Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP
Tips for a Happy Marriage
by Dr. Justin D’Arienzo, Psychologist and Marriage Counselor Jacksonville FL
A couple who celebrates their 50th anniversary will inevitably be asked the age-old question, “What’s your secret?” But, in truth, there is really no secret to a happy marriage, but rather knowing how to retain the love and friendship that brought you together in the first place.
Getting married with the notion that you are going to change your partner or that they will change over time is a pretty tricky gamble for the lifetime commitment you are entering into. You were attracted to your partner in the first place because of who they were, so why try and change them? Rather, adapt yourself to fit with your spouse and you will see better results.
Dr. Justin D’Arienzo, a marriage counselor in Jacksonville FL, shares some other tips for a happy and fulfilling marriage:
Talk, talk, talk – Communication is one of the most important things you can do to keep your relationship on the right track. Whatever your difficulties or your joys, they should be shared together rather than apart.
Let’s talk about sex, baby – Love and intimacy are so important in order to keep the spark alive in a marriage. I know that busy work schedules, domestic responsibilities, and children are exhausting and that often times, intimacy is placed on the back burner. Sex is important, and so is holding each other and considering the other’s needs and desires in a sexual relationship.
Fight fair – Two things you should never try and do – (1) Never say “I told you so,” and (2) Don’t keep score. The poet Ogden Nash wrote the following poem in order to encourage people to act this way – To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the wedding cup, Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; Whenever you’re right, shut up.
Be Aware of Your Relationships with Others – To keep the determination needed in order to preserve your marriage, don’t get too flirty or close with members of the opposite sex. After all, why work so hard in your marriage if you have, in the back of your mind, already planned an alternative route? And more importantly, these types of relationships often result in your partner feeling very threatened.
Show Up – While it’s important to be there for your spouse physically, it’s just as important to be there mentally and emotionally. Listen to your spouse when they are talking to you. Try to give your undivided attention. If you know you will be unable to give your full attention, let your spouse know and suggest a time when you will be better able to pay full attention to what they are saying.
It may sound a little strange that I have to say this, but greet your spouse with a smile when you see them. This small investment will make your spouse feel appreciated and loved. A little goes a long way.
Share Enjoyable Activities – I am sure you and your spouse did some fun things before you got married. Just because you are now married does not mean that you cannot have any more fun together. Exercise together, travel together, and share recreational activities that are mutually enjoyable. These experiences build your relationship and make it easier for the two of you to endure the not-so-enjoyable times that come in every marriage.