10 Steps to Happily Ever After

Do you know what all happy and healthy marriages have in common? In every one of them you will find two people committed to making each other happy. You will find a man who cherishes his wife and puts her needs above his own, and you will find a wife who respects and trusts her man. We live in very selfish times. Pop-psychology messages are everywhere in the media encouraging us to love ourselves, do right by ourselves, and generally please ourselves first. If you really want a happy marriage, don't buy into that type of self-centered thinking. Instead, try these 10 time-tested techniques and experience the happiness, peace, and tranquility of a healthy marriage.

1. Make time for each other. It's so easy in our hyper-busy modern lifestyles to forget to set aside a little time to enjoy each other's company. Start a weekly tradition of setting a date for the two of you to be together doing something you both enjoy. Keep it simple. Take a nice walk together. Sip coffee together in a cozy coffeehouse. Talk to each other, reminisce, and get to know each other again.

2. Take time off from each other. Give each other space and time to work on hobbies and personal interests. When you have an interesting project to work on, you will feel more fulfilled and you will be a more interesting person.

3. Make little romantic gestures. Remember to compliment your spouse. Leave a little love note for them to find once in awhile. Celebrate the day you first met. Send flowers for no particular reason. You should continuously make little deposits in your spouse's emotional bank account. The return on your investment will be incredible.

4. Fight fair. Don't argue in front of other people. Don't insult each other or each other's families. Never threaten divorce, and never go to bed angry. Let the little things go, and don't make a big deal out of every disagreement. Before arguing, think; is this really going to matter in the long run?

5. Take interest in what interests your spouse. Watch their favorite shows with them. Read their favorite book, so you can talk about it with them. Encourage them to develop their talents.

6. Listen to your spouse. Husbands, remember that women need to express their feelings. Be a good sport and just listen. Don't interrupt, or get distracted. Empathize with her. Let her know that you can relate to what she's feeling. Ladies, please remember that the kind of talk you might like to have with your husband does not come naturally to most men. Just be patient. It's not a good idea to "unload" on him right when he comes home from work.

7. Accept your spouse for who they are. Practice total acceptance. Don't hold your spouse to your expectations; you will only succeed at building resentment.

8. Express your commitment. In little ways, you can, and should, renew your vows to each other over and over. Your spouse will feel comfortable and secure knowing that you are truly committed to the marriage. True closeness will only happen when all doubt and insecurity is replaced by confidence in the relationship. Let your spouse know that you really are in it "till death do us part."

9. Trust in each other. Don't be suspicious. Don't snoop through each other's belongings. To help ensure the trust, be honest with your spouse in all things. Never keep secrets from each other, not even little ones.

10. Make it your aim to be your spouse's best friend. Appreciate your spouse for who they are. Loosen up and have fun with each other. If you are practicing the steps above, you are on your way to being your spouse's best friend ? the ultimate relationship in marriage.

Slade Hartwell, Webmaster at http://www.ezromantic.com
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