The ‘I do’ comes easy, it’s the ‘to-do’ later that causes stress in a relationship. A lot of marriages are unable to survive the deluge of normalcy once the honeymoon period is over. Living together exposes unhidden facets of a person and familiarity breeds contempt. Every marriage goes through this phase and is beset with challenges. The secret to a happy marriage is not the lack of challenges but the manner in which they are dealt.

Read on to find out about the 5 habits of a happy couple that you can benefit from.

Keep a check on your expectations.

Expectations are the biggest enemy for any relationship. They take your focus away from enjoying what you have to craving for what don’t. We enter a marriage with a particular belief system and hopes about how we imagine things to be, and when these aren’t fulfilled we tend to feel disappointed. While it is completely natural to have expectations, make an effort to accommodate and accept reality too. Constantly feeling that your expectations are not being fulfilled will not just leave you disenchanted but will also cause resentment in your spouse. The end result would be a domino effect on all aspects of your relationship.

As psychologist and writer of the book, “The All-or-Nothing Marriage”, Eli Finkel says: “Find those places where the demands you’re placing on the marriage are clearly exceeding the amount that the marriage can actually meet. Just take off some of the demands.”

Balance together and alone.

While doing things together is a great way to build companionship, too much of it can cause annoyance in some people. That said, spending too much time apart is definitely a recipe for disaster. Choose the golden mean. Identify activities that you both enjoy and indulge in them together, but do keep some days off for yourself too. Use the ‘me-time’ to catch up with friends or pursue a hobby of your choice. Doing some things separately will reduce your dependence on one person and make you both happier. This will also relieve your spouse from having to satisfy all your needs while probably sacrificing theirs. Accept the fact that one person cannot have all the qualities you seek.

Forgive and forget.

The ability to forgive your partner for mistakes big and small will be a big asset for your marriage and yourself too. By forgiving and moving on, you are ridding yourself of all the anger, resentment and bitterness that may build up inside you and cause stress to you as well as to your bond with your partner. As they say, ‘Holding onto resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’ So let go of petty fights and minor conflicts for the greater good of a blissful future. Forgiving isn’t a difficult feat if you look at a situation with empathy and understand your partner’s viewpoint.

Appreciate more.

‘I can live for two months on a good compliment’, remarked Mark Twain. Humans have a natural tendency to crave appreciation; complimenting your partner is an easy way to accomplish their need for attention. But remember, there is a difference between compliment and flattery. Your compliments should be sincere and genuine and not seem like a forced attempt. Once you get into the habit of complimenting, you will begin to feel its positive impact on your marriage. So strengthen your relationship by acknowledging your partner’s qualities and letting them know!

Admit your mistakes.

No one is born perfect, so step down your high altar and accept that you too can make mistakes. A lot of times we do not acknowledge our blunders and instead, we become defensive by justifying them. A continued pattern of this behavior will gradually result in a lack of trust between you and your partner. To avoid this, always assume responsibility for your slip-ups and apologize immediately. By accepting your mistake you are also making a mental note of not repeating them in future; something that is not possible if you continue to turn a blind eye.

In the end, no amount of tips will be useful until you make an incessant conscious effort to incorporate them in your life as HABITS.

By Khyati Shah

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