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When you want a happy marriage you need to find the thing that sticks the two of you together – like glue! This is the type of advice that has been handed down through the ages and when it is something that works, it is worth giving consideration.

Every couple experiences a unique relationship as no two people are alike. The attraction between you, your shared life together and everything that goes into making your relationship is what will keep you together. But this is not all that makes your marriage strong. You cannot afford to become complacent and think that now you are married you don’t need to try as you are together for life, end of story. Making a happy marriage, having a happy marriage takes effort, time and commitment; it is not something that grows on its own. And as with anything that requires nurturing and tending, there are steps needed to make it happen.

A lot of people mistakenly think that getting married means you do not need to ‘date’ anymore – wrong! With the stresses and strains of a busy home/work life, dating is even more critical than before. Both parties need to time out from their routines to relax and reconnect with each other and to remind themselves of the love they feel for one another. They need to time to play and put aside responsibilities temporarily and recharge their marriage/love battery. You cannot continually run on a finite ‘tank of gas’, eventually it runs out and you have to re-fuel. You cannot run on empty all the time and not sustain some damage!

Some people think that they must put their children and others first, but the most important thing in a child’s life is, first and foremost, that their parents love each other. That is where a child’s security lies. They need to see their Mom and Dad loving each other and taking time out to be with each other, as well as caring for them. They need to see their parents model taking care of each other and their relationship, so that they too can have a happy healthy marriage as adults.

Communication is another area where two people can stick together, or get stuck. Each party needs to have a sense that their lover has their back and even if not in agreement will support the other in love and respect. Learn to actively listen to each other; you can pay no-one a greater compliment than to truly listen to and try to understand what the other is saying. Good listening skills is something that anyone can develop and is wise to note that God gave us two ears and eyes but only one mouth, so there must be something in that. Developing your own couple language and understanding each other is the way to glue a happy marriage together.

Before I mentioned about dating, well, if a couple rarely spends time together they will loosen the bonds between them to the point of them drifting away from each other till they are far apart. So, spend time together, and not watching TV, but actively reconnecting with each other on a regular basis. If necessary book an appointment with each other and view it as one that you have to pay a lot of money for to see this person, because in truth it is the most valuable time you can spend with any person. That is, if your marriage and your partner are your number one priority!

And, what about love – you know, the physical kind…

After being together for a few years the desire to be intimate most of the time, does wear off, but the attraction between you shouldn’t. You may need to work at it a little more and set up romantic dates and even a weekend escape away or two each year, but do it. The more you have sex and release those feel-good hormones, the more you will want to do it. This is a time when you can have fun and explore each other. It is a time of playing that is unique only to the two of you, it is a part of yourself that you share with no-one else, so enjoy this special part of your relationship together. Don’t neglect it and you will have a little more glue to bind you together when you want a happy marriage.

At the time you were looking for your perfect mate you may have thought you would never find them, but finding them was easy in comparison to keeping your relationship happy and healthy. Don’t rely on your marriage vows to keep your marriage going though, you need to actively work on it a little at a time, day by day. If you want a happy marriage then you need to tend it like you would a lovely flower garden – regularly and with the right ingredients at the right times.

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