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Cheat Codes To Have A Happy Marriage

Category: Featured, Loving Relationships

Happy Wedding Couple
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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?

Switch Responsibilities
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.

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Reader's Comments

  1. Marelisa | July 28th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    What a great article Avani. I love the idea of looking for ways to raise your partner’s score. It’s true that whatever we focus on expands, so by focusing on our partner’s shortcoming we simply expand our sense of frustration, while by focusing on all the great things about our partner our love and appreciation for them grows.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Creating Your Dream Life: Practical Intuition

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  2. Al at 7P | July 28th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Avani,

    This was a great article! It was a catchy title, and when I read it, there were a lot of truths in it. Thank you for the very nice article.

    Al at 7P’s last blog post..Jump Right In!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Avani-Mehta | July 29th, 2008 at 12:59 am

    Hi Marelisa,
    I agree. Looking for ways to raise your partner’s score is a lot of fun as well.

    Hi Al,
    Happy to know you liked the article.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Evelyn Lim | Attraction Mind Map | July 29th, 2008 at 1:15 am

    I’m not sure I like the idea of a scoring card too. Nor will I be able to think about increasing my partner’s scores, because I just find it hard to relate to a system that requires me to calculate. However, I do agree that every small act of appreciation matters. I also like the idea of not second guessing the other person. Putting ourselves in each other’s shoes in terms of work and responsibilities are also wonderful ideas!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Barbara Swafford | July 29th, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Hi Avani,

    Those score cards are perfect for anyone wanting a divorce. I agree with the part about not assuming your spouse will remember special occasions. Gentle reminders are great ways of keeping the spouse out of the dog house. Haha.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..NBOTW – Blogging – No Age Requirement

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  6. andyalmq | July 29th, 2008 at 3:14 am

    I loved the article Avani.

    No matter how you choose to perceive it, it is always important to make sure you always give to your spouse as much or more than they give to you. At the same time though, if your spouse does stray, and not want to receive for you, it is important to remember that that isn’t your fault, and there is nothing you can do to make them.

    andyalmq’s last blog post..How Do I Get A Date With the Hot Waitress?

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  7. Martin Wildam | July 29th, 2008 at 3:33 am

    I also enjoyed your post.

    A note to hacking the score card: To appreciate everything the partner does it is needed to be able to see the partner’s qualities. For this it helps to imagine a partner that you really would not like to have – e.g. a very lazy one that does not help in the household.

    When you come home remember how you left it and what things got done by your partner when you come home. Look at small things – like empty waste, washed dishes and clothes etc.

    Martin Wildam’s last blog post..To-Do-Lists and the calendar

    Reply to this comment
  8. Shilpan | successsoul.com | July 29th, 2008 at 6:43 am

    Avani –

    This is a beautiful article. You are really showing your talent with this article overall. Your article on marriage can be succinctly summarized in this sentence of yours, “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.”

    Well done. :)

    Shilpan

    Shilpan | successsoul.com’s last blog post..Forrest Gump: How to Build Your Self-Confidence

    Reply to this comment
  9. Jenna | July 29th, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Nice post. Very informative & well written!

    Jenna’s last blog post..X Prize Dangles 10$ Million For Fuel Efficiency

    Reply to this comment
  10. Jonathan Thomas | July 29th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Terrible advice. The problems in marriage I’ve experienced usually stem from both of us keeeping score of things. This is a terrible habit, both of us are trying to change. Marriage is not about what you do for each other, it’s about what you do together.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Sanket Shah | July 29th, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    A really good article. Nice innovative ideas. Short & sweet. Directing our energy in something positive rather than negative.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Shobha | July 29th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I feel eveyone should think in such a positive way for marriage life. Life is beautiful. According to me, understanding the other is key to succesfull marriage.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Jennifer | July 29th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    What a great post!

    I think every marriage has their ups and downs. The downs are when we think it’s all about me, me and me. How long we are in the down depends on how long we think it’s all about me, me and me. The downs are also when we get tired and lazy and live on autopilot instead of living with intention to build up our partner. (I know I’ve been guilty of both).

    Both my husband and I had a professor in college that told us that in his marriage he and his wife always tried to outdo each other in serving each other. We have never forgotten that, although it does slip our minds. When we remember and act on it, it is amazing how wonderful our marriage is.

    Pretty much any problem in marriage can be boiled down to this word: selfishness (or self centeredness). It’s not until we let go of ourselves and focus on building our spouse up and fulfilling their needs (without expecting anything in return) that we will have a happy marriage.

    Marriage takes work, but when you work it it is worth it.

    Again, excellent post!

    Reply to this comment
  14. Avani-Mehta | July 29th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    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.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Urban Panther | July 29th, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I really really like the advice, but not so keen on the terminology. As you pointed out, it can lead to a misunderstanding, but the message of your post was excellent. The Urbane Lion and I follow your advice to the letter. We are always looking for ways to a) make the other person happy, and b) appreciate what we do for each other. However, I prefer the Lion’s terminology. He calls it A Postive Catch-22. He makes me happy, in turn I make him happy, in turn he makes me happy…and on it goes. Pure relationship bliss.

    Urban Panther’s last blog post..Please, just throw it out

    Reply to this comment
  16. Avani-Mehta | July 29th, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Hi Evelyn,
    “Every small appreciation matters” So true. Every act of appreciation brings the other person closer to us in our heart.

    Hi Barbara,
    “Keeping the spouse out of the dog house” :) That expression is very funny. But yes, right on point.

    Hi Andy,
    You brought up something very important and so rightly put – we can only give love. Whether it is accepted or not is not in our hands and neither is a reflection of us.

    Hi Martin,
    Those are some real practical tips. I remembered a joke a read long time back. – A husband tells his wife – ‘I work all day outside. What do you do sitting at home whole day to talk about? Nothing!.’ That evening when he comes back home, he finds entire house in a mess. Clothes all over and dishes not done and food unpacked and kitchen not clean. He sees his wife sitting and relaxing and asks her ‘What happened?’. Wife replied : ‘I decided to do “Nothing” today’ :)

    Hi Shilpan,
    Thank you for your kind words

    Hi Jenna,
    Happy to know you found the post informative

    Hi Jonathan,
    Marriage does involve doing things for each other and doing things together as well.

    Hi Sanket,
    That’s right. Whatever you focus on, expands. So focus on positive, rather than negative.

    Hi Shobha,
    “Life is beautiful. Understanding each other is the key to marriage” Both are gems. Thank you for sharing them.

    Hi Jennifer,
    “Marriage takes work, but when you work it it is worth it.” Wow! Loved that line. “Try to out do each other in serving each other” – I will keep this in mind. It sounds like a great idea.

    I agree being self centered can create problems in marriage. But, I don’t believe it is right for forget ourselves as well. Marriage is about two people. Neither should be forgotten.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Avani-Mehta | July 29th, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Hi Urban Panther,
    I agree. Wrong terminology can lead to misunderstandings. Anyways, that’s a lesson learned. “Positive Catch-22” wow :) I love the term.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Jennifer | July 29th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    No Avani, we shouldn’t forget ourselves, but if we expect our spouse to make us happy we will never be happy. Happiness has to come from within. Like you stated in your post, communication is key to let your spouse know what you need. But if you are doing something for your spouse in order to get something in return you are likely setting yourself up for dissapointment. It is only when you do something for your spouse out of genuine appreciation for them that they will likely do anything that you ask of them – at least willingly.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Jennifer | July 29th, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    BTW – I stumbled this post. Loved it!

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Do You Want to be Great?

    Reply to this comment
  20. Avani-Mehta | July 29th, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Hi Jennifer,
    Expecting spouse or anyone else for that matter to make us happy is a recipe for disaster. I agree with what you say – give without any expectation. And thank you for the stumble.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Robin | July 29th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Hi Avani – you’ve got some really good suggestions here, I reckon. The swapping roles is a good one, as is learning to ask for what you want. Learning to not keep score-cards is important to learn too – as you do point out! ;=)

    Robin’s last blog post..Is Living Like Today Might Be Your Last A Good Idea?

    Reply to this comment
  22. Janegael | August 3rd, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    My husband immediately wanted me to send him the link to this great article. :)

    Reply to this comment
  23. Avani-Mehta | August 5th, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    @Robin: I still stand firm with the score card point. But I agree with Urban Panther, I went wrong with terminology – it leaves a lot of open ground for misunderstanding.

    @Janegael: :) Thanks for letting me know. It made me feel great.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Rajneesh | August 20th, 2008 at 6:02 am

    hi,

    these words are collected from here and there and pasted like a recepie. in fact no guidance/book or quotes can bring up good relationship in between two people when they are not in tune within themselves and each other. If books or quotes are to make relationship better then relationships will become plastic and robotic.

    Relatioships dont go well because we keep living with fantasies about everything including our partners by ignoring truth. And when these two fantasising people get together, they multiply their fantasies. When fantasies collapse in reality the “real looks pale” and both feel cheated. people have ideas, logics, books and quotations for love but they actually dont love, if love is really there who will bother for such stupid stuff? Do we get satisfied with cookery books or real food ?

    Rajneesh

    Reply to this comment
  25. Avani-Mehta | August 20th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Rajneesh,

    Sometimes only love is not enough. These ideas are to make it easy for two people get in tune with themselves and each other.

    Reply to this comment
  26. Rajneesh | August 21st, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Avani,

    Of course love is not enough, no one can live in continous state of emotions or feelings everyday. to get tuned with each other begins with getting tuned with oneself first. If we are not calm/happy within our own self then it will reflect to everything with which we relate outside us. As we are programmed in our upbringing/values/culture in such ways that our own self and contentment gets lost and we live a phony life always imitating each other for our survival. That’s where self deception begins and life looks like more of a puzzle rather than flow.

    The other real problem with ‘human nature’ is that it gets bored with repeated things/situations/circumstances/relations where as life is an evolution of new consciousness, unless we dont find something new and stimulating it feels heavy. All the romanticism this and that just happens out of boredom, we dont have anything new to relationship so we fight, just with trivia issues at least a “new situation” to hang on for some time.

    Rajneesh

    Reply to this comment
  27. Avani-Mehta | August 21st, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Rajneesh, I fully agree with you on these points. As much important is relationship, that much important are people individually as well. If we are not happy with ourselves, how can bring happiness in our relationship; since it’s simply a extension of us.

    Fighting just to get out of boredom sounds crazy. I haven’t ever thought of fights that way. And I genuinely hope people don’t do that.

    Although, when I think, that people expect to get out of boredom and stay stimulated from a relationship, it does become a perfect recipe for disaster. Misplaced expectation is a sure shot way to start fights.

    Reply to this comment
  28. Rajneesh | August 21st, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Avani,

    Of course people do fight to evade boredom or dullness, but sub consciously.

    did you ever hear that the great lovers of the world: Laila and Majnu, Romeo and Juliet, Shiri and Farhad, Soni and Mahival etc. ever fought or got dis satisfied with their relationships? No? Just because they couldn’t ever get that much of proximity to spend time with each other so that could be bored. had they been nagging and fighting then who would have heard their tales of great lovers??

    The real test of relationship begins only when couples live together and bear each others attitudes and shortcomings. Not like that of Indian movies that potray relatioships like ultimate fantsasy where life seems a bed of roses and couples are seen dancing and enjoying even with most terrible situations. never ever an Indian movie really begins with a marriage, all producers and directors know how to cash on fantasies and pack up before hero heroine gets married.

    Reply to this comment
  29. Avani-Mehta | August 21st, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    When people stay together, clashes are bound to happen. That doesn’t mean they intentionally do that.

    Reply to this comment
  30. Rajneesh | August 21st, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Intentionally people do dominate each other. Intentionally, living together with anybody is a kind of competition unless one is not an enlightened human being to understand others individuality and freedom.

    “The secret of good relationship is mystery. may be we keep pushing the discussions|arguments with tons of justifications, refrences, tips and all stuff but deep somehwere we know what is the meaning of this life, and relationships? – Nothing. We keep befooling ourselves. All our gestures of display outside are indications of internal incompleteness and life goes that way !

    Reply to this comment
  31. contrariwise | October 12th, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Nice ideas.

    They don’t always work, especially when your spouse has no intention of reciprocating or changing.

    I’m counting the days when my kids go to college and I can divorce my husband.

    contrariwise´s last blog post..Tutorial: How to oxidize sterling silver using eggs

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  32. Avani-Mehta | October 13th, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    @Contrariwise: I am sorry about your marriage. Relationship requires effort from both sides. These ideas will work only if both desire to make them work.

    Reply to this comment
  33. Debbie | March 4th, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Avani,

    This is a great article. So much truth in it. I agree keeping a score card is not good.

    the only thing that will come out of that is a divorce sooner or later.

    Thanks
    Debbie
    .-= Debbie´s awesome post ..Conquer Your Unhappiness In 5 Simple Steps! =-.

    Reply to this comment
  34. Lance | July 22nd, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Excellent points. I really liked the point you made about telling your spouse about your birthday, or your anniversary, a week in advance instead of hoping that he/she remembers it. This is such a simple way to avoid the disappointment of being let down (can’t help it if your partner is bad with dates). About the point that you made about “ask and it’s given”, I guess this works well for women but I’ve noticed that this does not work out so well for men, for some reason. As a man when you ask a woman for things that you want, she is more likely to feel that you are “needy”, is that not the case?

    Reply to this comment
  35. Ashish | July 26th, 2010 at 2:48 am

    A very insightful Avani. Relationships can be such a challenge when we lack the attitude of being forgiving and giving. I am lucky to have a partner who seems to be living the truths you mentioned in your article.

    Reply to this comment
  36. antivirus 2011 | September 11th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Love the article!

    Note in hacking the score: I think one way to do this is to focus on giving, rather than taking. Say and do as many things as possible to meet your spouses needs. Keep thinking about what you can do to bring out the best qualities of your spouse. Reinforce those qualities with words and action.

    Reply to this comment
  37. antony @ a cheating spouse | January 29th, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Thank you for the very impressive post about having a happy marriage. Your post delivered a bunch of fascinating points that I have not considered. I am looking forward to reading more of your website in the future.

    Reply to this comment
  38. Robert - Mill River | May 25th, 2011 at 8:34 am

    What a nice read! My wife and I have been married for 8 years now. A lot of the things you mentioned in your article have indeed paved the way to a happy and lasting marriage for us. It takes hard work, determination, patience, love and forgiveness. Some think that when you get married, the game is over and it’s time to “settle down.” On the contrary, this is when the work and the commitment really begins.

    Reply to this comment

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] tip: Avni has posted about Happy Marriage. I recommend every one, whether you are married or unmarried, to read this post […]

  2. […] Cheat Codes to Have a Happy Marriage – This takes a slightly different perspective on the idea of marriage, with talk of “score cards” and how to raise yours. It’s probably sparked some controversy with people who take their marriages almost too seriously, but it is in good fun and if you look past the “score” thing, it’s got some great advice and tips that apply even when you’re not out to increase your partner’s “score”. A good read! […]

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