I think lists are awesome. How would I get anything done without a list? I’ve tried and I can tell you that although things still get done, it’s a whole lot harder. I forget stuff. I don’t do things in a timely manner. And worst of all, I end up feeling a lot more stressed than I would have if I had just used a darn list. With that in mind, I hope this list of 20 elements for a happy marriage will not only help me and my husband stay the course but bless your relationship as well.
20 Essential Elements for a Happy Marriage – Your Must-Have Checklist
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Having a successful marriage requires a lot more than a simple checklist. However, I also know that a solid checklist definitely never caused any harm, so this can only help. Remember, marriage is not just about saying, “I do.” It’s about the follow through that comes with making your union work.
Importance of a Checklist
I know when we think of a checklist, we tend to think of our jobs, grocery shopping, back-to-school lists, or just things we need to do in our day-to-day lives. But, what about a checklist for our marriage? That’s right. What if there was a checklist to guide us through our union? We could use it to make sure we weren’t forgetting anything important or to make sure we are on track and tending to the things that matter most.
Your Must-Have Checklist
Think of this list as a guide to help you determine if you are doing the right things to strengthen your marriage and create a union that will last a lifetime.
- Go on dates regularly. I know it can be hard, especially when you have kids, but if you stop dating each other the passion fades. Keep the passion alive.
- Share intimate moments. Intimacy is an absolute must in a marriage. Show me someone in a sexless marriage and I will show you a marriage that is suffering.
- Express gratitude. Thank you goes a very long way. Let your spouse know you appreciate all they do.
- Listen (even when you don’t want to). It’s easy to listen when you like what someone is saying. The challenge lies in listening when the conversation may head in a direction you don’t like. In a marriage you should listen—always. You owe your spouse that much.
- Fight Fair. Hitting below the belt in a marriage won’t get you very far, and it’s definitely not the way to make your marriage last.
- Touch each other. Touch is so important. It makes your spouse feel loved and desirable. That feeling carries over into so many other areas of your marriage.
- Don’t nag. Nagging never works and it’s always annoying to the person being nagged.
- Follow through with promises. A promise made should always be a promise kept. It really just boils down to trust.
- Laugh at yourself often. Don’t take life so seriously. Laughter is good for your marriage and your soul.
- Keep things simple. People have a tendency to complicate things. Try to keep things as simple as possible. It works.
- Forgive. No one is perfect. Without the ability to forgive, a successful marriage is not possible.
- Cheer your partner on. You should be your spouse’s biggest cheerleader and they should be yours.
- Provide encouragement. I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t need to be encouraged, and the person we love to get it from most is our spouse.
- Apologize when you need to. Naturally, you have to be able to say you are sorry, even if you don’t understand why your partner is hurt.
- Smile often. Doesn’t everyone love being greeted with a smile? It makes all the difference.
- Share your dreams with each other. Sharing your dreams with each other and creating a vision as a family is something all couples should do.
- Go with the flow. Things won’t always go the way you expected, but the ability to go with the flow will help you embrace change and live a happier life.
- Be truthful. Needless to say, I’ve never met a couple who said that lying brought them closer together. Being truthful is always the way to go.
- Share meals often. People tend to open up and talk about a lot during meals. Find the time to catch up with your spouse regularly by sharing as many meals as you can with them.
- Admit when you are wrong. If you are dead wrong, just admit it. We all have to be able to admit our wrongdoings.
BMWK – help us build this list? What other things are essential to a happy marriage?
Editor’s Note: BMWK originally published this post on August 1, 2014. We have updated it for quality and relevancy.