Your marriage won’t make you happy!
Asking what are the main keys to a successful marriage is the first step to actually improving your marriage. Because, honestly, many people just live their days as a married couple with no care about changing something.
We’re used to the line “You cannot change the other.” but that’s not the whole sentence and you’re about to find out why.
If you expect some action steps below, I am about to disappoint you. There are some action steps that we can call main keys to improve your marriage but this is not the idea of this article.
This article is an inspiration to just for once imagine our marriage not as a whole thing, but as two different people, and focusing on one of them – you!
There are many ways to improve your marriage but none of them will work until you understand something crucial and important.
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Your marriage won’t make you happy!
I was reading about 18 studies regarding happiness and marriage. Almost all of them lasted for at least a decade. They started before the participant got married and proceeded for years after that with those who stayed married. The main goal was not only to find the keys to a successful marriage but to find out if getting married actually makes us happier.
I will spear you the long story behind the studies. You don’t need to know all about happiness before and after the wedding, increasing and decreasing of the life and relationship satisfaction. What you need to know is the following:
Our happiness doesn’t increase after the wedding.
Moreover, it decreases with the years.
The same applies to relationship satisfaction and life satisfaction.
As the author Bella DePaulo says later, there is no way to measure people’s happiness’ level based on being married or not.
And there’s a very good reason for that:
Our level of happiness depends on ourselves, not on our marital status.
We cannot take the couple Sharon and Dave (sample names), and say they’re happier because they’re married. The only way to find that out is to compare them to Sharon and Dave as singles… which is impossible, of course.
So, while everyone tells you that marriage is just a paper and cannot make you happier, there’s a catch everyone’s missing.
People that usually say it are those already married and realised they still got the same problems. The security marriage promises is a false fold we cover our eyes with.
Marriage cannot make you happier because “marriage” is not something that enters your life and fixes everything with a magic wand.
Your spouse cannot make you happier. Their job is not to create your happiness. Neither is yours.
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Both of you have to share the happiness and build it yourselves.
This doesn’t mean that each one of you is fighting alone for his happiness. If you felt miserable before you met your partner, had a moment of happiness, and then decided to get married, chances are – you will feel miserable again. It is your responsibility, not your spouse’s.
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The keys to a happy marriage that everyone knows about
– fair fights;
– small gestures.
All of those are the main keys to a successful marriage. And there’s nothing wrong with them…
Unless that all of them are actions we do for the other.
And while I agree that no relationship nor marriage could survive without those things, I have to list them again but as actions toward ourselves.
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Have you ever thought that the only way you can make your spouse happy is if you are happy?
You can talk to your partner for hours but never talk to yourself. And that will lead you to miscommunication with yourself, misunderstanding and internal conflict.
You can respect your partner every single minute of your life, but ignore your needs, feelings and emotions all the time. Every sign of disrespect to yourself will sooner or later make you anxious and depressed.
Admiring your spouse is an amazing gesture of a loving spouse, but find the things you admire in yourself too. Putting only the other on the pedestal will leave you down, under that pedestal. Never look down to yourself. Be up there, with your loved one.
Appreciate the person you share your life with, but appreciate yourself as well. You are the one that chose this amazing person to marry. You are the other half of the equation. The key to a successful marriage is appreciating the marriage as a whole made of two parts – you and your loved one.
Kindness to the other is kindness first to yourself. Hurting yourself hurts the people around you. Whatever you put out there, you accept it for yourself too.
Fair fights is another way to happy marriage. But when it’s about internal conflict with yourself, do you still fight fair? When unhappy with yourself, do you recall every other “stupidity” you did in the past? DO you separate the current problem from everything else, or look for the cause years back?
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Small gestures will impress your partner. However, do you gift yourself with small gestures as often as you gift your partner? Because yes, they are small gifts we deserve as much as the other.
When you show care for your spouse, do you involve yourself as well? Do you take the time to recharge, relax, refresh your mind and body? How can you look after someone else if you are not used to looking after yourself?
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So the keys to a successful marriage are to focus on our own happiness and well being.
Your spouse can only love you the way you are, but if you don’t love yourself, you cannot enjoy their love either.
Only when you’ve learned how to receive love, happiness, appreciation, kindness from yourself, you can give them back.
As simple as that!
If you liked the idea in The Main Keys to a Successful Marriage, subscribe to our blog so you can find out when new content is out. Let me know what you think about this post in the comments below. Stay married, stay in love!