The secrets of a happy relationship and a dream marriage

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

What makes for a happy relationship? What are the secrets? 

How can you create a dream marriage? How can you be happy?

How does a relationship make people happy, so that they're more resilient when dealing with the inevitable difficult times?

I really want you to believe that you have every chance of happiness! That’s what I work towards in all of my sessions as a couple counsellor. I know it can be really tough and SO stressful when you have relationship problems.

So, this article is packed full of tips and 'secrets' to help you have the best possible chance of creating a happy marriage or fantastic long-term relationship. 

Give and receive attention to each other, not your mobileSpending quality time together? Sharing a meal, going out, having a night in watching a film, or just chatting? Switch off your phone and give your partner quality attention.

The recipe for a happy marriage or relationship, and how to be happy.

Of course it’s vital that you start with some common ground. Shared values and beliefs without a doubt strengthen a relationship.

Beyond that, I’m assuming that you’ve already filtered out unsuitable partners (if not, have a look at my Relationship or Marriage Compatibility Test). So now you’ve established – or you’re in the process of establishing - a great long-term relationship, with or without a view to getting married.

Join me now to discover the key secrets of a happy relationship…

Attention - fulfilling an essential emotional need

The way couples give and receive attention is THE most important factor in an intimate relationship.  As human beings our need for attention overrides any other need.  So, simply by giving your partner attention you’ll do your relationship or marriage the world of good.

There is one caveat though.  The secret is that it has to be the kind of attention that your partner values.  So for example, showering your partner with kisses at every opportunity may feel great to you.  BUT that might make your partner feel overwhelmed. So don't be surprised if this hampers intimacy rather than creates it. The secrets of a happy relationship lie in you paying attention to what your partner would really like.

Here are some tips on how to give your partner some loving attention:

  • send a card every now and then, when it’s not expected - it takes so little effort and can have such a positive impact
  • send romantic texts
  • leave 'love notes' or cards in briefcases, lunch boxes, pockets etc.
  • tell your partner what exactly you love about him or her and ...
  • why that’s important to you, rather than just saying you love them
  • flirt with your partner in the way that you know he or she appreciates (not in the way it suits you) – regardless of how long you've been together
  • continue to invest time in novel activities, outings and experiences (this stimulates the dopamine circuit, which helps to create that wonderfully exciting romantic feeling)
  • contribute to telling the story of your relationship in a special journal - create a record of all the positive experiences you have together

All of the following tips in this article on the secrets of a happy relationship or dream marriage are examples of how to give your partner loving attention too.

Oh... and by the way, don’t forget - giving each other attention implies giving generously of your time.

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Helpful non-verbal communication

The purpose of communicating isn't only to pass on information. You also communicate to create a sense of intimacy both emotionally and sexually.

Communication can be divided into verbal communication and non-verbal communication - wow... nothing new here then!

The two of course often overlap, but let's break them down even further.  Verbal communication consists not only of talking and listening, but also of reading and writing.

Verbal communication can happen face-to-face, via emails or texts, or any hand-written messages.

Do you now see how many opportunities you have to create that intimacy and those special feelings?  Use all of them to create your recipe for a happy marriage or relationship.

Here are some other ingredients in my recipe for a healthy, happy relationship and a dream marriage:

  • Look into each other's eyes - you'll see couples do it when they first fall in love. Gazing into your partner's eyes really 'affirms' him or her
  • Hold, stroke and massage hands (and feet - when appropriate!)
  • Touch in many unexpected ways - without making it sexual… as well as making sure you’re in a suitable environment! Touching stimulates the release of oxytocin, the bonding hormone, which creates a sense of trust and security

For touching to really work its magic – with or without sexual connotation - you each need to have the intent to please your partner. That really is one of the secrets of a happy relationship or marriage.  It needs sensitivity and possibly a willingness to move out of your comfort zone - even if slowly... Try not to be selfish by wanting to have it your way all the time.

It’s also very important that you’re sensitive to your partner’s needs. You or your partner may have grown up in a family where people were just not used to being tactile, so do be aware of how it makes you both feel.

Have you or your partner been subjected to inappropriate touching in the past?  If so, any touching - hugging, cuddling, kissing, holding hands and so on - may sadly come with a great deal of anxiety.  I really know about this problem from all those clients (including couples) who have sought my help. I just want you to know that you can overcome this problem.  Do consider talking therapy - (relationship) counselling can make a real difference.

Helpful verbal communication

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."

- Anonymous

There are hundreds of pages on this website with relationship advice, including a page where you can chat with on online counsellor.  They all contribute to your knowledge, awareness and understanding of (relationship) problems and situations.  All of that can improve your empathy and compassion, which in turn improves how you communicate with each other.

Do have a look at the links at the end of the series in Part 3 for more information about verbal and non-verbal communication.

And I've got plenty more tips for you now! So hop over to Part 2 for more Happy Relationship Secrets, and my advice on dealing with the challenges and tough times.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

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