Happiness in a relationship is much more than luck; it takes a daily conscious effort to put healthy relationship habits into practice. Sounds simple, but that alone is very important marriage counseling advice.
Habits we are seeing our "happier" couples use regularly-in our marriage counseling practice.
In our marriage counseling practice, if we had to make some generalizations of habits we see happier couples using, it would be the following 11 marriage advice tips. Let’s learn about what these happy couples are avoiding and doing, and see how you can bring about more joy into your own relationship.
11 Things the Happiest Couples Avoid.
1. They don’t complain about their spouse to their friends or family- Happy couples know that it’s best not to involve others in their relationship. They talk directly to their spouse if they have an issue instead of consulting others who often may provide negative feedback that could hurt the relationship. There is nothing wrong with healthy ‘girl’ or ‘guy’ time but don’t use it as an opportunity to complain about your spouse. This important piece of marriage counseling advice is included in Chapter 3 (Detox your Marriage) of our best selling marriage book that you can get for free right here.
2. They don’t compare their spouse to others- Happy couples accept and love their spouse as is. They know that comparing to others is unrealistic and unfair and will leave them feeling insecure about their marriage. If you do spend time with other couples and you even see better qualities in another spouse, stay confident and don’t second-guess your choice. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, even if it looks like it is. Step 1 of our marriage book goes into this concept further.
3. They don’t play the victim- Blaming each other for their problems is not a habit of happy couples. Happy couples take responsibility for their feelings and their role in the relationship. They ask for what they need instead of wallowing in self-pity or blaming their spouse for their situation.
4. They aren’t too serious- Happy couples know how to be happy and have fun. They “date” regularly and laugh a lot. Even when life throws you a curveball and things are extremely stressful, keep things light and fun. Step 5 of our marriage counseling book- Love Infusions- expands further on this fun one!
5. They don’t criticize- They look for the good in their spouse and when they are upset they learn how to ask for their needs in a sensitive way. Happy couples know that criticism only tears the other down and create a rupture in their relationship. If you’re spouse is doing something that you don’t like, pay attention to why it’s bothering you and learn how to talk about it in a safe way. This one is also, (you guessed it!), in Step 3 of our marriage counseling book, Detox Your Marriage. Detox that criticism!
6. They avoid ignoring their finances- Happy couples know that financial stress puts pressure on a marriage. They stay on top of their money and are in communication about their financial goals so that they can make responsible decisions for their future together. If money is a topic you would rather not discuss, know that avoiding it will make money matters worse.
7. They avoid mind reading- We all know what people say about someone who assumes… Happy couples know how to communicate so that they both are aware of each other’s needs and feelings. No matter how connected they feel, they don’t expect their spouse to know what they want or how they are feeling. They spell it out clearly. If you are not getting the attention you need, tell your partner.
8. They avoid “dumping”- Happy couples know that sharing their frustrations are for the purpose of getting their needs met and achieving greater connection. They are intentional about when they share and ask their spouse if it is a good time instead of catching them off-guard, unleashing their upset, and fueling the fire of greater conflict. If you have something to get off your chest, first ask, “I’d like to share something with you. Is now a good time?”
9. They aren’t rigid about their roles- Even if they have stereotypical gender roles in their relationship, happy couples are flexible and are able to do what needs to be done at the moment, even if it’s not their forte. So even if your wife is typically the one to get dinner on the table, if she can’t tonight, you can easily step-in without a fuss and relieve her of her responsibility.
10. They don’t nag their spouse- Happy couples encourage each other instead of pressuring. They find ways to support each other and that support is a natural motivator as opposed to nagging which often backfires. If your husband is out of work, instead of nagging him to go on job interviews, try to raise his morale with your love and support, even if it seems scary. Your genuine encouragement and trust in him will motivate him to move forward.
11.They ignore the Hollywood portrayal of marriage- Happy couples give no credence to the stereotypical putdowns of husbands and wives that are often featured in pop culture. They love each other and don’t seek to belittle, disrespect, or poke fun at each other like they may see on tv or film. If you’re not already aware of how common it is for marriage to be the brunt of many jokes, begin to notice the subtle and not so subtle message about marriage you may viewing on a daily basis.
This general marriage counseling advice is a wonderful place to jumpstart your marriage and breathe new life into it. If you would like to experience these amazing benefits yourself, let us know that you'd like to work together to become a happy and connected couple, by contacting us at this link.
Be in touch,
Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin