Enjoying Married Life: It’s the Little Things that Matter

How to enjoy married life

I enjoy being married. What do I enjoy? Let me share with you some secrets and tips for a happy marriage.

My husband and I both know human touch is calming and we put that information to good use. Each of us is free to ask for a hug if we are feeling upset, lonely, loving or just for no special reason. Both of us, knowing a hug is both given and received, happily comply. Good excuses, like something on the stove will burn if I don’t tend it, call for a “Wait just a bit till I finish this.”

If we disagree about some fact either of us will say, “Betcha’ a kiss!” Neither of us can lose on that bet.

Sex is good and cuddling is more often– always before we go to sleep. “Good-bye” is hug and kiss time unless we are in a big hurry.

If we really disagree about something that happens often we have a serious talk about it. That means we sit together, facing each other for eye contact, and we really listen to what the other one says because we are curious about his/her feelings about it. We let the other know we are listening by repeating back the feeling. One at a time, we express all the feelings we can dredge up about that subject and we know we are heard because we heard our feelings responded to.

How to enjoy marriage: A real-life example

I am late getting home and he expected me sooner. After this happens several times it’s time to hash it out. I get to tell him how important those last minutes talking with my friend were, and he gets to tell me how frustrating it was to be told I would be home so he could leave the kids and go on important errands. When we can put ourselves in the other’s shoes, we can talk about solutions with more empathy. Sometimes we learn something new and important about ourselves or the other.

We both know the value of complements.

As a woman, I love to look pretty, especially to him. Sometimes he finishes his meal before me, and he just looks at me. I ask him why he is doing that and he says, “Your eyes are so blue and I just love looking at you! You’re beautiful!”

Ahh! How can I resist that? Or I catch a glimpse of his profile just right and tell him how handsome he is. Neither of us is a model and we are past the appeal of youth, but there are times for both of us when we see the other as handsome/beautiful. And when that happens we say it out loud.

We wouldn’t dream of not thanking a friend for doing us a favor. Why not follow the same good manners for the most important person in our lives?

Looking out for each other is important. We all have times when we need someone to have our back. He fell and sprained a wrist. I help him do simple things now awkward for him and I do it while feeling good about it. Gives me a chance to baby him a little. He does the same for me when I am not feeling well.

I am bored with sports—he loves them. I find something else to do while he is watching on TV and he records it if there is an important family event going on. We take turns choosing a movie if we don’t have the same taste this time.

Humor is a cure for many things in life

This is especially true in a marriage. We giggle together whenever possible. I recently struggled to button my husband’s pants for him since his injured wrist made it difficult for him. Definitely worth a giggle!

It’s the little things that create happiness or hurt in a marriage. What are the special secret things you enjoy in your marriage?

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Colene Schlaepfer
Marriage & Family Therapist, PhD, MFT
A licensed therapist, Colene works closely with her therapist husband Fred. They have been co-therapists for 20 years and specialize in couples’ therapy. Typically, they work as a team with couples. The goal is to create intimacy by discovering where their issues originated and teaching them how to communicate effectively about them. Colene and Fred are interested in the couple’s family and relationship history.

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