1) Have a “growth mindset” for a successful marriage:
Be a lifelong learner. If both of you are willing to learn from your mistakes and the challenges in your relationship, you will thrive as individuals and as a couple.
2) Take good care of yourself:
You can’t give from an empty cup. Keep up your self-care no matter what. This is especially important for women, who often give until depleted and then nobody’s happy.
3) Let go of perfectionism—your partner isn’t perfect, and neither are you:
In all relationships, both partners will make mistakes. Don’t let perfectionism destroy what is overall a good, solid, loving relationship. One of the easiest solutions for how to have a happy marriage? Be kind to yourself and be kind to your sweetheart.
4) Say “appreciations” often before going to sleep:
Right before drifting off to sleep, share a few things that you appreciate about each other. (Three is a good number, but feel free to share more.) It could be something you did that day or quality (like “I love how honest you are with me”) you value. Focus on what you love and appreciate about each other and you will find more to love and appreciate about each other and your successful marriage.
5) Remember: Men want respect, and women want to be cherished:
Women: Be respectful and kind to your man and he will cherish you. Men: Cherish and be kind to your woman and she will respect you. Happy marriage win-win!
6) Practice forgiveness—not just forgiving your partner, but forgiving yourself:
We interviewed couples that had been happily married for more than 50 years. One of their secrets? Being willing to forgive. Practice forgiveness for your partner’s mistakes and your own.
7) Allow yourself to be vulnerable with each other:
Brené Brown said, “What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” So remember this habit for a healthier marriage: Opening your heart and sharing your tender places with your partner creates a real connection. Always be willing to share your true, deep, scary feelings. This helps create a bond that will last.
8) Marry the right person:
We’ve seen over and over again that the personal growth investments of time, energy, and resources BEFORE you meet your future partner have an exponential return. You have a higher chance of attracting a quality person who will stick by you when you have learned how your beliefs and behaviors create your circumstances. Your past does not have to equal your future!