Photo: Love Tree Studios
Maggie Reyes is a life coach, writer, and the founder of ModernMarried.com. She helps newlyweds re-think how deep, rich, and fabulous married life can be. Here, she's revealing the secret(s) to a happy marriage.
Ask anyone in a relationship their secret to a happy marriage and they will give you a slightly different answer. Here, seven real brides dished their tips to a blissful union — make sure you and your future husband are taking notes!
1. Be your husband's girlfriend
Don't let the word "wife" become an excuse to take the person you love most for granted. Flirt, plan dates (even if they are at home and include Netflix and Pizza), and let him be your boyfriend too, of course.
Want to divorce-proof your marriage? It's simple, ask your husband the easiest question ever: "How was your day?" Research from the Gottman Institute (that studies what makes marriages long and happy) shows that having intimate knowledge of each other's lives strengthens your relationship.
We all know you can't have a great relationship without it. But did you know that trust is built in tiny, almost microscopic moments every day? How do you have confidence that you will keep the big promises you made to each other on your wedding day? By keeping the little ones you make on the way to the grocery store.
4. Create, don't copy
We have all seen marriages on TV, in movies or right next door that we lusted after. We think the way that couple does marriage is perfect, only to find out years later, maybe not so much. After all, you never know what happens behind closed doors. Create a marriage that works for you, not your neighbor or the star of your favorite blockbuster. If that means he cooks and you run the bank account, go for it. The happiest marriages are making it up as they go along, just like you are.
5. Laugh and kiss
The fun researchers from the Gottman team have actually confirmed scientifically that a six-second kiss is good for your relationship. Permission to kiss generously and often has been granted. It's practically your assigned homework for life. Laughing is always a good idea. But you knew that already.
6. Use your words
Learn each other's love languages. Your wedding license did not include a mind reader's clause. Ask for what you need. Encourage your husband to do the same. Don't worry first and ask questions later. Ask questions first so you can face life together.
Remember that love is a verb, it is something you do, create, contribute to and build on every day.
Want more happy-marriage secrets? Check out Reyes's list of 25 tips here.