The best of marriages is still a union between two imperfect people. Everyone has their flaws and shortcomings, everyone has difficult days, and everyone makes mistakes. 


Life is messy, and that is okay!


However, if you find yourself getting hung up on these less-than-ideal moments, it might be time to reclaim some happiness in your relationship. Sometimes, just a few simple tweaks can go a long way to change the perspective and the atmosphere of a household. 


Utilize the following 7 basic tips to build a happier marriage today:


1. When a conflict arises, try to consider your partner’s feelings and perspective first. Rather than immediately arguing for your agenda, take a beat to put yourself in his/her shoes. How has his/her life experience led to this perspective? Is there any validity to your partner’s viewpoint?


2. Pick your battles. As two unique individuals, you and your spouse may inevitably disagree from time to time. Accept the differences and celebrate the diversity in your marriage! Take time to evaluate which squabbles are insignificant and which ones deserve the energy of a full-blown discussion. Seek compromise whenever possible and learn from mistakes. 


3. Don’t repress emotions. Avoiding important discussions to keep the peace often results in built-up anger and resentment. Practice expressing your feelings with respect and handling conflicts with purpose. Don’t say vindictive things, take a moment apart to collect your thoughts and emotions if needed, and use “I feel” phrases to avoid lashing out or placing blame. (IE: “I feel hurt when you play on your phone as I’m talking.”)


4. Invest in yourself as individuals. Absence makes the heart grow fonder! Take time apart to hang out with friends or develop personal interests and hobbies. 


5. Be intentional about connecting regularly. If you are in the habit of turning on the television together every night, make it a point to spend a few minutes sharing and communicating beforehand. 


6. Plan regular dates. Sometimes relationships grow stale simply from lack of attention. No matter how long you have been together, planning special outings can help refocus priorities in life and refresh a relationship. 


7. Become an attentive listener. If your spouse has had a rough day, offer your shoulder to cry on. Be a good audience. Turn off distracting devices, ask questions, and offer affirmation. Don’t take for granted simple moments spent venting. By actively listening and engaging on the rough days, you are cultivating a deeper bond as a couple.


No marriage is perfect, but finding happiness amid the imperfections doesn’t have to be a challenge. Implement these 7 simple tips into your routines and find a renewed sense of joy as you grow closer together over the years. 


How will you boost the happiness in your relationship today?


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