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Ten Items I Focus On To Keep My Marriage Happy

Sep. 9, 2015 Good Men Project

I’ve been in good relationships and bad. And good is definitely better. When in a good relationship I get to see how happy I am. I may not be.

Other life events may be getting in the way of my feeling happy and even impact my enjoyment of the relationship. Sometimes life is good all round and I am still not satisfied. Once again, if in a happy marriage, I am forced to look at myself and discover the roots of my discontent.

It is at these times I have to remind myself I do indeed have a happy relationship and make a choice as to where I am going to focus my attention; on the external not so good events, or on my marriage.

On the other hand, every relationship I have been in required my attention to contribute to its success. Expecting a relationship or marriage to somehow work-out without work is naïve and the fall from the initial glory days can be a rude wake-up call at the least, and a full blown disaster at worst.

Relationships can improve over time. Here are some things that have helped me over the years.

1. Focus  
I suppose that is one thing I have learned about how to be happy in a marriage, focus on it. There have been many distractions or demands on my time and energy and yet I must constantly remind myself that if I want my marriage to be happy – it requires time, thought and effort. And not like that effort is painful. Quite the contrary.

Taking time to be thoughtful about my partner and the relationship is actually fun. Who knew? It is not a painful process. Does not take an inordinate amount of time, and it is rewarding in and of itself.

2. Action
When I take action and act thoughtfully for the relationship, my partner loves it and responds in kind, thus creating a self-reinforcing feedback loop. The more I do the more I get the more I want to do for her.

3. Time
Spend time with your partner. I’m assuming you got together in the first place because you liked spending time together. Time has become such a precious and rare commodity in my relationship that my partner and I have designated specific evenings, days, and holidays that are just for us.

It is all too easy to get disconnected especially if you have demanding careers or kids or both. Learning to carve time out for the relationship is essential. You would think this gets easier over time. It doesn’t until you retire, and if you haven’t been in the habit of spending time together, retirement can be a major shock – two people sitting across from one another wondering who the hell that other person is staring back at them.

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