13 Secrets To A Happy Marriage

  • Being in a relationship brings an equal share of moments that are joyous and others that are difficult.
  • As the honeymoon phase inevitably comes to an end, there are many ways that you can work with your partner to keep your relationship exciting and fulfilling.
  • The most successful couples share equal responsibility for household chores, have similar financial habits, and support each other through the ups and downs.

Romantic relationships are challenging, rewarding, confusing, and exhilarating — sometimes all at the same time.

Should you take things slowly at the beginning or dive right in? Can things stay hot in the bedroom even after years of being together? What happens when one of you wants to use a holiday bonus to invest in Bitcoin and the other wants to go on a vacation?

The answers aren’t always clear, but when it comes to marital satisfaction, science has some interesting things to offer.

According to research, the happiest couples are those who:

1. Don’t fight over text
texting working late

What seems obvious is now backed up by science: A 2013 study out of Brigham Young University shows that couples who argue over text, apologize over text, and/or attempt to make decisions over text are less happy in their relationships.

When it comes to the big stuff, don’t let an emoji take the place of your actual face.

2. Don’t have kids
kid playing with parents

Children are one of the most fulfilling parts of life. Unfortunately, they’re hell on relationships. Numerous studies, including a 2014 survey of 5,000 people in long-term relationships, show that childless couples (married or unmarried) are happiest.

This isn’t to say you can’t be happy if you have kids — it’s just to understand that it’s normal to not feel happy sometimes. Many couples put pressure on themselves to feel perfectly fulfilled once they have what they’ve always wanted (a long-term partnership with children), but the reality of kids is that they’re very stressful on relationships.

3. Have friends who stay married
friend crying

If you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, you’re also just as married as them.

According to research out of Brown University, you’re 75% more likely to get divorced if a friend or close relative has already done the deed. When it’s someone with one more degree of separation out (the friend of a friend), you’re 33% more likely to get divorced.

Researchers had this to say on the ramifications of the results: “We suggest that attending to the health of one’s friends’ marriages might serve to support and enhance the durability of one’s own relationship.”

4. Fight at the beginning, then not a lot
couple man woman dating friends married talking sad beach water

Psychologists like Herb Goldberg suggest that our model for relationship is backward — we tend to expect things to go smoothly at the beginning, and for problems (and conflicts) to arise later. In fact, Goldberg argues that couples should have “rough and ragged” beginnings where they work things out, and then look forward to a long and happy incline in the state of the relationship.

Research agrees: A Florida State study found that couples who are able to be openly angry in the beginning are happier long-term. According to lead researcher James McNulty, the “short-term discomfort of an angry but honest conversation” is healthy for the relationship over the long haul.

5. Are comprised of one first-born child and one last-born child
young couple walking

There’s an entire body of research on how your birth order impacts your life, including your relationships as well as professional success. One of the happiest pairings for couples? Someone who was the youngest child with someone who was the oldest.

Researchers hypothesize this may be because the relationship has one person who enjoys being taken care of, and one who’s used to taking care of others.

6. Know who does what when it comes to housework
cleaning chores

According to a 2013 UCLA study, couples who agree to share chores at home are more likely to be happier in their relationships. An important caveat: Couples who have clearly defined responsibilities are far more likely to be satisfied.

In other words, when you know what to do and what’s expected of you, you tend to be happier both yourself and with your spouse. This might be a good thing to sit down and discuss in the new year, especially if you’re newly cohabitating.

7. Are gay, or straight and feminist
gay couple hug

In a 2014 study of 5,000 people, researchers found that gay couples are “happier and more positive” about their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts. Straight couples made less time for each other and were less likely to share common interests and communicate well.

Straight couples are better off being feminists. Research out of Rutgers shows that both men and women with feminist partners are more satisfied in their (hetero) relationships. The name of the 2007 study? Feminism And Romance Go Hand In Hand.

8. If heterosexual, when husbands view wives as more attractive of the two
wedding present

Levels of attractiveness within couples have long been the subject of debate (not to mention song lyrics). According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, when husbands view their wives as the more attractive of the pair, not only are they more satisfied in the relationship, but the wives are, too. The opposite was not true — when husbands thought they were better-looking, they weren’t as happy.

9. Are best friends
couple holding hands

The National Bureau of Economic Research did a study demonstrating that marriage, on the whole, leads to increased levels of happiness (they controlled for premarital happiness).

Perhaps more telling was the finding that people who consider their spouse to be their best friend are almost twice as satisfied in their marriages as other people.

“What immediately intrigued me about the results was to rethink marriage as a whole,” researcher John Helliwell said. “Maybe what is really important is friendship, and to never forget that in the push and pull of daily life.”

10. And have a lot of friends in common
friends laughing smiling

In 2013, Facebook released a report that analyzed 1.3 million of its users, looking at, among other things, relationships. The conclusion? Couples with overlapping social networks tended to be less likely to break up — especially when that closeness included “social dispersion,” or the introduction of one person’s sphere to the other, and vice versa.

In other words, the best-case scenario is when each person has their own circle, but the two also overlap.

11. Spend money in similar ways
Couple money talk from shutterstock

The two biggest things couples fight about are sex and money. When it comes to the latter, it’s well-known to psychologists as well as social scientists that for some reason, people tend to attract their spending opposite. Big spenders tend to attract thrifty people, and vice versa.

A 2009 University of Michigan study corroborated this. Researchers found that both married and unmarried people tend to select their “money opposite” — and that this causes strife in the relationship. The happiest couples tend to spend money in a similar way, whether that is saving or indulging.

12. Have sex at least once a week
couple bed

Probably the best statistic of the bunch comes from a 2004 study, which showed that upping your sexual activity from once a month to once a week can cause happiness levels to jump by as much if you made an extra $50,000 a year.

The study, entitled “Money, Sex, and Happiness: An Empirical Study” sampled 16,000 adult Americans. One of its main conclusions: “[S]exual activity enters strongly positively in happiness equations.”

13. Celebrate each other’s achievements
couple champagne balcony

Anyone who has been in a relationship can attest to this one, but now there’s research to confirm it: A 2009 study in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that when couples celebrate their partner’s accomplishments as if they were their own, they’re more satisfied in the relationship.

“In good times and bad” includes the good times — something it can be easy to forget. And it’s true; there’s nothing quite so satisfying as having your partner be loudly and enthusiastically in your corner when you do well.

Joy, after all, multiplies with love.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

How to Recognize Your Soulmate – 4 Sure Fire Ways to Know

For most people, finding love is the first reason for living.

We spend our whole lives looking for that one person, and when we find our soulmate, we experience the kind of joy that is all too rare.

It’s painful to think that some people might meet their soulmate and not even know it.

For that reason, it is vital that we know how to recognise our soulmate when we meet them.

Luckily, with it being such a central part of life, the signs are quite easy to spot.

1. You Have Instant Chemistry

When you meet your soulmate for the first time, you will be struck by how easy it is to talk to them.

Meeting most people begins with a little bit of awkwardness.

It always comes from apprehension, not being entirely sure of their motives or their attitudes.

With a soulmate, you will immediately be at the same level.

A soulmate will get your references, and you will get theirs. You will share interests and primary goals for life.

In fact…

2. You, Will, Have A Scary Amount In Common

Soulmates usually come from very similar backgrounds in terms of their childhood experiences.

The reason for this is that soulmates need a bedrock of shared experience to create the magic of soulmate relationships.

It breeds understanding between you.

In practice, you will find that you understand where they are coming from and why they think a certain way – and the same is true the other way around!

3. Your Body Will Tell You – And Everyone Else!

The physical effects of meeting your soulmate are sometimes the most obvious ones at the start.

While you might want to hide your feelings when first meeting your soulmate – after all, that’s quite a natural reaction – your body has other ideas.

Unless you have superhuman self-control, your body will give the game away.

Think uncontrollable smiling and laughter, blushing and butterflies in the stomach.

The nature of embarrassment means that you will notice these in yourself straight away – more interesting is to see if you can spot the same things in your soulmate.

4. They’re Excitingly New… Though Strangely Familiar

Meeting your soulmate is an incredibly exciting experience that can leave you reeling for days, awash in a sea of new feelings that you feared you might never experience.

Though the novelty is exciting, when you meet your soulmate, it will be the familiarity that strikes you.

Your soul connection has meant that you have had a connection for your entire life, perhaps many lives before.

In fact, soulmate relationships often develop over the course of many lifetimes.

It has a strange side effect. Many people, when meeting their soulmates for the first time, swear they’ve met them somewhere before, or have known them in a past life.

It is no coincidence and is often more accurate than they think.

And remember, if you are still waiting for your soulmate and are scared they’ll never show, know this:

Everyone has a soulmate out there, and everybody is hard-wired to recognize them when they see them.

Yours is just a little further down the road and will explode into your life. It will always be when you least expect it.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

10 Things All Couples in Healthy Relationships Do Every Day

Ultimately, the power to transform your marriage is in your hands.

All relationships are unique but all require one thing: hard work.

There is a lot of relationship advice out there, from articles to videos. But, after 20+ years as a marriage advisor working with executives and their families, I found that work success can also translate into martial and committed relationship success.

Healthy relationships require just as much work and effort in order to be successful. In marriage, especially, the hard work doesn’t stop at the wedding. It continues on until “death do us part”.

Whether you’re in a relationship or married, it’s important for both partners to do their fair share and lift their weight in order to last a long time.

If you can put as much effort into building your career as learning how to have a healthy relationship, you will achieve the same success.

Here are 10 ways to apply your hard-working ethics to successful and healthy relationships.

1. Take responsibility for the health of your relationship

You and your spouse are responsible for the state of your marriage.

Acknowledge that your beliefs, choices, and behaviors all play a role in your relationship, and strive to make decisions that support your bond.

2. Exhibit the behaviors you hope to see in your spouse

If you want to be with a kind, considerate, and hardworking person, you too need to adopt these attributes.

Lay the foundation for a successful marriage by acting in a way that makes you proud. Show your spouse you love and respect them to nurture your relationship.

3. Give more than you hope to receive

Treat your partner the way you would like to be treated — and then go the extra mile.

Be the example, even if you do not believe your spouse is giving back what you are putting into the marriage. Live without expecting reciprocity.

4. Determine who you are

Clarity about who you are and where you are headed brings feelings of purpose and fulfillment.

By discussing what you want and encouraging your spouse to do the same, you will build a framework to evaluate your desired outcomes.

5. Continue building your relationship skills

Few couples put in the time to actively improve their relationship skills.

It’s important, however, that you work to continually strengthen your bond.

6. Advocate for your marriage or commitment

Society conveys that spouses should consider divorce when things are no longer “fun” or “easy”.

Rather than accepting this outlook, view your marriage as the most important relationship you have. Remember that your union is sacred.

7. Commit to your partner

Marriage is an investment not only in your partner but also in your relationship.

Even when things become difficult, honor your commitment by putting in the work needed to sustain a healthy marriage.

8. Aim for personal growth

The challenges we face help us learn and grow. Couples who stay together through difficult times report that their marriages are happier and stronger.

Aim to improve yourself, and your marriage will improve too.

9. Learn from other successful relationships

Those who have not witnessed other happy marriages or committed relationships often struggle with their own relationships.

Remember that your example will give future generations a framework for their own success.

10. Remember that anything is possible

If you want to enjoy a thriving marriage, you must put in the time to nurture your relationship. This will not occur organically any more than your next raise or promotion. Pinpoint your goals and put in the work to achieve them.

Ultimately, the power to transform your marriage is in your hands. It is the result of the actions you take, for you have considerable power over your thoughts and attitudes.

 

The Absolute Dater – Making Online Dating Easy Again

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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12 Tiny Daily Struggles That Signaled The End Of My Marriage

When I began to feel invisible to my partner, I knew the marriage was dead.

Here’s another guest post from a friend of mine here on WordPress. I always like to support other authors and feel more women should have a voice in regard to these matters of the heart.

So, take it away Lydia. Thanks again for sending me this!

I’m divorced now and at peace. But when my ex and I were struggling, it was so very hard to let go. I could see big or small signs that we were done, but despite the writing on the wall, it was hard to “resign” my position as a married wife. He had the same issue.

I remember asking a friend who had divorced already, “How do I know it’s over? How do I know I’m ready to move forward?” and she told me it was really something I would know deep inside. No one else could “point to conclusive signs” and have me wrap it up already.

Despite the way we sort of shuffled our feet, there were signs and struggles that were little bells going off telling me that our marriage was done before we were ready to admit it was over.

  1. He retreated sexually.

Ding dong, the marriage is dead. This was one of the biggest signs.

  1. Time together didn’t seem to matter.

Going out on a Friday without him? Whatever. It didn’t seem to affect him, and eventually, it didn’t affect me. Instead, it became a habit.

  1. Everything felt separate.

Our thoughts, our outings, and our actions all seemed separate. I can’t explain it, but more it felt as if we were single people sharing a home like roommates, not husband and wife.

  1. Little things bothered him.

I never did the chores how he wanted. They had bothered him before but they started incensing him. It wasn’t about the silverware being in the wrong place anymore if you know what I mean.

  1. I felt completely alone.

When the marriage is good, you feel like a team. When a marriage is bad, you feel like you’re alone even when you’re not. It’s the WORST feeling ever, hands down.

  1. I fantasized and daydreamed a ton.

I was physically in the same room, but not present. I was thinking about a million other things besides us. I was on Mars while residing on Earth. Daydreaming had become more inspiring, more interesting, and honestly, gave me more happiness than my life did.

  1. I felt invisible.

Not that most men notice your new haircuts, but nothing was of interest to him when it came to me. I wasn’t noted as pretty or sexy or anything; I was just there. One of the loudest signals of the end was the blatant fact that I didn’t really exist anymore to him. At least that’s how it felt.

  1. I struggled to ask for intimacy.

When I did ask for more intimacy, it came across like I was angry and bored. I didn’t know how to articulate what I wanted in a way that wasn’t hurt or mad.

  1. Fights were an endless cycle.

The same fights happened again and again. The end was nigh but so many of the fights wouldn’t die.

  1. Our home felt like a cold war zone.

It was an icy house and I felt often as if I were dealing with a male Elsa: being shut out on the other side asking, “Do you want to build a snowman?” only to get no response.

  1. He went for my weak spots.

They were no longer sacred.

  1. Secrets and decisions were lamented over without each other.

Life dilemmas and problems were kept to myself. Did he do the same thing? I’m sure. When two parties stop looking to each other for advisement or comfort, it’s a dead horse.

The Absolute Dater – Making Online Dating Easy Again

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Wife Sparks Debate on Whether it’s Sexier for a Man to ‘Provide, or Go 50/50′

  • Married Juliana Stewart, from London, sparked a lively debate online 
  • She ran a poll on whether women think it’s ‘sexier for their partner to be the financial breadwinner, or split the bills with them
  • The results showed 63 percent of women out of the 4,000 asked preferred a ‘man who provides’

A woman has sparked a lively debate online after running a poll on whether women think it’s ‘sexier for their partner to be the financial breadwinner, or split the bills with them.

Juliana Stewart, from London, who has been married for a year, took to her Twitter account @JulianaStewart_ to ask other women whether they preferred a traditional or modern approach to relationships.

She wrote: ‘Ladies, what’s sexier?

‘A 50/50 relationship is when you split the bills, date nights, holidays, living arrangements, everything. A man who provides means you can work if you want to but don’t have to, he knows how to hold it down.’

Married Juliana Stewart, from London, sparked a lively debate online after running a poll on whether women think it’s ‘sexier for their partner to be the financial breadwinner, or split the bills with them

And while followers replied with mixed responses, the surprising poll results showed that 63 per cent of women out of the 4,000 asked preferred a 'man who provides'

 And while followers replied with mixed responses, the surprising poll results showed that 63 percent of women out of the 4,000 asked preferred a ‘man who provides’

And while followers replied with mixed responses, the surprising poll results showed that 63 percent of women out of the 4,000 asked preferred a ‘man who provides’.

Meanwhile, just under 37 percent voted for a more modern ’50/50′ relationship online.

Slamming the concept of sharing bills, one Twitter user wrote: ‘Honestly, I could never do 50/50. It just doesn’t make me see him as a leader or a husband in any sense.

Agreeing, another said: ‘The women actually picked the first choice? In what world.’

‘Definitely, a man that provides!’ one woman tweeted, while another wrote: ‘If you want kids and to raise them yourself it is definitely more appealing to have a man who is financially capable and generous.

Juliana who has been married  to her husband (seen) for a year, took to her Twitter account @JulianaStewart_ to ask other women whether they preferred a traditional or modern approach to relationships

Juliana who has been married  to her husband (seen) for a year, took to her Twitter account @JulianaStewart_ to ask other women whether they preferred a traditional or modern approach to relationships

Slamming the concept of sharing bills, one Twitter user wrote: 'Honestly, I could never do 50/50. It just doesn’t make me see him as a leader or a husband in any sense'

Slamming the concept of sharing bills, one Twitter user wrote: ‘Honestly, I could never do 50/50. It just doesn’t make me see him as a leader or a husband in any sense’

‘I made more money than my husband but still able to SAH (sic). His willingness to take that on was super sexy and I couldn’t wait to have babies with him.’

But others reasoned that it depends on the circumstances, with one man saying: ‘Depends on if you’re raising my kids and taking care of the home.’

Another husband added: ‘It’s a strange split. In any relationship you want to feel the other is contributing, however, it depends on the couple. I provide for my wife so she can stay home with the kids, homeschool them, cook, clean, etc. I tend to all the fixing of things, hard labor, etc.’

Another husband added: 'It's a strange split. In any relationship you want to feel the other is contributing, however it depends on the couple. I provide for my wife so she can stay home with the kids, homeschool them, cook, clean etc.. I tend to all the fixing of things, hard labor etc.'

And some women were against the idea, arguing for equality.

One woman wrote: ‘I can provide for myself and I expect the same from my man. I’m happy to contribute to what we have/do together because I see us as a team in that respect.’

Another said: ‘When things are provided for me I tend to grow bored and then I create chaos or something that needs care. I need to generate my own life with my creations.’

Elsewhere a man argued: ‘That’s sad. But what do they bring to the table? Hopefully more than an exterior. Glad I’ve already met my soulmate cause dating poll doesn’t look good.’

And one husband claimed: ‘That arrangement only works if the woman provides something as well. Otherwise, she is just leeching off the man. The woman must be the homemaker and sexual partner if she expects the man to provide. Everything costs something and no one deserves a free ride’.

One woman wrote: 'I can provide for myself and I expect the same from my man. I'm happy to contribute to what we have/do together because I see us as a team in that respect.'

One woman wrote: ‘I can provide for myself and I expect the same from my man. I’m happy to contribute to what we have/do together because I see us as a team in that respect.’

 

The Absolute Dater – Making Online Dating Easy Again

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1