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The most happily married couples aren’t born with a special ability to create harmonious relationships. They are not necessarily people from perfect families, that had ideal childhoods. Their marital satisfaction isn’t a result of incredible levels of compatibility between their characters.

Even shared values, goals, and mission in life don’t ensure relationship success.

It’s not this big stuff that matters the most. It’s more about the small, simple, day-to-day habits that make the difference.

Here are the 5 most significant habits to master in order to join the ranks of happily married couples:

1. Assume the best of your spouse’s intention in every action. This applies even to actions that cause emotional hurt, fear, or worry. Such situations are precisely the ones that require a diligent application of this habit.

  • We all get hurt in relationships. Even the happiest couples go through moments of anger, insecurity, misunderstanding, and more. We can’t avoid these moments, but we do have the power to handle them in a healthier way.
  • If you believe the best of your spouse’s intention towards you, this choice gives you the ability to overcome the initial pain coming from your partner’s hurtful words or actions.
  • Once the automatic ouch response gets out of the way and you don’t fall into a trap of taking things personally, you’ll see clearly that your partner loves you and cares about you, and that they probably didn’t know how hurtful their action would be. Otherwise, they would not have done it.

2. Cultivate the capacity to give compliments. Giving genuine compliments to your spouse on a daily basis creates more positivity in your interactions and amplifies your self-confidence and self-esteem.

  • Giving compliments is known to be good for the giver as much as it is for the receiver. There is, indeed, no reason not to engage in this powerful habit of happiness.

3. Plan for and prioritize time together. Creating opportunities for couple time is essential for the development of harmonious relationships. A few hours of quality time together each week allow a married couple to catch up, connect, share, and rejoice in their intimacy.

The more quality time is invested in the marriage the more valuable and fulfilling this marriage becomes.

If you struggle to find ideas for spending meaningful moments with your spouse, try a few items from this list:

  • Go on a date. Anything from a fancy dinner in a restaurant to a cozy home-cooked meal prepared together will do.
  • Game night (video or board games to spark up the playfulness)
  • See a movie or a comedy show. Anything that brings in entertainment, lightness, and laughter is welcome.
  • Sign up to volunteer together. Choose a cause that you both care about.
  • Go for a cup of tea and exchange love letters. Use the magic of words to show appreciation and gratitude for your beloved.
  • Engage in a team sport. Ensure that you’re on the same team. Sports like tennis or beach volleyball are ideal because they allow only 2 players per team.

4. Say thank you. Feeling respected, trusted, and appreciated is critical to any relationship. Saying “thank you” is the simplest way of showing appreciation and can often be more effective than saying “I love you.”

5. Focus on each other’s strengths. Couples that have a greater capacity to appreciate and be attentive towards the strengths of their beloved have happier marriages.

  • When one partner decides to focus on the qualities and values of the other, not paying much attention to the weaknesses or drawbacks, this results in a higher sense of empowerment, well-being, and personal value of the other.

Happy couples didn’t necessarily start off as such. They built their happiness through the consistent practice of supportive habits.

If you’re eager to strengthen your marriage, start building these habits right away. You have everything you need to make your marriage a satisfying success.