If you are looking to save your marriage or improve your relationship, there is hope. It may seem impossible to be a perfectly happy couple, but it's not if you know this secret:
It's normal to have conflict in a marriage. That's all part of being happy! The challenge is knowing how to find happiness through conflict. Every couple will be tested with arguments and fights. These things are challenging and disheartening, but don't let the love you have for each other be lost in the rough patches of life. If you and your parter can weather out all of life's conflicts with the mindsets discussed below, you both can be that happy couple everyone aspires to be.
Don't ignore that undeniable chemistry, no matter how frustrated you are. Chemistry doesn't guarantee the success of your marriage, but it does give you a reminder that you love your spouse when you aren't really feeling the love. Remember to say "I love you" and mean it, even when you don't feel like it. Find things that you love about your marriage when you are pointing out things you'd like to change. All those quirks and qualities that initially brought you two together shouldn't be ignored or diluted in the routine of life. Choosing love shows an effort to have a long-term relationship, not just one that's dissolved when things stop working. In the beginning, love may have been a butterfly feeling, but it's so much more than that. Love is found in every decision; it's found in things you do every day. Choosing love means you are willing to make things work.
If you go to bed with the mindset that your relationship is disposable, you are actively avoiding happiness in your marriage. Endurance is key to finding perfect happiness in your marriage, but you'll never reach it if you give up.
There's not room in your mind for both negativity and happiness. Dwelling on what makes you upset isn't going to make you happy and will trick your mind into thinking you are actually unhappy. If you are seeking negativity and cynicism, you are sabotaging your chance of happiness in your relationship.
Say "I love you" often! Let this phrase become routine as you both leave for the day, but use it in surprising situations, too. Find ways to say "I love you" with little letters, surprise texts through the day, a candid snapshot of him when he's not looking, or written on the eggs in the fridge. Don't ever let your partner doubt your love.
Even a happy marriage will be stressful or frustrating at times, but don't allow these emotions to overpower happiness and love. If you spend all your strength on feeling anxious, uncertain, angry or stressed, these emotions will creep into every aspect of your life. We will end up relying on our spouse to buoy up our happiness level; but happiness needs to be a partnership. Prioritize happiness over these negative feelings.
Have a life
It may seem counterintuitive, but finding some happiness independently will really help your happiness in your marriage. Of course your marriage should make you happy, but you can't rely on one person for your complete happiness. Having friends and hobbies outside of your marriage will make you happy outside of your marriage as well.
Share your life
Sharing your life is what makes marriage a marriage! Finding some happiness outside of your marriage helps you be independently happy, but this commitment of marriage is about being happy together. Balance the things you do independently with things you do together. Find things you both like to do that are challenging and relaxing. Get to know each other in unique situations that will create memories for years to come. It may seem that happiness is all about the outward appearance, or can be purchased, but that's not the case. Happiness doesn't mean without conflict; it means choosing happiness over the stress and frustration that life can present.
This is a translation and adaptation of the original article "Ser amigos, amantes y esposes: el secreto de la pareja perfecta." It has been republished with permission.