“Happily ever after is not a fairytale. It’s a choice.” -Fawn Weaver
After the romantic honeymoon, many couples are surprised to find marriage is not the key that will sustain their happiness. Without tools and understanding, defining happiness in marriage can become as elusive as the ability to achieve it. Researchers of positive psychology described the happiness formula as follows:
- 50 percent of your happiness is biological in nature and is your natural “set point”
- 10 percent is circumstances (example: purchasing a new car, getting married)
- 40 percent of your happiness is assured by the choices you make
Within two years of marriage most couples lose the boost of happiness gained and land back to their ‘set point’. This is when every couple needs to dig deeper and find the 40 percent of happiness that is based on choices that are made. Here are six choices you can make to change your ‘set point’ and begin to increase your marital happiness.
Six Choices for Upgrading Your Marital Happiness:
- Be content- “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Philippians 4:11
Focus on the good things in your marriage. Even in the midst of troubles you can search for the things that are going right. Don’t fall into the comparison trap but be content with the positive qualities that lie within your spouse.
- Practice random acts of kindness
Joy and happiness are often found when you reach out and do something for someone else. On Christmas day last year we decided to pay the toll of the car behind us as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. The people in the other car were so pleasantly surprised they followed us a little down the road beeping and cheering. We found ourselves laughing and wanting to do it again.
- Celebrate life together
Keep your relationship fresh by choosing new things to do together. Find a new restaurant to go to or enjoy a getaway to your favorite place to relax.
- Make dreams come true
Become a dream detector and support your spouse in the pursuit of their dreams. My husband is writing and I paid for an artist to do his book cover as a way to show support. Know and support each other’s dreams.
- Pray together
Know each other’s prayer needs and pray together on a regular basis. Couples who pray together are happier and have a lower rate of divorce.
- Invest time into your relationship, family and others
Time is a precious commodity in the midst of busy schedules. Plan evenings and weekend days where you take a break from cell phones and computers. This is a great way to spend quality time together.
If you want to boost your marital happiness choose to make one of these upgrades today.