How to have a happy relationship

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Are you wondering what the secrets of a happy relationship or marriage are? If so, I'm really glad you've found my page - because I'd love to share my tips and advice with you.

I so hope my pages will help you discover how to have a happy relationship. This is the third page in this series of articles, so be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 first, where you can find tips on sharing, communicating, and the power of compassion and empathy.

Be willing to ride the waves

Of course you’re going to experience difficult times.  I think that younger people in particular often have an unrealistic expectation of what lies ahead (yes... I was one of them too!).  If only I could protect you from the inevitable challenges! 

However, the ups are as much a part of life as the downs are. You’ll get through those challenging times though - be they relationship problems, issues with family, work, children, finances or personal problems. A crisis never lasts and there is an end to everything - and that includes the bad times.

If you can learn to ride the waves together then there's every chance that you’ll grow stronger as a couple.

Having trouble working that one out?  Have a look at Save my Relationship if you or your partner don't like the idea of relationship counselling, but are keen to learn the secrets to a happy relationship.  Many people find counselling far too 'scary' and this is a great alternative for taking positive action.

Protect what you have

Arguing ...?  Not a problem in principle, but you need to know when it gets out of hand. When you or your partner are beginning to lose control - stop!  That’s the point at which there's every chance that you’ll become personal.

Attacking each other as people, rather than asking for behaviour to change, is a definite way to undermine the health of your relationship. It creates resentment and a great deal of unhappiness.

It's vital that you resolve conflicts constructively, and for more info on this have a look at Arguing Couples.

Happy couple with dog

The future

Renegotiate your 'contract'

There is often an implied 'contract' between partners. You may have firm understandings about some things, and you may have 'kind of' agreed on other 'stuff'. You'll also have made huge assumptions about all manner of things.

You both came into this relationship with a gene pool, a history of interpreting the world in your own unique way and making up 'rules' about life based on your experiences.

This creates unconscious patterns, which only reveal themselves over time. Suddenly you find that you’re wanting or pushing for certain things to happen, but these had never been part of an agreement. Maybe it hadn't even occurred to you that they needed to be discussed.

I sometimes think that relationships should come with a 'renewal' date.  You’ll periodically have to renegotiate the terms and conditions of your relationship or marriage.  This means you’ll be able to accommodate changing circumstances, and will increase you self-awareness together with your knowledge and understanding of your partner.

One of the secrets of a happy relationship and a dream marriage is to ensure that there is space for each of you to learn, change and grow.  It's unrealistic to expect you both to stay the same.

Your and your partner's goals

Create and maintain an interest in each other's goals.

'Almost' unconditional commitment

I'm saying 'almost' as there are always circumstances in which it's vital that you end your relationship as soon as possible.  Invariably this relates to safety and security.  There is no place for any abuse - verbal, emotional or sexual - in any relationship.

Commitment also involves loyalty and mutual trust. Interestingly though, biological anthropologist Prof Helen Fisher maintains that the news is not that human beings have extramarital affairs, but that they aim to be monogamous!

Prevent boredom slipping in by stealth

Well... I'm coming to the end of this article.  Dealing with boredom is covered in Bored in your Relationship?  So if you’re feeling bored, hop over there now for some inspiration!

Any other ideas or 'secrets' for a happy relationship?

You can apply any of these principles to enjoy an improvement in your relationship.  However, I’m sure that you can come up with some tips yourself.  Please don't keep them to yourself ... SHARE YOUR SECRETS for a happy relationship or dream marriage!

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Related links

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Elly Prior

It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person! I'm hoping to make a positive difference, small or large, to every person who visits my site.

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Image courtesy of: Ed Schipul