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Christian Living

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Family Matters 02/09/18

5 Secrets of Happy Couples

Romantic couple

John and Ann joined a small group at church. They wanted to be around other couples who were committed to doing life together for the long haul of marriage. What they didn't realize was that joining the group was a good strategy towards building a happy relationship.

We hear a lot about couples who are not happy and end up divorcing, especially celebrity couples. But, there are many couples who have learned the secrets to a happy marriage.

When it comes to marital satisfaction and happiness, science can tell us a few things.

Here are 5 of those secrets:

  1. Fight in person, not over text.
    You get in a fight, but do it over text messaging. Not a good idea because couples who argue over text, apologize over text and attempt to make decisions over text, do not end up happy. An emoji just isn't the same as your face, nor is the personal contact of working through a disagreement. If you want to build a happy relationship, face to face is best.
  2. Socialize with couples who have happy marriages.
    A Brown University study found that if you are around a friend or relative that is divorced, you are 75 percent more likely to get divorced. The company you keep matters. Even your friends who divorce influence your thinking in terms of staying married. The take away here is find happy couples to be your friends and in your inner circle. Their commitment to stay together and work through problems will influence you to do the same. The more negative the couple is regarding their marriage, the more it rubs off on you! So joining a couples group at church is a great idea.
  3. Work through problems early on in your relationship.
    Psychologist Dr. Herb Goldberg wants us to rethink fighting. He says that at the beginning of marriage, we think things should go smoothly and problems should come later. However, couples who have a rough beginning, but work things out are happier in the long run. So, work through your problems early on your marriage. The more you commit to dealing with your differences and conflicts in a positive way, the more you can actually strengthen the relationship.
  4. Spend time in the bedroom.
    Regular intimacy improves happiness. It's that simple. And here is a fun fact from a study -- upping your physical intimacy from once a month to once a week can cause happiness levels to jump by as much as if you made an extra $50,000 a year. So, there you go! Give your spouse a pay raise. Sounds like an enjoyable way to make your marriage happy.
  5. Share your faith.
    In 1999, David and Amy Olsen conducted a national survey with over 21,000 couples. In the survey, they included questions about spiritual life as it relates to couple relationships. They found that if you share a spiritual life with your spouse, it goes along with a happy marriage. Shared beliefs bring meaning and closeness to a relationship, especially during difficult times. And faith helps you focus on the positive aspects of each other and respect each other. So share your faith as you do life together.
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