The Secret to a "Happy" Marriage
It isn't what you think it is.
Welcome to The First Years of Marriage Newsletter! We talk about the conversations, challenges, and changes that begin once the honeymoon ends. Advice from experts, mistakes from me (Jen Glantz), and things you’re going to want to know as you continue to ask yourself this question - “I’m married, so now what?”
One more thing before we get into the good stuff:
Everyone wants to know the secrets.
What’s in that secret sauce you use in the baked ziti?
What’s the secret to writing a book and selling it to a major publish?
You are always so happy and positive - what’s your secret?
Do you want to know the secret?
Even if people tell you their private information - how they add a few extra cloves of garlic to their sauce, how many other book proposals were rejected before they finally sold one book and how odds say eventually you will get a yes, how being positive is a choice they decide to make in pubic but at home they aren’t so cheery - you still would not have what they have.
You still would not have their results.
You realize that right?
Other people’s secrets are just punchlines to their stories. It isn’t their entire story.
Which is something I always have to remember when I find myself asking couples, who have been together for decades, what is their secret to stilll being happily married.
Most couples usually laugh at the word “happily” and a few golden ones have even said:
“It’s not about being happily married. It’s about having a good marriage. There’s a difference.”
A good marriage, ahh. I like that one better.
But even once they gush about why they think they are still together, I feel underwhelmed by their response.
Sure, communication is key! Never going to sleep angry is healthy! Compromise is smart! Letting go of tiny arguments is best!
But come on….I wanted a really juicy and unusual secret!
The truth is, other people’s secrets to success won’t make your marriage a good one.
It will just make you question things and work on other things - which might be a good idea to help you get your relationship in a stronger place.
For example, something I am working on (*always working on), is letting things go. I know it will make my relationship with Adam majorly less stressful.
“Jen, let go of more things.”
That’s not marriage advice, that’s life advice people have been giving me my entire existence.
Everything someone does or says is written in permanent marker on my brain. I hold onto everything like it’s at risk of being taken away from my memory. I’m no good at moving on and leaving comments, situations, mistakes, or fights in the past.
To me, that’s not the secret to a happy/good marriage, it’s the secret to being able to stop wasting time being upset in my relationship.
And that is important.
I turned to the experts to make my game plan more specific and less cliche.
Here are the 5 things they shared couple’s should learn to let go of if they want to move forward and…be happy.
1. Who's Doing More
“Happy couples work as a team. They don’t sweat the small stuff, like who loaded the dishwasher yesterday and who made more money this month. They have a common goal and understanding of working together to live their best lives possible.” —Kelley Kitley, L.C.S.W and founder of Serendipitous Psychotherapy
2. The Past
“Often in relationships, we compare our current love interest to a past lover, which can result in developing forms of insecurities, inadequacies, and ineffectiveness in moving forward. If one wants to truly enjoy their current situation and remain happy, one has to effectively let go of any past situations.”—Alexis Nicole White, author and relationship expert.
3. The Need to Be in Contact 24/7
“People had happy relationships before texting. You will have so much more to talk about at the end of the day if you haven't dragged the person through your day with text messages. When you are together, shut the world out for a while. Silencing your cell phone lets the other person know that they are the most important thing in your life right now." —Nicki Nance, assistant professor of human services and psychology at Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla.
4. The Need for Secrecy
“Let go of privacy. I'm not talking about using the restroom with the door wide open, but rather being completely transparent with your mate. And unless your mate has given you a valid reason to doubt their loyalty, trust that there are no secrets between you. True intimacy has no secrets.”—Shawnda Patterson, relationship coach and author of The Dating Game
5. Feuds with In-Laws
“You really don’t like your partner’s parents. So what? Happy couples know that they’re not going to change their imperfect in-laws, and they put the relationship they have with their partner and the partner's parents in perspective. Finding a sense of humor, as well as effective boundaries, are great ways to have a happy relationship by letting go of the fact that you just don’t like his or her parents too much.” —April Masini, relationship and etiquette expert and author ofThink and Date Like a Man
If letting go is a secret of what makes a couple’s relationship strong, what is something that they should learn to let go of?
Leave a comment and i’ll respond!
Love you (for as long as we both shall live),
Jen Glantz is a whimsical entrepreneur, 3x author, podcast host, and all-around pizza-obsessed goofball.
Here's what she is currently working on:
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