If you could change one thing in your marriage, what would that be?
Some people would say “my spouse” because the reality these days is that more than a third of marriages are ending up in divorce.
In this article, you’ll discover how to have a happy marriage. Allow me to uncover for you 3 secrets to a happy and blissful marriage so that you are one of those that succeed in building a long-lasting commitment.
1. Put the “WE” first
In a marriage, there are three entities: you, your spouse and “the we”.
Satisfying the needs, wants and desires of the “we” is the glue that unites a couple for life.
Who or what is “the we”?
“The we” is the relationship between the two of you. It is a separate entity because, “the we”, comes with different needs and wants from yours or your spouse’s.
For example, maybe you and your partner don’t need a marriage certificate, but “the we” does. It does because that is how you are validating its existence in front of the world. It is the contract and the commitment you both take to “the we”.
Many people ignore “the we” and concentrate their attention on the “I” or their spouse, and that is the point where the problems are starting.
How to have a happy marriage (and a successful one)? Put “the we” first, which means to compromise, be consistent, negotiate, communicate and respect.
As you’ve probably noticed, there is no mention of love, and there is a good reason for it. “The we” wants fewer feelings and more action and positive behaviors. “The we” is like a baby. You can love as much as you are capable but if you don’t feed, clean, provide security and comfort to a baby, the baby will die. True?
2. Voice and show who you are
Learn to be assertive in your marriage. Respect yourself and “the we” enough to say what you want, need and desire. Make yourself seen and noticed.
Losing yourself in your spouse doesn’t bring long-lasting happiness to anyone; not to you, not to your spouse and “the we” is nonexistent.
Marriages don’t die from lack of communication. They die because of the things that people are communicating.
Losing yourself in your spouse is communicating many things such as:
- “I don’t count, I don’t value, I’m weak, I’m not important, I don’t exist.”
In your private space, most spouses want love, attention, and compassion. On the other hand, in a public space, your spouse wants to feel proud of you, wants to be envied for having you, wants to rediscover you through the eyes of others.
- Who are you in the marriage?
- Are you an equal partner?
- Are you the doer?
- Are you the receiver?
- And who are you as an individual?
Define who you are and set the expectations for yourself, your spouse and “the we”.
Give a voice to who you are, your needs, wants and desires and allow your spouse to do the same. Come together and accomplish those things in harmony.
Listen, two horses take a carriage fast and a long, long distance compared to a horse and a dog. Is it not?
3. Deflect, deflect, deflect
In psychology, the word deflect has a negative connotation. Yet, How to have a happy marriage? Learn to be a master at it.
Deflecting (in the context of marriage) is not about avoiding certain subjects or arguments. It’s transitioning from an inflamed state (anger, frustration, dissatisfaction, divergent opinions, etc.) to a more calm and peaceful one.
Change the course of the conversation for short, brief moments. Short enough to not forget the subject of the conversation and long enough to calm the vanities in both of you. Go anywhere from one sentence up to four phrases.
What can you use as deflectors? Whatever is around that is pleasant or interesting, but neutral.
The essential characteristics of effective deflections:
- Wait your turn to speak, don’t interrupt your spouse.
- Sudden – view the deflection like an injection. If you prepare the patient for it, it might hurt; if you’re doing it suddenly and fast, the chances are that the patient will barely notice.
- Keep it short and neutral – neutral because you don’t want to start another fight about the subject of the deflection.
- Get back to the topic or argument with calm.
If it happens that your spouse gets annoyed by the deflection, be honest about it; unveil your reason for doing it, e.g., “I just needed a short break to calm down.” However, when you respect the essential characteristics of effective deflections, it’s more likely that he/she will not even notice what just happened but enjoy the benefits of it: getting calmer.
The point of deflection is to interrupt the pattern, not allowing the argument to escalate to the point of no return where people say mean and hurtful things to each other, things that you can never take back.
Allowing your anger and vanity to take control of your interaction transforms you from an intelligent, loving and considerate person into the village idiot. Is it not?
Remember, the basis of having a happy marriage is you, your spouse and “the we”. Your spouse needs love, attention, compassion and to feel proud of you; you need to be acknowledged and respected and “the we” needs action and positive behaviors.
Love and being in love starts after you say “I Do”.
- Get professional counseling from a licensed therapist.
- Individual and couples counseling. Anytime, anywhere.