A happy marriage is a cocktail of open communication, honesty, hard work, and a whole lot of love. But what does that look like in real life? Five married women open up about what a happy marriage means to them, and how they live it every day.
1. "A happy marriage is being happy with what you've got, rather than expecting your marriage to be a certain way," says one married woman. "Being content and grateful for what you have, instead of constantly trying to live up to some unrealistic standard set by movies and romance novels, is real happiness."
2. "In a happy marriage, two people share things equally," says another married woman. "It doesn't sound romantic, but I'm honestly happy because my husband does the dishes and the laundry as often as I do. We cook together, we run errands together. I don't feel burdened, and I don't feel taken for granted."
3. "We talk about everything, and I think that's what a happy marriage is," says one wife. "I've had relationships in which I felt like I had to keep secrets from my partner, but I can tell my husband anything. I like that I can be open about my feelings, and know that we'll work through whatever it is together."
4. "This is my second marriage and it's happy, unlike the first, because we are totally honest with one another," says another woman. "Whether we aren't thrilled with what's happening in the bedroom or we're concerned over money, we spit it all out and then work it out."
5. "I think a happy marriage is about forgiveness," says one married woman. "No one is perfect and if you can just let go of the little things and move on from the bigger things, like arguments, with a forgiving rather than begrudging heart, you're in really good shape."