How to Be Happy in a Marriage (All Year Long) | Reader's Digest

How to Be Happy in a Marriage (All Year Long)

Everyone wants a long, loving and happy marriage, yet half of all marriages are destined to fail. Here are a few tricks to keep your mate happy!

By Joe Antol from yourtango.com
How to Be Happy in a Marriage (All Year Long)© iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Ah, Valentine’s Day, the one annual holiday where couples-only need apply. It’s one thing to keep your Valentine happy in the short term. Expensive baubles and dinners will do that. For the long haul, however, more original techniques are required. Having taken the vow, everyone wants a long, loving and happy marriage, yet half of all marriages are destined to fail. As a 42 year old male Manhattanite who’s been with the same woman for 17 years, married 12 and had a child for 5 I think I have a few tricks to keep your mate happy. To whit:

     

  • 1.

    Sex.

    Put out or get out. Marriage is, among other things, a convenient means of getting laid on a regular basis. Or it should be. Granted, the passion may dim with time, but if it’s completely gone then Fix The Problem. Do it even if you don’t want to; and if you don’t want to, figure out why. A shrink, Viagra, whatever it takes. If you’re too busy, put an entry in the calendar. Just tired? Get more sleep.

  • 2.

    Kissing.

    Do it early, often and randomly. When you or the Missus leaves for work in the morning, give each other a kiss. Just had a fight over who forgot to make the coffee? Kiss anyway. There’s no better martial lubricant than a good smooch. As for the random part, I kiss my wife whenever she sneezes.

  • 3.

    Flowers.

    Men, listen to me. Never, never buy flowers for birthdays, anniversaries or, most importantly, Valentine’s Day. If she expects floral delights and you fail to satisfy, you’re screwed. If you remember these occasions with flowers, she’s happy, but you’re just doing your job. Instead, give on a whim. Since it’s a surprise, there’s no possibility for disappointment. For The Big Day, save yourself the 60 bucks you’ll sink on a dozen American Beauties and FedEx her a couple of pieces of Stroehmann’s finest with a note telling her she’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. She’ll love your originality and fiscal restraint. Women, just buy flowers. Guys do like them. Your man may feign embarrassment, but he’ll be warm and happy on the inside.
    Read: 10 Things Happy Couples Talk About

  • 4.

    Shave.

    Women: shave the legs, the pits and anything else you dare. Keep in mind, if he wanted to hear the gentle rustle of armpit hair he’d have married a Wesleyan woman studies major. And he doesn’t care what French women do. You’re not French and we’re not in France. And guys: that weekend growth you’re sporting is only tolerated because you’re heading off to the Home Depot in the performance of your manly duties (fixing something). You don’t look suave and Latin, you look like a slob. And it chafes her skin.
    Read: The Secret To A Happy Marriage?

  • 5.

    Sleeping.

    If you’re sleeping under the same roof, always sleep together. No excuses. Women, don’t banish your man to the couch or stomp off to pout in the spare bedroom. If you’ve had a fight, and they do happen, either make up or suck it up. Lie precariously at the edge of the mattress and fume if you must, but lie in the same bed.

  • 6.

    Size.

    Don’t kid yourself: Lust Matters. Women, he may tell you that extra girth means “more of you to love,” but he’s lying. Guys, my wife says: “Outgrow that wedding ring and I’ll outgrow you.” You may have convinced yourselves that those 20 extra pounds make you “cuddly,” but no matter how many sweaters or layers you pile on, you’re still fat. When I’ve asked my wife if she’ll still love me if I get chubby, she replies: “Of course, but I’ll miss you.”
    Read: 10 Steps To A Spiritual Relationship

  • 7.

    Children.

    Don’t have kids to have a happy marriage. Have a happy marriage, then have kids. Women, if the relationship is circling the bowl, children won’t help. They won’t bring you closer and give you a common bond. If you already have problems a baby will dial them up to eleven. Children are the most frustrating, annoying creatures in existence, but they’re also the most wonderful little beings in the world. A good, strong marriage is made more so by a family. Then there really is “more to love.”

From YourTango.com: 7 Ways to Stay Happy (All Year Long)