We all strive for a happy marriage.
But how happy is your marriage realistically, when you stop forcing a smile and actually think about it?
I get it. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows, nor is it supposed to be.
You pour your heart into the relationship, you make sacrifices, you compromise, and what do you get in return?
Sometimes, it feels like it’s just routine, and like all your efforts are going unnoticed.
Or, you just start to feel misery and despair creeping in but you can’t put your finger on why these feelings are suddenly showing up.
If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone.
There comes a time in almost every marriage where one or both parties start to feel like the spark seems to be fading, and that the appreciation for each other’s efforts just isn’t there.
Marriage is hard work, and it’s easy to fall into complacency.
But there are things you can do – little things – that can help those embers of your connection burning everyday.
So as you read this, remember – I’m not here to tell you to stay in a marriage where you’re unhappy.
If that’s the case, changes might be needed and therapeutic intervention is almost always a good choice.
All I’m doing is shedding light on some small everyday habits that might be slipping under your radar.
Maybe you’re already doing them.
…let’s find out.
1) They say “I love you” every day
You might think this one is so cliché.
I used to think so too.
But over time, I’ve realized there’s something incredibly powerful in those three little words.
And whilst you might’ve said it with gusto throughout the day and littered your texts to your partner with those words, it’s quite common that we let this habit drift off as we become complacent.
Saying “I love you” isn’t just about expressing affection, but also about reassuring each other that despite the challenges, you’re in this together.
Happily married couples understand this and make it a point to express their love daily.
2) They make time for each other
No matter how busy life gets, happily married couples always find time for each other. I recall a time when my work schedule was crazy. I was working late nights, and it felt like I hadn’t seen my hubby in ages.
One day, he suggested we have dinner together – nothing fancy, just a simple meal at home after I’d finished work.
Initially, my fingers started to type out a response declining the invitation. I was far too jammed with work deadlines to allow for a candlelit dinner in my schedule.
But I stopped myself, told him it was a great idea, and that dinner became the absolute highlight of my day. Actually, thinking back to it, my entire month.
We laughed, we shared stories, we reconnected.
Even though we were in the same house, slept in the same bed, brushed our teeth side by side – it felt like it had been ages since we’d really seen each other.
That’s when it hit me – making time for your spouse isn’t about grand gestures; it’s about creating moments together amidst the hustle and bustle of life.
3) They touch base during the day
This isn’t about checking up on your partner or keeping tabs on them.
Controlling behavior is a no-go, and this is by no means a free pass to start monitoring their every move.
But checking in when you’re apart, sending sweet texts telling them that you’re thinking of them or that the cat has just done something funny is a great way to stay connected.
Even if it’s just a quick message during lunch break about how great their sandwich is, happily married couples make sure they touch base during the day.
4) They listen to each other
This isn’t about nodding while your partner talks about their day.
It’s about truly listening, showing empathy, and understanding.
Active listening with full commitment.
Happily married couples know the value of lending an ear to their partner. And that’s a fully committed ear – not one that’s half-listening to the football or thinking about something going on at work.
When your spouse talks about their feelings or shares their worries, they aren’t always seeking solutions – sometimes, they just need to be heard.
They need to feel that their words matter, that their feelings are important.
It’s in these moments of shared vulnerability that couples build a deeper connection, strengthening the bond that holds them together.
5) They laugh together
Laughter, they say, is the best medicine.
In my experience, it’s also one of the best bonding agents in a marriage.
I can almost promise you that in the toughest of arguments, a little chuckle goes a long way.
Now, that’s not to say that if your partner brings you an issue or tries to communicate a bigger problem, you should start joking around. This will only belittle them and detract from a valuable chance to communicate it.
But in the right situation, lightening the mood and sharing in a joke can reunite a couple in conflict within seconds.
It’s these moments of shared joy and laughter that help keep the love alive and strong.
6) They show appreciation
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to take each other for granted. You’re so used to the presence of the other, you forget what life would be like were they not there.
But happily married couples remember to express their appreciation for each other.
It doesn’t have to be for grand gestures.
Even a simple “thank you” for doing the dishes or a “I appreciate you” for being there can make an absolute world of difference in making your partner feel valued.
7) They give each other space
Just as important as spending time together is giving each other space.
And yes, that’s a fine line between too much space as I mentioned above, when you’re so busy you sideline quality time with your spouse…
And then being so attached to them that you never get a minute alone.
Every individual needs some alone time to unwind, pursue individual interests, or just be.
Happily married couples understand this need and respect it.
They have their own hobbies, their own friends. Some even go solo-traveling and benefit hugely from it.
They know that as converse as it sounds, a little space can actually bring them closer together.
8) They keep the romance alive
Romance isn’t just for the dating phase; it’s an integral part of a happy marriage too.
Indeed, very hard to keep up, especially if you’re both very busy and even more so if you throw kids into the mix.
But happily married couples tend to do well in allocating time to spend 1 on 1, where they can rekindle their love and focus on each other.
And if not date nights, thoughtful gifts or little surprise notes keep romance alive and add an element of excitement to our everyday lives.
9) They communicate openly and honestly
Open and honest communication is the cornerstone of any strong relationship.
Happily married couples don’t shy away from difficult conversations nor do they runaway from conflict.
Because they know that conflict is pretty good at chasing and will always catch them up.
Instead, these couples face issues head-on and work through them together.
They have excellent conflict resolution skills and have their ability to communicate honed in such a way that they both feel safe in sharing and listening to each other.
10) They support each other’s dreams
Supporting each other’s dreams isn’t just about big life goals.
It’s also about the small ones – a hobby your partner wants to pursue, a skill they want to learn.
So yes, happily married couples both accept invitations to do weird and wacky experiences, and also know when to allow their partner’s to venture off to try out these experiences by themselves.
And they always make it a point to cheer each other on every step of the way.
11) They forgive each other
No one is perfect and mistakes are inevitable in any relationship.
What sets happily married couples apart is their ability to forgive each other and move forward without holding grudges.
A part of that developed communication, happily married couples know when to take a time out from conflict, and when to come back together to discuss.
They certainly don’t hold grudges nor return repeatedly to the past and start listing items of hatred against their spouse.
12) They go to bed together
Ending the day together can be a comforting routine in a marriage.
It’s not always possible, especially if you work different hours, but when it is, it can do a great deal of good.
Ending the day together is not just about physical intimacy, but also about the comfort of knowing that no matter how tough the day was, they have each other to lean on at the end of it.
Plus, studies show that sharing a bed and sleeping with your partner is great for your wellbeing.
So there you have it, 12 little things that happily married couples do every day.
They might seem small, but in the grand scheme of things, they’re what keep a marriage strong and happy.
You might already be doing some of these things.
If not, perhaps it’s time to start. After all, it’s these little things that make a big difference.