5 Habits of happy couples.

happy couples
Photo credit: Timothy Krause

5 habits happy couples practice.

1. Steer clear of toxic talk. If not careful, toxic talk can easily creep into daily chatter with your spouses.  One of the wonderful things a close relationship affords is lots of information about each other, the good and the ugly.  When you use the intimate information you have about each other to tease, mock or rail against your spouse you undermine the trust and safety critical for an intimate relationship. Happy couples steer clear of harsh words and share encouragement and positivity instead!

2. Share Meals. This is more than just date night once a month.  Couples (and families) who share meals together on a daily basis stay more connected and experience closer relationships. Meals offer a time to slow down and talk casually. If you only ever talk about who’s picking who up and when the repair man is coming by you miss an opportunity to reflect on your day to day life together and the bigger picture or your relationship or family. It’s also a time to practice communication skills like listening to learn and digesting aloud when you are calm and enjoying time together. Spare yourself the stress of planning something special too, leave the candles in the drawer, a meal shared together need not be complicated or fancy. Of course, every now and then a special meal is in order, in this case though quantity of meals shared together is more important than the quality of food eaten and expense spared.

3. Apologize often. Even the most skillful couples have unskilful moments every now and then.  A snap judgement or a snide comment can sneak in and the sooner you recognize what happened and share a heartfelt apology the better. Even a quick, “i’m sorry, that was a crossover, what I meant to say is…” Once you learn the art of an apology you can quickly get back on track!

4. Be generous with positivity and gratitude. Happy couples aren’t happy all the time.  Happy couples face difficult life challenges and stresses just like unhappy couples.  One difference lies in attitude and the general climate in which they approach life.  Increasing positivity is one sure way to change the mood in your home.  Aim for a ratio of 10:1; ten positive comments or gestures for every one negative.  No need for a complicated approach either, simply open your eyes to the hundreds of opportunities for positivity in your day.  Another wonderful way to increase the good feelings in your home is to approach life with gratitude. Expressing and sharing gratitude keeps the focus on the beauty in your life and your relationship.  People who regularly express gratitude experience more optimism, stronger relationships and better overall health.

5. Take care of thyself. Self care is a term often used by parents (especially mothers) of young children.  When the demands and expectations are high, it is often easy to leave no room for doing the things that rejuvenate your spirit.  The same can be true in romantic relationship, especially when children are involved.  The busyness of life means exercise, rest, restoration fall to the bottom of the list.  Happy couples know that even if time is limited working together to make space for this kind of self care is very important.

Happy couples aren’t happy because they are lucky.  They are happy because they work each and every day at practicing the skills necessary to build a life of support and love for each other.  Practice these 5 habits and up the HAPPY in your relationship today!