How To Have A Happy Marriage (Short version)


The starting place for a happy marriage is making sure that you get married for the right reasons. Many people believe that when they meet someone compatible they love each other. The truth is people get married for many reasons other than love. These include a desire for sex, control, support, glamor, or youth. The truth is none of these things will lead to a happy marriage.

The first misconception about marriage is that it will change the person you married.  Just because you are willing to change everything for them, that doesn’t mean they will change anything for you. If you married someone expecting that your “love” would change them in some way, you will be in for a quick and painful surprise.

The second misconception about marriage is that it guarantees sex. After all, why get married if you can’t have sex? The truth is marriage and sex have nothing to do with the other.

The third misconception about marriage is that everything will be wedded bliss after the ceremony. The truth is that marriage does not guaranty anything and is a lot of work. As far as being happy or blissful is concerned, that has nothing to do with marriage. Marriage often screws up a lot of good friendships.

The fourth misconception about marriage is the belief that your spouse owes you something. We think that we paid for a big ring, a big wedding, we gave up our virginity, freedom, or career and the other person owes us. WRONG.

The most important thing people need to do is to agree on what they expect from each other and what they are able to provide the relationship. This requires total honesty and integrity. Both people in the relationship need to list on a piece of paper what they want out of the relationship and be willing to share it with the other person. Do this routinely, weekly or monthly, depending on your life circumstances. Be courageous in what you want and what you can give. Most people just get into a boring routine or quit caring. Sharing a list of expectations or wants can wake you up to what you need to give.

So, let’s suppose you have the courage to put down on paper what you want. The first thing is to look at whether you can offer the same list to the other person. Honesty, loyalty, trust, commitment and attention are hollow words if you can’t give that. You can’t do conditional relationships. You are either in or out. A good marriage is an equal balance of giving and receiving. Are you giving as much as you are receiving? Would your spouse say that?

Focus on the positive. You must give your spouse respect. You must respect their ideas, their desires, their needs. If you don’t, then you can’t expect them to respect your ideas, desires and needs. If you treat them as less than yourself, you will never respect them. One of the most important seeds of respect is that they agreed to marry you.

It is up to you whether you are happy or not. Don’t wait on them to be happy or expect them to make you happy. When you get happy, they will get happy. If you want to empower yourself in the relationship, get happy.  You can also pray or meditate together.  Contact with each other while you are praying or meditating is awesome. It takes a great deal of focus and integrity to enter into a space of sacred prayer or meditation with someone. Hopefully you will remember that you wanted to spend a lifetime together, but if not, at least you can spend a few minutes together.

Children can either bond you closer or drive you apart. Men tend to be threatened when their wives have to focus on the children, not the man. Women can be threatened because they feel totally dependent on their partner. This is an issue with maturity. Both parents need to grow up.

This is a long way of saying, enjoy each other. Relax, grow and breathe. You are with the person you are supposed to be with, at least for the present. Perhaps you are supposed to teach them something, perhaps they are supposed to teach you something. Happiness is a state of being, not a result of fortuitous circumstances. Decide to be happy with yourself. Happiness begets happiness.

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