There are plenty of theories on what creates happy relationships, and how to have a happier marriage. You don’t have to look far to find a plethora of quotes by scientists, authors and many others who have advised us on how to create our very own happily ever after.
We have gathered some of the best bits of advice around to help you live your happiest life together…
21 NON-NEGOTIABLE RULES EVERY MARRIAGE SHOULD FOLLOW
1 – FIND THE GOOD
“A happy marriage doesn’t mean you have a perfect spouse or a perfect marriage. It simply means you’ve chosen to look beyond the imperfections in both.” ~ Fawn Weaver
It is easy to overlook the little annoyances of our partner when we’re focused on the good qualities that attracted us in the first place. Stay focused on the good.
2 – FIND YOUR HAPPY
“Marriage doesn’t make you happy–you make your marriage happy.” ~ Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott
Do something daily that makes you happy and your relationships will benefit. You can’t be happy in a relationship, if you aren’t happy with yourself.
3 – FORGIVE THE IMPERFECTIONS
“A successful marriage isn’t the union of two perfect people. It’s that of two imperfect people who have learned the value of forgiveness and grace.” ~ Darlene Schacht
Forgiving is such an important ingredient in relationships. Holding on to things that make you angry keeps you in a negative space and prevent you from being your best self.
4 – IT BEGINS WITH YOU
“Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.” ~ Barnett R. Brickner
Trying to change your partner will only backfire so focus on your contribution. Tackle only what you can control.
5 – MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE A PRIORITY
“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. Its the way you love your partner every day.” ~ Barbara De Angelis
Stop looking at marriage as a thing and start thinking of it as part of you. Take care of it, nurture it and let it grow.
6 – EXPRESS YOUR LOVE DAILY
“The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they’re still alive.” ~ Orlando Battista
Be open with your expressions of love.
7 – SAVOR THE GOOD
“Marriage is like a fine wine, if tended properly, it just gets better with age.” ~ Unknown
Appreciating and enjoying the good in your relationship attracts more good and your relationship becomes stronger and better.
8 – MAKE SELF-CARE A PRIORITY
“One of the greatest gifts you can give your husband is your own wholeness.” ~ Stormie Omartian
You can’t take care of your relationships if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Make it a priority.
9 – LEARN FROM THE PAST AND DREAM OF THE FUTURE
“Marriage. It’s like a cultural hand-rail. It links folks to the past and guides them to the future.” ~ Diane Frolov
Find the lessons from the past and use them to help you shape your future.
10 – LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY
“A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love.” ~ Pearl Buck
Learn to love learning. Learning is the key to growth and evolution. And growth is the key to strong relationships.
11 – LIVE IN THE NOW
“Love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again.” ~ Max Lucado
Stay focused on what really matters and don’t let life’s distractions keep you from living in the moment.
12 – CELEBRATE THE BEST OF EACH OTHER
“In marriage, when we honor and celebrate each other, we’re freed up to be the best people we can be.” ~ Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott
Make every day a celebration of the good in your relationship and in each other.
13 – BE KIND AND GENEROUS
“A good marriage is a contest of generosity.” ~ Diane Sawyer
Do something special every day. A little note, a surprise cup of coffee or simple phone call just to say hi, will go a long way to showing your partner how much you value them.
14 – ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
“Married couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking.” ~ Chinese Proverb
Make sure your actions show your love. Often times what you do and how you do it says more than expressing your love with words.
15 – INVEST YOUR TIME
“The more you invest in a marriage, the more valuable it becomes.” ~ Amy Grant
Nothing takes the place of spending time on the relationships that matter most.
16 – GIVE A FREE PASS
“Make a list of ten of your spouse’s faults, which, for the sake of your marriage, you will always overlook. You can live with those ten.” ~ J & G Murphy
There are bound to be things that annoy you about your partner. Make a commitment to accept them and let them go.
17 – IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
“It’s the little things that keep us together. Those little things will make me love you forever.” ~ Sonia Schaad
It’s isn’t the grand gestures that say love, it is all the little things we do every day.
18 – BE SUPPORTIVE
“Lean on each other’s strengths. Forgive each other’s weaknesses.” ~ Unknown
It is easy to be in a relationship when things are going well but it’s the tough times that strengthens the bond. Remember to be there, be supportive and ask for help when you need it.
19 – MAINTENANCE MATTERS
“A relationship is like a house. When a light bulb burns out you don’t go and buy a new house, you change the lightbulb.” ~ Unknown
So make sure your relationship gets your regular care. It becomes more costly if you wait too long.
20 – THINK FREELY
“If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.” ~ Unknown
Fostering your creative, thinking mind will keep you happy and thriving in your relationships.
21 – BE COMMITTED
“Marriage succeeds only as lifetime commitment with no escape clauses.” ~ Dr. James Dobson
It’s simple really, you have to be in willing to go through the valleys as much as you are willing to go through the peaks. Put yourself all in and stay in it for the long haul.
These 21 rules for a happy marriage are a good reminder for all relationships, not just for marriages. What rule resonates with you most?