We can all point out those couples that just seem so “right” for each other. You know the ones I’m talking about—they hold hands, finish each other’s sentences, and just seem to generally love being around each other. The question is, what is their secret?
Are they just the lucky ones? Or are they actively doing something right? Of course, your choice of spouse is a big factor into how well your marriage will go. But not everyone is perfect, and there is definitely some work to do. Here are 7 secrets of successfully married couples you’re sure to find helpful:
1. They Put Each Other First
It’s easy to put yourself or your kids first. But your spouse? That can be a different story. You figure they are an adult so they can take care of themselves, right? Well, that’s true. But that’s not how to have a good marriage. Successfully married couples consciously figure out what their spouse needs and helps them get that thing. For example, watching the kids even when you are tired so your wife can attend a baking class, or putting off what you want to do for date night because your husband loves baseball and really wants to take you to a game. Putting your spouse first can mean a lot of things, but the attitude is what makes the difference. If it’s important to you, then I am behind it.
2. They Have Empathy for Each Other
Spouses are good at celebrating the other’s successes. But what about failures or other disappointments? Successfully married couples know that going into the sadness with their spouse is also part of the deal. We need to know that the other person is feeling what we are feeling so that we are not alone and we know that the other person cares that much. We need empathy. For example, when your spouse doesn’t get that promotion, it’s not just talking through it. It’s really feeling what they are feeling and helping them through it.
3. They Don’t Keep Score
Even successfully married couples disagree from time to time—who doesn’t? The determining factor as to success in marriage is how they handle it. Do they see it as one-upping the other? Do they focus on being right all the time? Successfully married couples don’t keep score. They know that preserving the other person’s feelings while figuring out a solution is the focus.
4. They Don’t Give Up When Things Get Hard
You know that part of the marriage ceremony where the efficient says, “In sickness and in health”? Successfully married couples definitely take that seriously. Because they know that the ups and downs of life as bound to happen throughout their married lives. They anticipate sickness, death, job loss, and just overall challenges. It isn’t a surprise that they will happen—the big thing is, what you do with them. Successfully married couples never give up when things get hard. Certainly there may be days where they feel like throwing in the towel, but they don’t give into that mindset. They are in it for the long haul. They made a promise, and then intend on keeping it.
5. They Connect Multiple Times a Day
Studies show that people crave connection well into adulthood. From the time we are babies, we cry for it! But somewhere along the way, we stop asking for it and just figure out life mostly without it. Successful couples, however, are not ashamed of needing constant connection. They don’t think it makes them weak to lean on each other—it makes them strong. So they talk face to face morning and night, they text throughout the day, talk on the phone, email—however they can connect, they will. Some successfully married couples even find excuses to bump into each other during the day, such as a lunch date, or while running an errand.
6. They Have Sex Regularly
It’s easy to get caught up in how often is often enough; so many magazines or blog posts talk about what’s “normal.” But you know what? That doesn’t help anyone. Every couple is different. Successful couples know this. What they come to figure out over the years is quality over quantity, and regular over a certain number of times per week. One spouse will always want sex more than the other, so they figure out what works best for both and how to make each time the best possible experience. Because when you’re a successfully married couple, it’s about the deeper love, not just the physical release.
7. They Show Love in Their Partner’s Preferred Way
It’s easy to show love in the way WE prefer to be shown. But what if that isn’t how your spouse prefers love be shown to them? Successfully married couples have figured out that there is a difference. For example, if a husband likes to show his love by doing nice things for his wife, but she would rather he just sit and talk to her—to make her happy he changes his ways and shows love by talking to her. The funny thing is, it seems like so many times the way our spouse wants us to show love is the most challenging to us. In the example, the husband has a hard time sharing his feelings while talking, but he knows how important it is to his wife, so he makes the effort. And that is the truest act of love there is. In the process, the people in the relationship grow and morph into better people, making the marriage even better.