If you look at portrayals of marriage on the big screen or television, you might conclude that happy marriages are like unicorns; they don't exist. Being happily married won't just happen. You have to create the marriage you want and the best time to begin that creation is now. Here are three simple ways to boost happiness in your marriage so you can be prepared once the honeymoon ends.
Make it Your Top Priority
Have you put your career, schooling or anything else ahead of your relationship? While that may seem like it makes sense in this moment, it will hurt your marriage in the long run. The easiest way to make your marriage last — the relationship you ultimately want to be the most vibrant and longest lasting — is to make it a part of your career, schooling and anything else vying for your attention. Team up with each other by leaning on your various strengths and skill sets to help take various projects to the next level. When you partner with your spouse in other areas of your life — work, parenting, school — you are able to keep your marriage a top priority while not losing steam in the other things you're pursuing.
Discover Something New Together
You and your spouse are living, breathing, growing creatures. What excites you today may completely bore you tomorrow. What you love in this moment you could hate by next week. Treat your marriage as a living relationship; not an institution. Allow yourselves to make new discoveries together each week. Go to the beach and rent tandem bikes or kayaks. Walk through a local museum you've never visited and discover art together. Try an eating tour. Rather than going to one restaurant for dinner, choose a street with tons of eateries and grab an appetizer and drink at each one. Dream about traveling the world and then plan a trip together. Who cares if you can't afford to take a vacation now? It doesn't cost anything to dream and make plans.
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Make the Decision to be Happy Today
Genuine happiness is not by chance. It is a moment-by-moment decision that the happiest and longest lasting couples make each day. Those who believe something needs to happen in order for them to be happy, end up living in a perpetual state of mediocrity. There are five things happily married women know and the most important one is this: Happily ever after is not a fairy tale; it's a choice.
Fawn Weaver is the New York Times bestselling author of the Happy Wives Club: One Woman's Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage. She is also the founder of the Happy Wives Club, a community of nearly 800,000 women in more than 110 countries.