My husband and I have been married for 5 years. To some, we’re still in our honeymoon phase but trust me, we didn’t have one. Within the 5 years of marriage and x years of being together, we’ve amassed 3 kids, moved 3 times, couldn’t pay bills, and started a business. And you know what? Every morning we wake up still excited (yes excited) to be married to each other. Instead of keeping my secrets, I figured I would share what makes a happy marriage work for us.
Now keep in mind, this is from a woman’s point of view so if you’re a man reading this, it will likely NOT apply lol! I mean, the extra information couldn’t hurt though *wink wink*.
The Secret to What Makes A Happy Marriage Work
It’s really not a secret or one thing really. But here’s the big thing that we did in the beginning:
We set our own rules for what we wanted our marriage to look like.
So often you hear about the roles in marriage and how marriage is supposed to look. I’m on my second one and I can tell you that no marriage is the same so no rules for marriage should be the same either. Outside of the rules that we’d set, there are some other things that we do.
This is one of the things that my husband jokingly says he hates. I know it’s because he struggles with telling me things I could be doing better. Every month we have an intentional conversation that starts with, “What could I be doing better as your wife?” He often has no feedback for me since we do just have conversations throughout the month. This was a tip that I learned from his dad though.
His father did our pre-marital counseling–I thought it would be weird but it was actually really insightful and amazing. His dad said that he did this because when you have kids, you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of them and life and we tend to forget to really check-in on our marriages. The monthly check-ins allow us to have this time to really focus on “performance managing” each other in our marriage.
We Have Lots of Sex
Yes, I said it. Lots of WILLING sex. Now I will note that my sex drive is that of a teenage boy even after children but I’m also really turned on by my husband. So that makes it super easy. Some people will say that sex isn’t important in marriage and I think this is false. It IS important in marriage! Is it the most important thing? No, but it’s up there on the totem pole of importance.
Why? Because it’s not “just” sex when it’s with your spouse. Before my husband, I didn’t equate sex with anything beyond physical pleasure–which I loved on it’s own. But when you give yourself to someone you love emotionally and mentally, the physical becomes just that much more. It’s the most literal sense of “when two become one” for the whole marriage thing. Have sex. Enjoy it. Orgasms are good for your health, skin and marriage–trust me.
We Don’t Agree All The Time
I’m a modern-day hippie and he’s pretty conservative so we don’t always see eye to eye. In fact, our conversations are pretty eye-opening. We disagree on many things but we don’t argue often because neither of us things that disagreements have to turn into arguments. Here’s the thing though: when we disagree or argue, we always keep it respectful.
I have the memory of an elephant and he’s more sensitive than he likes to admit but more importantly, we love each other and even when we aren’t seeing eye to eye, we want to honor each other. I love that we disagree. He’s so smart and has such a great perspective on so much that our disagreements usually lead to our growth. We’ve challenged each other to see things in a different way and maturity allows us to grow from this making us better–even if it’s a little painful in the moment.
We Work Hard To Make The Other Happy
This is something that we both do 100% of the time. Even in the midst of frustrating moments with him, I can’t stay mad because I know that his end goal was to make me happy even if it didn’t. This right here is key to marriage. I won’t say that I’m responsible for his happiness because I’m not but as his wife and someone who loves him most, I thoroughly enjoy his happiness and may want it more for him. And the same is true for him.
During one of our month conversations when I asked him what I could be doing better as a wife, his response blew me away. He told me that he wished I could do a better job at seeing myself the way others saw me so that I could be happier with myself. Friends, this right here. Tears.
Is our marriage perfect? No. But it’s perfect for us. We’ve seen the birth of children, postpartum anxiety, leaving a job to start a business that wasn’t immediately profitable, battled with racism together, struggled financially and more. Through it all, we’ve been each other’s biggest cheerleaders. These are some of the intentional things we do and feel contributes to what makes a happy marriage work.
What tips and tricks do you have for making your marriage work?