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What Are The Secrets To A Happy Marriage?

If you look at what some celebrities have to say about their marriages (and they should know, because how does a marriage withstand the spotlight?) then people like the Beckhams say it’s quality time, others suggest playfulness. There are as many ‘secrets’ as there are celebrity couples. But their track records are hardly creditable.

What are the small things that make a happy marriage? One can only answer these personally, and they will differ from one marriage to the next. But here’s what it is that I love about my partner, and why I think this makes our marriage happy:

  • He never makes me feel worse about something I’ve done wrong – when I’ve goofed up, he’ll make light of it
  • He never, ever over-reacts (and I do, a lot, which is a little embarassing)
  • He writes (and sometimes even makes) an anniversary card every year without fail (and a birthday card too), each with meaningful words
  • He’s a hands-on father and never has to be asked to step in or do dad-type things with our son
  • When I ask him to tell me how he feels about something, he will try really hard to put it into words, even if it takes a while
  • He doesn’t keep score
  • The house work is divided equally between us (most of the time)
  • He is remarkably patient
  • He never criticises me
  • He tells me often how much he loves me

Am I lucky? I think so.

Here are a few guidelines we could all use in our marriages, and it helps every now and again to refer back to them:

  • Happiness takes effort
  • There must be trust
  • Marriage takes commitment
  • There is no such thing as a perfect marriage (take a look around)
  • It’s okay to do take-aways
  • It’s okay to speak your mind and argue, as long as there is mutual respect involved; choose your words carefully
  • Praise one another, often (I do this with my child, but not always my partner)
  • Laugh, often
  • Give more than you take
  • Make time for one another

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