5 Things Happy Couples Do Well

5 Things Happy Couples Do Well

Things are going well, but we’re more like business partners than husband and wife. We keep it together but it’s like we’re hardly even friends anymore.

Life can turn into a grind, even for a great marriage.

Our fast-paced lives are perfectly capable of edging out every good intention we used to have.

Then we find ourselves months (years for many) down the road having survived, but also having missed the reason we thought we were doing all those things in the first place: to love each other and have a wonderful life together.

It may sound like a cliché but it isn’t: Lisa is my best friend. We have a lot of fun together, but no couple falls in a hole backwards and discovers they have a strong marriage.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote an excellent book entitled, Outliers, in which he describes the secret to the success of “gifted” people. What he learned goes something like this: They’re not really gifted. They just work at it.

And that applies directly to marriage.

A happy marriage may look effortless but that’s because you’re looking at the snapshot instead of the feature-length movie.

Every close couple has made their relationship a priority over time. There are no exceptions.

If you desire to become closer to your spouse – to grow in friendship – you have to cultivate it. It won’t happen by itself, especially in this busy life.

Here are some suggestions to help you regain your focus on friendship with the person you love.

1)      Remind yourself of your true priority: Each other! It’s basic, but it’s vital. You don’t work for your schedule. It works for the two of you.

2)      Carve out some time every day. Set aside the time, even if it’s only 20 -30 minutes – where it’s just the two of you, one-on-one, connecting. Sometimes Lisa and I simply walk down the driveway a few times, holding hands (always hold hands!).

3)      Open your mouth and say it: I really like you. Okay, so you’re not feeling that way right now, but that’s because of what you are focusing on. Change your focus. Think of something about your spouse you do like and appreciate and comment on that. I’m no different than any one else. I need Lisa to communicate to me that she likes me and she needs to hear the same from me. It’s what happy couples do.

4)      Regularly do something you both enjoy. Lisa and I go out to coffee and go for walks. It’s our “thing”. Sounds amazing, eh? Not really . . . for some, this is pretty bland stuff, but over the years you come to understand that deep friendship is the result of accumulating lots of simple moments together that you both enjoy.

5)     Share your spiritual lives together. Did God reveal something to you in the Scriptures you read recently? Share it. Pray for each other . . . and tell each other you are lifting the other up. Maybe pray together. Like the shoe company says: Just Do It!

These things are basic and straightforward. Yet, so often we allow our busy lives to keep us from the very things that bring richness and fulfillment to our marriages. But that frenetic schedule isn’t even close to important compared to being good friends with the one you love.

Do what happy couples do: Start – or restart – cultivating the friendship you desire to have with your spouse.

Beginning right now!

~ Matthew
MatthewLJacobson

100 Ways to Love eBooks Tiny*Check out our books –  100 Ways To Love Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Husband byLisa Jacobson.

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Written by Matthew L. Jacobson

Matthew Jacobson has been in the book publishing industry for 22 years and is currently the president of Loyal Arts Literary Agency. For the last 10 years, he's served as a teaching elder in his local Church. Matthew and his beautiful bride of 21 years, Lisa, raise their 8 children in the Pacific NW. You can join him at his blog by clicking here: MatthewLJacobson.com or find Matthew on facebook. Check out his NEW book: 100 Ways to Love Your Wife.

8 Comments

  1.  avatar

    That’s the beautiful thing about happy marriages – the keys really are simple. They just require attention and consistency. Thank you for the great reminder that we need to value friendship with our spouses, and not get stuck in the mundane things of life. My hubby and I, too, enjoy the simple things that bless our marriage – like taking walks while holding hands. Thank you for the encouraging post! I love seeing others value marriage the way God intended.

  2.  avatar
    Rev Rick says:

    I found this site a few weeks ago and it is so rich with thoughts and Ideas to help have a better marriage and show more love to each other .May God keep blessing this site

  3.  avatar

    Great advice! My husband and I have a coffee together each morning. Simple, but if he has to leave extra early for work one morning I miss it. And share your spiritual lives is also a great tip. So rewarding to sharer what God says to each other.

  4.  avatar
    Tina says:

    These things seem simple enough…but how do I get my husband to do these things? It isn’t even about schedules per se…it’s about tv. The little time we are both home at the same time, the tv is on shows that he won’t miss. Can anyone give me advise on this situation?

    • Years ago a friend suggested that I put the TV in an inconvenient location in our home. I chose our unfinished basement. Turns out that I only went down there two times that year to watch television. It made a huge difference. We landed up going six years without it. Maybe this is something you could suggest when you talk to your husband about it. Even if it’s only for a trial period, maybe he’ll consider it.

  5.  avatar
    LA says:

    I have been married over 25 years. I would love to say my husband is my best friend, but that is not the case. The longer we’ve been married, the less we have in common. This is very frustrating. Our interests are so varied and we really cannot even afford to pursue them anyway due to our current financial situation. This makes matters worse. We can’t get out of the pit we are in so we have settled for survival. We have admitted that we really were not in love when we married, but as we grew in the Lord we committed to stay together because it was the right thing to do. We have tried all sorts of things, including counseling, but we can’t seem to find a real place of genuine intimacy and friendship that is authentic. We are raising our children in the Lord, and we all serve together, but we fear when they are grown we won’t have much reason to stay together. Do you simply settle for going through the motions because it’s expected of you? We love each other as much as we know to, but the desire and friendship we see in other couples is missing.

  6.  avatar
    Rita says:

    I feel I am in the same situation. My husband is not my best friend. We have been together 20 years and with many trials. We have been to counseling 3 times, he always quits. We have 2 boys together and I fear they will grow up to treat they’re spouses the same. I want them to see they’re mom and dad happy with eachother and loving eachother not miserable together like we are. I do try to praise him and try to be closer to him but I feel like many times its one sided. The tension is so high when we are together. I know he wants out and is not happy but he doesn’t want to be the one to say it’s over/ he wants me to say it. The biggest problem we have is he does not know the lord. He attends church w me but is not saved. I knew this when I married him and that is MY mistake. I feel like I should stay with him for the kids because I don’t want them to grow up in a broken home , however I feel like our home is already broken. My oldest son has seen and heard things no little boy should have to. He’s heard us fight about my husbands multiple infidelity, he’s heard us call eachother terrible names and he’s seen us not like each other. A marriage shouldn’t be this way and my children shouldn’t see it. My younger son is 2 so doesn’t quite understand everything yet but I do not want him to see what my older son has seen. Not quite sure what to do at this point anymore. Divorce would not be easy as I know my husband would fight me for everything and fight me for my children. I feel stuck in all areas. The only thing I am sure of anymore is that I love my children more than anything

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    CF says:

    We’ve only been together two years but I felt that we were starting to get in the rut of sleep-eat-work. So I called in and we went to a new restaurant and spent time walking around the local hangouts of our favorite town (not the one we live in). Nothing too exciting, but it definitely helped us to see we need these moments to break up the monotony of everyday life.

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