People behave differently depending on whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with their marriage. The interactions between a couple can improve the marriage or contribute to further dissatisfaction.
Couples who are happy with their marriage focus on the positive. If nine good things occurred between them, and one bad thing, they’ll focus on the good. However, ask someone who isn’t satisfied with their marriage how things have been going and they’ll focus on the one bad thing that happened.
Pay attention to the good things in your marriage. Notice when your partner tries to meet your needs. Acknowledge and praise your partner when he cooperates, negotiates and works hard. When the two of you manage to solve a problem or resolve a conflict, take notice.
Happy couples also enjoy their time together. The more they enjoy one another’s company, the more time they spend. Then the more happy memories they create, the more they enjoy one another’s company!
Unhappy couples can engage in an opposite cycle. They don’t spend much time together. When they do spend time together, they don’t enjoy it. This results in them not wanting to spend any more time together.
Happy couples have realistic expectations of each other. They recognize their spouse will have faults and they don’t expect perfection. They also know it is impossible for their spouse to meet all their needs all the time.
People in unhappy marriages tend to experience disappointment that their expectations are not met. They may have expected that marriage would mean they would never feel sad, not have to work so hard or not be lonely ever again. Then when their partner fails to meet all these needs, they become dissatisfied and blame the marriage for being bad.
People in happier marriages are able to talk about their needs. They can assertively make a request to their partner. They also strive to meet their own needs when their partner is unable to do so. They don’t blame their partner for not being able to read their minds or for not automatically meeting their needs all the time.
They also are willing to try and meet their partner’s needs. They are willing to make sacrifice and take joy in doing things for their partner. Whether they clean the garage, do the dishes, or visit with their spouse’s family, they are willing to do so even when they don’t feel like it.
Addressing small issues as they arise is another important factor in happy marriages. Couples who are happy are willing to reveal when their feelings are hurt or when they are feeling angry and overwhelmed. They don’t let small issues fester until they grow angry and resentful. Instead, they are willing to address issues.
Happy couples also resolve conflict peacefully. They don’t resort to tactics such as name calling. Instead, they treat one another respectfully, despite their differences. Happy couples welcome the opportunity to talk openly about their feelings and share their opinions freely.
For couples who find themselves in less than happy marriages, there is good news. The factors that make couples happy don’t require a lot of skill or a lot of extra work. These factors can be used by almost anyone.
Also, you don’t have to feel a certain way about your partner in order to do these things. You can change your behaviors, despite your feelings. For example, even if you don’t feel a lot of loving feelings toward your spouse at the moment, you can work to meet his needs. Positive feelings can result from your willingness to meet your partner’s needs. So even if you don’t feel like your marriage is a good one, you can take steps to behave like people do in happier marriages. And you may find that your feelings about your marriage change as a result of your positive behaviors.