG impact! I am currently trying to make a special effort to leave him some kind of a CUTE love note each week, something simple, that lets him know how much he means to me!
I will be the first to admit that my marriage isn’t perfect but that will be quickly followed by saying that it’s perfect for ME! Why? That’s too hard to answer in just one sentence, but I can start by saying that my husband and I work hard at our marriage and we are definitely reaping the rewards of doing so!
What a difference it makes to actually ENJOY your journey with the one you chose to spend the rest of your life with instead of just ENDURING it!
I am sure hoping that I get to be one of those lil ole grannies who can’t hear a dang thing and who STILL insist on holding her husband’s hand! I want to be a “newlywed” for the rest of my life. 🙂