Four Actions to a Happy Marriage

by Val Frost-McKinley

How can we create the happily-ever-after future that we pledge on our wedding day? How can we sustain the love we feel? I believe that there are four actions that each couple must consciously choose to do in order to create a happy future together:

  • Small things often
  • Remember that what you say and do every day matters
  • Show your partner respect always, and
  • Repair any emotional or financial wounds often.

For better or for worse, I believe comparing one’s marital relationship to a well-run, profitable business is easy to relate to. We often treat our customers and colleagues better than our spouse. Let’s use this metaphor to demonstrate the four actions a couple needs to take.

1.) Small Things Often. The success of a business depends on the way it treats its customers. Paying attention to the needs and wants of customers is critical, just as is paying attention to the wants and needs of one’s spouse. A hug, a foot rub, five minutes of conversation, taking a nap together are small gestures, which, if done frequently, add up to a lot of goodwill. Most spouses would rather experience small gestures frequently than be surprised by diamonds, flowers, or big-ticket items infrequently.

2.) What You Do and Say Every Day Matters. Every great business is built on friendship.”- J.C. Penney. Friendship is based on trust, reciprocity, and a shared vision. Friends check in with each other frequently to see that they are on the same page.

Silence is golden…right? Not when you and your spouse are giving each other the silent treatment to avoid conflict, get your own way, punish one another, or because you don’t know how to get around the impasse you’re stuck in. Sometimes it seems that the more you talk, the more stuck you feel, so it’s easier not to talk at all. However, silence is costly in terms of the emotional, physical, and financial toll it takes on a relationship or a business partnership. Assumptions are by-products of silence and are not good for the health and well-being of a business partner or a spouse.

3.) Show Respect Always
One of the most important lessons I learned from my first marriage is, keep things right-sized. Maintain perspective. It’s too easy to let a problem escalate. Be proactive. Nip problems in the bud. Have simple sayings to deal with problems that arise. For example, my husband and I say, “This is a winter of our relationship.” It reminds us that this time, too, is just a season. It will pass. You can only do this if you are communicating respectfully with one another. Think of this aphorism as analogous to The Golden Rule.

4.) Repair Often
It is human to make mistakes. However, we are what we repeatedly do. It is ludicrous to keep doing things that don’t work; whether in love or in business. Without a customer, you have no business. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Say you’re sorry. Be accountable sooner rather than later for any hurt you may have caused.

Kate Zabriskie states, “Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.” There is always someone or some business out there to replace you. Affair proof your marriage by following the above tenets.

Happy wife, happy life is a metaphor to remember in maintaining all important relationships. We all are what we repeatedly do. May your ever afters be happy.

Written By:
Val Frost-McKinley
Prioritize Relationships Founder (www.prioritizerelationships.com)

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