Photo Courtest of saffandiphoto.com
A Successful Marriage Requires Falling In Love Many Times, Always With The Same Person. – Mignon McLaughlin
I often remember times when I played video games and had cheat codes which made winning the game faster and easier. I have wished innumerable times to have cheat codes for winning a marriage, to have cheat codes for a happy marriage.
Of course I know that there are no short cuts to a happy marriage. The basics steps of “How to have a happy marriage” have to be applied. But, even then, wouldn’t it be great if there were some tips which made having a happy married life easier; Tips which are easy to implement and yet give tremendous results.
I didn’t have cheat codes for a happy marriage when I got married. But I sure found them later on while living the marriage. These obviously do not eliminate the basics – to love, to communicate, to laugh, to forgive etc. But they do increase chances of a happy married life drastically. And most importantly, they work.
Cheat Codes To Have A Happy Marriage
1. Work On The Score Card
In Every Marriage More Than A Week Old, There Are Grounds For Divorce. The Trick Is To Find, And Continue To Find, Grounds For Marriage. – Robert Anderson
Imagine that you maintain a scorecard which marks your score against your spouse’s. The way to increase this score is to do something good for the other, to do something thoughtful, something out of the way. The way to increase this score is to be a great partner. Imagine this scorecard very well. Because we all unknowingly do keep this kind of score card which shows “How much did I do for my partner and how much did my partner do for me”.
Throw away the score card
Now the most intelligent thing of course would be to throw away the scorecard. Because in love, marriage and relationships we don’t keep scores. But, throwing the score card away is not easy because most of time we don’t even know it exists. And by the time we realise it exists, it is too late – this is when huge battles arise about how you do everything and your partner doesn’t do anything.
Hack the scoring mechanism
So what to do in this scenario? What can you do if not throw away the card? The answer is simple, hack the scoring mechanism. Find out opportunities to increase your partner’s score. Yes, not yours, your partner’s. Find excuses and reasons, even smallest of them to go ahead and increase score of your partner. As you do this, as you see your partner scoring way more than you, you will want to reciprocate.
How to give scores?
It’s actually very simple, by appreciation. Appreciate everything that your partner does. Share this appreciation with yourself, your partner and everyone you know. Share how thoughtful your spouse is. Share everything that is good in your partner. Each and every small action, word of kindness deserves appreciation.
Isn’t all this artificial, made up? Isn’t this like lying to yourself?
The things you appreciate are not lies. But over a period of time they are taken for granted. Appreciation brings them back to focus. Sometimes, we have everything in the world, but yet nothing – because we don’t value it. This simple act of appreciating even the tiniest thing that you have will fill your life with small wonders. And who wouldn’t be happy with a wonder-full life.
Update: Just a clarification –
To everyone who have given feedback through comments that keeping scores is not healthy in a marriage, I fully agree. As I read again the way I wrote, I realise it is easy to misunderstand. But I am by no way in favour of keeping scores of who did what.
My idea is simple – find opportunities to be thankful and be in gratitude of your spouse. Everyday, find new things which make you feel lucky to have your spouse as your spouse. Mutual appreciation is a key to happy marriage. Create a habit of appreciating even the tiniest thing that your spouse does for you and who your spouse is.
2. Ask, And You Shall Recieve
Marriage Is The Alliance Of Two People, One Of Whom Never Remembers Birthdays And The Other Who Never Forgets. – Ogden Nash
Who knows you the best? Who knows your innermost desires? Who knows what do you want out of marriage, out of life, out of relationships? Who knows what will make you happy, what are your romantic fantasies, what are your dreams? The answer is obviously “You”. No one knows you better than you.
Then why not share your expertise on this subject (you) with your partner. Remove the guess work out of marriage. And use the knowledge that you gain about you and your partner to find creative ways to a happy married life.
How to make your partner remember important occassions
What do you want? Do you want your partner to remember your birthday/anniversary (and your partner is forgetful)? Use this technique – one week before the occassion share with your partner how excited you are about the upcoming occassion. Share with your partner what would you like to have as a gift. You partner will happily go with your plans. By applying this simple technique, you are helping your relationship – you remove the disappointment you might have got if your partner forgot the occassion, you remove the probable fight out of picture and most importantly, you have set yourself for a great day, a great celebration for the occassion.
How to get some silent space at home after a long day at work
What do you want? Do you want some quite time with yourself when you come back home? Do you wish to spend some time with yourself before spending time with your partner? Something as simple as sharing this desire with your partner would be enough to get what you want. Tell your partner you want some quite time for ___ mins. And then you will be all set to be attentive, talkative … whatever is required. Don’t assume your partner will understand you are not in mood to talk/listen. Don’t assume your partner will understand you need some space. Don’t assume, share and ask for it.
Help your partner to give what you want
The idea is pretty simple, whatever you want from your partner, help your partner to give it. Make marriage a smooth ride by stating the obvious if that is what it takes. Don’t leave anything to guess work. Ask for what you want and you will get it.
3. Experience What Your Partner Experiences In True Sense
The More Connections You And Your Lover Make, Not Just Between Your Bodies, But Between Your Minds, Your Hearts, And Your Souls, The More You Will Strengthen The Fabric Of Your Relationship. – Barbara De Angelis
What is more work? To be a money maker or a home maker? How much effort is needed to manage bills? How many hours of work is it to plan for an outing? How tough is it to keep house neat? How difficult is it to manage groceries and other household requirements? How draining is travelling for work and coming back? How crazy is it to manage kids and nappies?
Only the one who has worked on these would truly know about it. As aptly said – only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. Then, how to really get others point of view. How to really understand and empathise and appreciate what our partner is doing. The answer to this one is also very simple, switch responsibilities for a while wherever possible.
If your partner plans for an outing everytime, this time you do the same. And let your partner enjoy the trip. If your partner manages home and kids, for whatever time possible, you do the same and let your partner enjoy. Not only will this be refreshing for your partner, it will also give you insight about what your partner has to do. And the next time, you want to complain about something, you will remember your experience and surely change your mind. Experience what your partner experiences. This will bring you close and help you to understand and appreciate each other faster than any thing else.
Update : This article got on front page of stumble upon. A big thanks to everyone for their thumbs up and review.
Thanks again for making the next article – Salt Of A Happy Marriage – When Too Much Of A Good Thing Makes A Marriage Go Bad popular as well.