Have you ever looked at a couple who seemed completely happy and in love and wondered, "What's their secret?"

I've had the privilege of learning from couples all over the world and I've found a consistent pattern of some "secrets" that happy couples seem to share. This isn't meant to be a complete list, but I'm convinced that if you'll apply these "secrets" to your own marriage, your relationship and your life will become happier and healthier.

In no particular order...

1. Make Fun a Priority

Fun sometimes happens on it's own spontaneously, but most of the time, you have to "plan to be spontaneous!" Be intentional about creating atmospheres and opportunities where laughter and fun can happen naturally. Fun fuels families and laughter enlarges love.

2. Don't fall into the "Comparison Trap."

When people get into the dangerous cycle of comparing their life or their marriage to someone else's, they rob themselves of savoring the uniqueness of their own. Happy couples have recognized that when the grass looks greener on the other side, it doesn't mean they need to move; it means they need to stay home and water their own grass!

3. Dream together

When couples just get into "Survival Mode," the happiness gets choked out fast. Happy couples are always dreaming new dreams, planning new adventures and setting new goals. Create short-term and longterm plans you want to accomplish together.

4. Live in the moment

While it's vitally important to dream about the future, and build on the past, it's also important to embrace the beauty of the moment. Happy Couples don't let regrets from yesterday or worries about tomorrow rob them of the beauty and blessings of today. Don't go through life disconnected from the moment because you're always on your iPhone or always preoccupied with something else. Recognize that every moment together is a gift.

5. Fight fair

Every couple has disagreements, but Happy Couples have learned to disagree in a healthy way that fosters mutual respect instead of hurt feelings.

6. Have Faith

The happiest couples I know are the ones who have a genuine faith in God and an unshakable faith in each other.

7. Have no Exit Strategy

Happy Couples have learned the secret that a "perfect" marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other! Happiness, peace and love will grow in your marriage when you and your spouse both have the security of knowing that you're never going to quit on each other!

This article was originally published on Patheos. It has been republished here with permission.

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