Everyone wants a happy marriage, but how do you get one? The secrets are simple and timeless. Yet they can be challenging to implement. Here is our best marriage advice for couples who want to enjoy a rewarding marriage.

The Best Marriage Advice

To have a happy marriage, you must adopt this attitude: Put your spouse’s needs ahead of your own. By focusing on your spouse more than yourself, you will decode the secret to a happy marriage. It is both that simple and that difficult.

We are all inherently selfish creatures. Most of us got married because we thought our spouse would make us happy. But once the shine of romantic love wears off, our selfishness inevitably begins to show. That’s when the challenge of serving your spouse takes on new meaning.

If you choose to serve your spouse, you will have a happier marriage. If you choose to keep focusing on your own feelings and needs, you are sure to feel frustrated, since only God can meet all your needs.

When you go to God first to meet all the desires of your heart (see Psalm 37:4), you are free to accept whatever your spouse gives you without being burdened by disappointment. You will be loving your spouse from a full heart rather than a yearning heart. Out of the love overflow God gives you, you can love and serve your spouse in a selfless manner.

More Secrets to a Happy Marriage

If you work to meet your spouse’s needs every day of your marriage, you will both feel happier. Couples in healthy relationships have longer life spans, better health and overall improved quality of life. A happy marriage is worth pursuing for your own good and the good of your spouse. Here are more relationship goals that will improve your marriage.

Commitment

The commitment you made to your spouse at your wedding is meant to last for life. Refuse to let the word “divorce” enter your vocabulary, especially when you feel angry or threatened. Resolve to find a solution to your marriage issues rather than giving up when life gets hard, as it does for each one of us. A Christian counselor can help you reaffirm your commitment to your spouse.

Forgiveness

One of the most important elements of a happy marriage is being quick to forgive. Forgiveness means trusting God with the outcome rather than exacting revenge yourself. Immediately after an argument, pray that God will help you forgive your spouse. You can work through your problems much more effectively when you trust God with the outcome, rather than taking matters into your own hands. Letting go of grudges helps you focus on the good in your spouse, which will make you feel happier.

Listening Well

By learning how to listen to your spouse, you will automatically convey love and concern. Study your spouse’s personality and love languages. Ask thoughtful questions to keep the conversation flowing between you. Pay attention to what your spouse is saying, rather than just waiting to voice your thoughts. When conflicts arise, it can be helpful to repeat back what your spouse just said and how you heard it, to clear up misunderstandings. Listening well takes practice, but it can greatly improve the happiness factor in your marriage.

Openness

You can grow closer to your spouse and enjoy greater intimacy by being open and authentic in your communication. Every day, you can share your highs and lows with your spouse. It’s important to go beyond the surface and really connect with one another at a heart level.

If you fail to do this, your marriage may feel more like a business partnership. Go first in being open with your spouse, and your spouse will then be more comfortable sharing his or her heart with you. Through marriage counseling, you can both learn to communicate with openness.

Patience

We are all works in progress, and it takes time for us to grow as people. A common marriage problem is that one spouse grows faster than the other, or one spouse is not interested in personal growth. When you are out of sync with your spouse, it’s important to be patient.

Your spouse will feel unloved when you show irritation and judgment. When you feel impatient with your spouse, take your needs to God in prayer. Choose to look at the long view rather than the day-to-day frustrations. Remember that God is being patient with you and draw from his strength to show patience to your spouse.

Willingness to Adapt

Your spouse’s needs, wants, preferences and desires will change over time as he or she matures. If you choose to adapt to the changes in your spouse, you will both be happier. Commit to perpetually studying your spouse. Take an interest in your spouse’s activities and cultivate a friendship together. As the years go by, you will find more reasons to love your spouse if you are willing to adapt alongside him or her.

Humility

A prideful spirit causes division in marriage, but a humble spirit invites unity. When you are tempted to criticize and complain about your spouse, remember that you are imperfect as well. Ask God to help you exercise a humble spirit that is willing to overlook wrongs and chooses to show love despite your spouse’s shortcomings. As you grow in humility, you will be able to let go of less important issues and focus on strengthening the heart of your relationship.

Laughter

Life can really wear us down. We all could use more laughter to lighten our spirits. You can cultivate a happy relationship with your spouse by tickling his or her funny bone. Learn what makes your spouse laugh and try to get a giggle out of him or her every day. This is a certain way to create more happiness in your marriage, and your spouse will appreciate it.

Christian Marriage Counseling in San Diego

What about you? What’s the best marriage advice you’ve ever received?

If you could still use some support strengthening your relationship as husband and wife, we invite you to visit our online counselor directory today to schedule a marriage counseling appointment.

Despite your best efforts and intentions, your marriage may hit a rough spot. If you try these suggestions and still feel stuck in your marriage, a Christian counselor is equipped to help you get past them. Many couples can benefit from receiving counseling for their unique challenges.

A professional, yet objective, perspective from a counselor can offer you the hope and help you are seeking. Please give us a call if you have a marriage issue. The staff at San Diego Christian Counseling has many years of experience helping couples just like you.

Photos:
“Wedlock”, Courtesy of Samantha Gades, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Reconciled”, Courtesy of Taylor Hernandez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Counseling”, Courtesy of Nik MacMillan, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Eat, Drink, and be Married”, Courtesy of Ben Rosett, Unsplash.com, CC0 License