Longevity of our most intimate relationship is such an important dimension of our happiness equation that we should really put more thought to this aspect of our lives. Feng shui can help, but it works better when you also have the kind of marriage happiness that you bring onto yourself. For this you need loving and nurturing, the kind that makes you feel totally relaxed with each other, where you are able to get things off your chest whenever you need a shoulder, to be able to scream and shout if you ever feel like doing so, and to feel good giving love.
Here are eight points to get you seriously thinking.
GET THINGS OFF YOUR CHEST
Part of being comfortable in a relationship is to be able to unload the source of mental stress to a willing listener. This is something one can do only when there is sufficient goodwill between one another, the kind borne of a solid sense of security one has with the other. This is such a fundamental cornerstone of all relationships, the confidence that all will always be well between the two of you in spite of anything. This sort of feeling however needs to be nurtured. When you have this in place, you will always feel able to get things off your chest, no matter how frivolous or how serious. The ability to confide in each other and to be honest about things that each finds gross or silly… and to be able to laugh it all off, makes issues that are big in the mind into things so small that the relationship only gets stronger. Start sharing confidences to develop this between you.
Men hate to be nagged and women hate being called a nag. Then why do we all nag so much, even when we know that nagging never works? In fact, oftentimes it brings on quite the opposite reaction. Everyone has confessed to getting caught in the nagging habit at some stage of their lives, even though most of us know that nothing kills the romantic epiphany more quickly than when the nagging begins. Many relationships die when nagging leads to the other simply switching off and looking elsewhere just to get some peace.
There can be no happiness when there is no peace in a relationship, when even the tiniest request can turn into a stream of hostile hectoring, and conversations start to lack basic courtesies of “pleases” and “thank you’s”. Unless we make a conscious effort not to nag, the habit grows over time, getting progressively worse until one day it gets so unattractive that it literally causes the marriage to collapse. Nagging perpetrated by a hostile live-in perfectionist in-law is the worst kind, so do make an effort to quit nagging, and to ban it altogether from your household.
DON’T LIVE ON EXPECTATIONS
We live with so many expectations that it seems we set ourselves up for disappointment. Inside a marriage, nothing is more debilitating than when expectations, especially unspoken but implied ones, get shattered. Our ego can be so fragile that unnecessarily building up expectations is the easiest way of causing sensations of insecurity to arise. It is better not to give voice to expectations. Be encouraging instead, and refrain from expecting surprises on “special” days for instance. Those times when you do remember each other’s birthday then become special moments.
GET USED TO NOT BEING APPRECIATED
Get used to not being praised for every little thing you do to make the house less untidy, to cook a favourite dish for dinner, to buy a thoughtful gift for a special occasion. Getting upset about not being appreciated can cause one to lose sight of the big picture. Take a different perspective; all the things you do for your spouse are actually also things that make you happy, to be able to do them. Next time you feel unappreciated in your marriage, remind yourself how wonderful it is to be in a happy marriage, to be able to play the role of husband or wife. Not something everyone can boast about.
STAY SEXY & ATTRACTIVE
Happiness comes from feeling attractive, so never stop making the effort to be just a wee bit sexy and attractive. Use a nice perfume. Flirt a little because honestly it is always a good strategy to introduce a tiny bit of insecurity into any relationship, especially into a marriage. When others admire you, pay you a compliment, or even make a tiny pass at you, your husband or wife is sure to notice. Like they say, with love comes jealousy. Just make sure you are reassuring after the ball! Remember to always look after yourself. Do not allow yourself to lose your looks or your figure. Age gracefully but never lose your sex appeal.
ALWAYS FIGHT FAIR
Every marriage is peppered with fights. Big disagreements and small misunderstandings are the order of the day, and do not be surprised by the number of things we can fight over. But if you want your marriage to stay happy, always fight fair! Do not hit below the belt, bring up past hurts, or lash out in a temper. It is not how many times you fight that can kill the happiness of a marriage – it is how you fight.
Fight over one matter of disagreement at a time. Do not drag up everything that went wrong in your relationship from the time even before the marriage. Avoid phrases like “You always…” or “You never…” because this causes the fight to turn into a litany of woes that never end. Fights should not last too long and they should not be allowed to escalate.
Instead, both sides should make “repair statements”. Introduce humour quickly into the fight and turn it into a conversation. Voices should never be allowed to get too loud because honestly there is nothing more unpleasant than using your shouting skills to win a fight! In any case, this will only cause resentments to simmer on and on… truly not a good way to happiness!
Should you lose a fight – if you have been proved wrong for jumping to a hasty conclusion, making an unfair accusation, or putting blame before knowing the whole picture – do give in gracefully. Apologize, or if this is difficult, bring a smile to the situation. Few things are as effective as an apologetic smile, and in losing gracefully, you win the happiness battle.
GO TO BED IN EACH OTHERS ARMS
Never sleep on a fight with your backs turned from each other. This kind of anger energy is destructive because it can cause both parties to think up the worst kind of scenarios about each other and about the marriage. Sleeping when still angry also causes the anger to enter into the subconscious mind where it is harder to eventually forget. You also do not want anger energy to become a habitual thing, so make sure that whatever misunderstandings you have get resolved before you turn in for the night. Always make it a point to go to sleep in each other’s arms!