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6 Things Happy Couples Do Differently

Whenever my husband and I tell others we are happy & married with two kids, they are usually really surprised. Mostly because of our age and because we live in a time where true commitment and healthy relationships are a rarity. The average age for marriage in the 1950’s (aka our grandparent’s generation) was between 20-24. Today, people who marry between those ages have the highest rate of divorce. How did we get to this point?

People’s expectations of relationships seem to be set by Hollywood and social media’s standards, blurring their perception of reality. And because of that (and other factors, like not having an example to follow), those same people don’t know how to have or maintain a healthy, happy relationship. Sometimes people learn how to have one after going through a bad relationship (I touched on my experience briefly here) but more often than not the cycle continues. Read on to find out how people in healthy relationships act!

Have you ever wondered how to make your relationship last? These things won't hurt to try!

1. They aren’t petty.

When I say petty, I mean that if the other person hurts them in some way, they don’t try to hurt them back. They don’t seek out revenge or feel the need to “get even”. That kind of behavior is mildly acceptable in high school, for the simple fact that you aren’t mature enough to know better, but not in an adult relationship. No one is perfect and there is always room for improvement… for every one. People in happy relationships can also admit when they are in the wrong, instead of always blaming the other person for any problem that arises. When there is an argument in a happy relationship, they figure out a way to resolve it, forgive each other and move on.

2. They don’t break up left and right.

After I went through a relationship that was constantly on and off, I realized how stupid it was to have gone back the third, fourth, fifth ….sixteenth time we broke up. How did I expect that relationship to last if we always wanted to leave each other? What was the point of getting back together if in a week we would be done again? People in happy relationships don’t break up over small things. They value each other and will do anything to avoid losing what they have.

 

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3. They know that love is not enough.

Sure, the idea of love is great. But saying, “I love you” is only a phrase if there are no actions behind it. In order to do that, both people need to be unselfish. From praising them to others and writing love notes to being a shoulder to cry on and never abandoning them in their time of need, happy couples show their love for each other often and in many ways.

4. They  appreciate what they have in front of them.

They don’t focus on the things the other person doesn’t have or doesn’t do. They don’t compare their relationship to others, asking “Why can’t he/she be like so and so?”. This doesn’t mean they don’t ever get annoyed of each other. Trust me, that’s expected every now and then. Happy couples are grateful and feel satisfied overall with who they chose to be with. They don’t want or need to be with anyone else, even during the rough patches.

 

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5. They respect each other.

Respect is defined as, “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” It is the most important factor in any relationship. It is something that everyone deserves and without it, your relationship is destined for failure. In a happy relationship, there is no physical or verbal abuse and no one has control over the other. Everything is mutual.

6. They grow together.

Happy couples build each other up, they set goals and push each other to accomplish them, all the while cheering them on. They care about their futures, as they may be aligned one day. They want to see each other succeed and do everything they can to support each other. They hold each other accountable and don’t let each other quit. They are a team working with each other, not against.

 

True happiness comes from within, so you won’t be able to be in a happy relationship if you aren’t happy yourself.  If you don’t love yourself how are you going to love someone else?

What do you think constitutes a happy relationship? Leave a comment, I’d love to know!

 

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  • Very true. My husband and I have hit all 6 of these since we were dating. So much of being in a successful relationship boils down to the choices you make.

  • T. M. Brown

    I think that’s a very healthy list up there. We’ll be celebrating 20 years this coming fall and a lot of what you said has contributed to the success of our marriage. It has certainly not been easy and, particularly in the early years, you find yourself a little “petty,” “disrespectful” and spending a great deal of time learning the hard way the true depth of what love is. One thing my husband and I discussed after reading this was that it’s important to make memories together. By making memories (vacations, day trips, a special event / outing), you have something to remember when times get tough and to cherish when you need a smile. ~ T @ footprintsinpixiedust.com

    • Oh that is such a good one, memories are SO important. I always tell my husband that is why I take so many pictures, so that the memories will live on. Also I’m loving the team work 😉

  • T. M. Brown

    Ah, yes – another photographer! Photos capture soooo much! Journaling comes in handy, too. It’s nice to go back and remind yourself how you felt at that point. What emotions were triggered and how…..a funny little detail you might have forgotten had it not been documented.

  • Communication and compromise are the things that have gotten us through 32 years of knowing and loving each other.

    • Those are so important. Congratulations to you!

  • You are so right, especially the growing together. That’s so important in a marriage. All to often, people split because they don’t

  • Although I had never been into a relationship, I agree with everything you said here, especially the last part. The best partner is the one who can constantly bring the best out of you. You guys will improve yourselves and grow old together happily.

    http://www.lookingfordawn.com

    • You will have a great relationship when the time comes!

  • Yep…you hit the nail on the head with each one of these! 🙂 Particularly #5…that’s a biggie for any relationship!

    • Thank you! It totally is, in friendships and family relationships as well!

  • My husband and I married young and also have two young children now. I think that all of your points are spot on, I couldn’t have said it any better!

  • These are great points. Respect might be the biggest key, because that will affect how you treat each other.

  • These are so on point! You nailed them all.

  • Top Moms Magazine

    Growing together is the most important in my book. We are constantly changing and if you can’t grow together, you can’t last together.

  • Phew! I’m happy to say that I nodded in agreement throughout this that my husband and I strive to, and usually succeed in all six!

  • This is the best post I have read today…
    Everything you wrote here is worth keeping in mind… Keep writing and continue to show young people the right direction.
    And yes, thanks for the first quote picture…

  • Love these! So true… Especially the part about respecting each other. That’s the base of any good relationship 😉

  • Love this post and the first quote. People often forget that is not a you vs me but us vs the problem. Great points! 🙂

  • Great post and couldn’t agree more! 🙂 I’ve been in a relationship with my first (and only) love for almost 9 years now and you absolutely nailed it! – Love, Anna

  • This is so spot on. I’ve been married for 22 years. This should be part of pre-marital counseling. Haha.

  • Well said. We started later and seem to have made it for 24 years. 2 kids here too. Both sides of the family likely paid for lots of lawyers kids to go through university. We wanted it to be different so when we get pissed off with each other – and we do often – we just wait instead of run away. Splitting is easy, staying together is the hard part.

    • That is so true 💕 My husband and I want it to be different than our parents too, so wait as well.

  • All true points! Great read. I agree with the respect – it goes a long way! I am also learning in my marriage the different ways to show respect and how sometimes that means different things to different people.

    • That’s a really great point. And not only for respect, for everything! Have you heard of love languages? That really opened my eyes a lot because I thought all people wanted to be shown love in the same way…nope!

      • Yes, I have been wanting to read that!! I think there’s so much truth in that – the way we feel love and show love may not be the same for the next person.

  • This is very true. I have been in both a healthy relationship and unhealthy ones and I am glad that I know the difference.

  • Great points! Along with point #2… love is a CHOICE. I choose to love my partner. It’s not a feeling that “blows in the wind”. Each day, I decide that I will love my husband and keep loving him no matter what he does/says.

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