A Happy marriage is a good marriage. A happy marriage is a strong marriage. A happy marriage is good for your health. A happy marriage is better than an unhappy marriage. With fifty per cent of marriages ending in divorce today, one wonders why having a happy marriage seems so elusive. Is it hard to have a happy marriage? Certainly not! Rest assured when both partners are happy, the marriage is much much easier! So what do I need for a happy marriage?

Things You Will Need

Believe it or not, the most important thing you need is the right partner. We all know this intuitively, but we like to forget. We like to read books about how a bad marriage can be fixed, or improved, as if once we paint an egg purple its no longer an egg. We all know this is silly and counterintuitive, yet new books and magazine articles are published at an alarming rate with all kinds of fantastical suggestions for making a bad relationship good. Chances are you have all the information in front of you, you are choosing to ignore it because

A) you are too lazy to get out and deal with your real life, or

B) you have religious or ethical belief, that once married you must stay married, or

C) you have an arrogance that will not admit defeat

D) you are not financially able to leave so rather than make yourself financially able, you choose to try to "work" on the situation

But you know, you know when something is not right, losing a few pounds, planning a "date night". learning a new hobby together, will not "fix" things. They are nice enough suggests to make a fair marriage palatable, or a good marriage revive, but these sort of doodles do nothing for the bad marriage. In fact, if you are married to a narcissistic spouse such behaviors may even make your controlling abusive spouse more controlling and more abusive. So, please, start with a good person as your spouse, an ethical person, a person of strong moral character you can respect and admire. This is absolutely, no ifs ands or buts the most important step.

Step 1

Step two is to chose someone who shares your values. It is said most fights in couples are about money or sex, but that's not really true. The fights are about what money or sex represents. For example, if your spouse believes that sex is for the production of children ONLY, and you view it as a healthy way two consenting adults share intimacy with each other, despite your deep respect for each other - you may find your self in an unhappy marriage. Money, for different reasons, poses equally daunting challenges. For many men "bringing home the bacon" and providing for the family DEFINES a good marriage. They can be somewhat perplexed by requests for more emotional involvement. Chose a partner who shares your money values, is money a servant or a master to you? Do you use it to enjoy life more - or to own more things? What ever your take on money, it's important that your nearest and dearest, your investment partner, share these beliefs.

Step 2

The next step to a happy marriage is being realistic. Do yourself a favor and stop going to see Hollywood's "romantic" comedies. Romantic for whom? Are we really supposed to believe that real love, true love, abiding love, is discovered via disaster? Is it always the most annoying person in the room, the person our family can't stand who is going to change into Mr. Right? I think not. I think realistically a well rounded relationship is made up of two happy, functioning, well rounded people. If you have lots of friends and family, a good job and hobbies, whether you are a man or a woman you are off to a good start.
Having a passion of your own is realistic. You can't expect someone else to "make" you happy. You are happy first, and then join with another happy person to create a lasting happy marriage. You will produce happier kids. Stay tuned for another article on building the happy family.
If you meet someone you love and are considering being married to them, beware the idea of "unconditional" love. It sounds great on paper, but in reality, "unconditional" love would mean you love that person even if they beat you, you love that person even she sleeps with your best friend, you love that person even if they drain your joint bank account to buy drugs. Its "unconditional" right? I suppose you can love that way if you want, but you'd be safer loving from afar if you are insistent upon it. For most people I would suggest you go ahead and put some conditions on your love life. How about you only date people who treat you well? Or people who like you?

Tips & Warnings

BEWARE THE PERSON WHO COMES ON TOO STRONG TOO SOON. Such a person can't possibly be basing their love for you, on you, because they don't even know you yet. It can feel quite heady and flattering, but it can end badly. Even corporations don't give "benefits" right away, hang out and see what happens three months up the road. You are in no hurry to be in a bad relationship. You want to be in a happy one. Happy marriages are good for you.