I sincerely don’t know why but I love being happy. This is why I do everything within my power to make myself personally happy. Well, I think it’s because I’ve learnt over the years that happiness comes from within. I have come to know the importance of being at peace with my inner self, my spouse and most especially with God. All these go a long way in giving us the happiness we desire as individuals.
I remember my growing up years, I loved reading love stories, romance novels etc., anything that had to do with happy endings. I began to believe in fairytale stories with happy endings. You know those types of stories where they write… “And they lived happily ever after’ at the end? I grew up reading those stories so I believed all marriages were meant to be a happily ever after thing. However, as I grew older, the reality of what marriage ensues began to dawn on me. I began to understand that there was no such thing except we work hard at it. Marriage is filled with ups and downs, sadness and happiness, plenty and lack, love and hate and you name the rest…..
I’ve seen marriages where couples act to be happy together when they are outside but back in the house, they are worse than Tom and Jerry…lol. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying there are no happily ever after marriages out there, what I am saying is that it is not easy to come by. How happy a marriage is, has a lot to do with how much each partner is willing to sacrifice for the marriage.
Now my question is; ‘Don’t we all want to be happily married men and women?’ Of course I am sure every married person reading this piece has answered in the affirmative. Yes, we all want to be happily married. So what are those things that may be militating against the happiness? Why has happiness in our marriages become far-fetched? You want my sincere opinion? We are the ones who define how our marriage would be. Just like the signature of my personal email address reads; ‘The answer to every question lie within us…….’
You can be a happily married man/woman if you make up your mind today to be one… as easy as that! To achieve this, you must make up your mind to put into action, the following measures:
Develop a Great Sense of Gratitude –There have been so many occasions where I have seen a man or woman who doesn’t know how to appreciate his/her spouse adequately. This is more prominent on the part of men (no hard feelings please :)). Most men go out to work then come back home, meet the house looking good, the children sleeping peacefully in a well laid bed, their favourite meal on the table and just take everything for granted.
I want you to paint a scenario in your head. A husband gets home after work, hugs his wife and tells her wholeheartedly how beautiful she looks, goes to the room to freshen up, comes out to eat his meal and compliments the wife by telling her how delicious the meal is. Walks to the living room, sits on the couch, asks the wife to forget about the dishes just because he wants her to relax beside him. Then tells her ‘BIG THANKS’ for taking care of the children throughout the day, and for tucking them in bed…. A lovely picture right? What do you think the man has successfully done? He has made the wife happy because he appreciated all the efforts she put into making him happy too. Gratitude for the little things couples do for each other ensure they remain happily married for a very long time.
Be your spouse’s support system -In marriage, there are times you want to do something important and you need your spouse to be there for you. A spouse that sees to it that you achieve whatever goal you set before your is a treasure that should not be toyed with. There are times we face challenges and want to give up on our dreams, that lovely spouse you are blessed with should push you and ensure you forge ahead. That is what we should do for each other. It should not be one-sided. A marriage where you are your spouse’s cheerleader or no. 1 fan would definitely be happy for as long as possible.
Do away with unnecessary complaints –Some people can complain endlessly. They complain about nothing to everything. Do you know that complaining kills gratitude? Even if your spouse misunderstood your request for something and instead got you something you have no need for, you should thank them for their effort before explaining they got you the wrong thing? When you complain too much you end up nagging and like I emphasise all the time, nagging makes you sound like a broken cord. The more you nag, the more you make your spouse recoil from you. To have a happy marriage, throw complaints out of the window. Give yourself a target of 21 days of no complaints. If you can successfully show gratitude and not complain about anything to your spouse for this period of time, you have successfully broken the bad habit…. Congrats to you.
Be positive always –Couples that are positive about issues generally tend to live a happier life together. When you exhibit positive behaviours and love for one another, the result is a long, satisfying marriage. Positive behaviours include humor, agreement and caring. When you show more caring gestures and positive communication between one another your marriage would last the longest. You should react to each other’s good news with lots of enthusiasm and genuineness. Couples who show little interest in one another’s good fortune are the most likely to suffer. When you are happy about your spouse’s success and achievements, it makes them feel fulfilled and happy too.
Trust each other absolutely -You must erase every form of doubt about your spouse. When they know you trust them, it gives them that confidence which makes it difficult for them to hurt you. They won’t want to betray the trust you have in them. In a marriage where trust is present, no strange man/woman would have entry into it. Such couples are happy all the time because they don’t judge each other.
You should enjoy spending time alone with each otherWhen you want to know happy couples, leave them alone together and you’ll realize they don’t ever get tired of each other’s company. They laugh, talk and listen. It’s always fun for them to have unhindered attention from their spouse. Couples who enjoy being together tend to stay together for a very long time.
Fight FairSure there are going to be disagreements within any relationship, but the most important thing to remember is to "fight" fair. You both need to strive to reach a mutual solution to a problem, and not focus on who is right and who is wrong. Relationships are not about keeping score or having an upper hand. When we talk about the "protective" advantages of marriage (such as having a shoulder to lean on or living longer after being diagnosed with a terminal disease), your marriage should be one that can be described as not being highly conflicting in nature. Disagree only to agree, do not disagree to tear each other apart.
Reflective ListeningLike I wrote in my last post, the most successful couples are able to listen effectively, maintain attention to the conversation, and reflect back about what the other person said. When you know that the other person is truly listening, you can feel a greater emotional connection. Strong marriages are built on trust, and reflective listening is one way of building trust and connecting emotionally. So to make your spouse/marriage a happy one, listen to each other effectively.
Lastly, Let gratitude boost your marriageFinally, Gratitude is a power booster to being happy in love…. I can’t help but emphasise this. If you’re finding it a bit difficult to turn the dial up on the gratitude in your marriage, imagine life without your partner. It’s a jolt to the heart, but it may be the jolt that sparks appreciation that’s lain dormant for too long. You don’t need a tragedy to show gratitude to your spouse. If you’ve taken each other for granted more than you’d like, it’s time to rekindle gratitude for the gift you are to each other. And if you have both been through a rocky relationship, it makes it all the more important to know that struggles end when gratitude begins.
I wish you a more healthy and happy marriage.