top of page
  • Writer's pictureIan Vassilaros

Cultivating Happiness in Marriage: Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages

Updated: Jun 22

People don't get married because they're already happy; they get married because they believe it will make them happier. In our culture, where marriage is often based on attraction and affection, this pursuit of happiness is a key motivator.


People don't get married because they're already happy; they get married because they believe it will make them happier.
Happy Together

When people believe that their happiness and their marriage are incompatible, they often abandon the idea of marriage altogether. However, since the pursuit of happiness remains important, the question becomes: how can couples cultivate happiness within their marriage?


The Shift in Happiness After Marriage

However, once married, this initial joy often gets replaced by the pressures and adjustments that life inevitably brings.
Shift in Happiness After Marriage

One of the biggest challenges in marriage is that maintaining happiness requires deliberate effort over time. The initial novelty fades, and the relationship inevitably faces struggles, stress, and conflict, which can overshadow the early joy and excitement.


For many, the intense happiness felt before marriage serves as a strong incentive to tie the knot and start a family. However, once married, this initial joy often gets replaced by the pressures and adjustments that life inevitably brings.


This shift can lead to stress and feelings of unhappiness. In such moments, it's common to blame their spouse, thinking that if they were once the source of happiness, they must now be the source of unhappiness.


Alternatively, individuals might blame themselves, believing they need to try harder, be better, or resign themselves to an unhappy marriage.


A Surprising Truth

We can create even greater happiness when we treat our spouse in ways that invite closeness and connection.
Young Happily Married Couple

Conventional wisdom suggests that we are responsible for our own happiness, which is true to an extent. However, if it were entirely true, we wouldn't experience more happiness in marriage than we do alone.


In a sense, our spouse does play a role in our happiness, not because of what they do or don't do for us, but because of how we treat them. While we can generate happiness by doing things we enjoy, we can create even greater happiness when we treat our spouse in ways that invite closeness and connection.


In other words, greater happiness in marriage

is achieved when we act toward our spouse

in ways that foster mutual happiness.



The Power of Gratitude

You feel happy because you love the gift, and I feel happy because I gave it to you—both of us are happy at that moment.
The Power of Gratitude

For us husbands, it becomes easiest to cultivate happiness when we acknowledge everything our wives do for us, whether they are stay-at-home moms or working outside the home while we handle the housework.


The specific tasks they perform are less important than our ability to generate mutual happiness.


Imagine I Give You a Gift

 You feel happy because you love the gift, and I feel happy because I gave it to you—both of us are happy at that moment.
Happy For Gift

Imagine I give you a gift that you truly love. You feel happy because you love the gift, and I feel happy because I gave it to you—both of us are happy at that moment. If you then sincerely thank me for the gift, you feel even better, and I experience greater happiness from your gratitude.


In other words, gratitude acts as a happiness multiplier!


Additionally, I am now more likely to serve you in various ways, and you are inspired to reciprocate.


When gratitude is genuinely expressed and received, it fosters a cycle of positive actions and deeper connection, all starting with a simple expression of thanks.


Many women begin to feel invisible and unappreciated in their relationships
Feeling Unseen

This dynamic is incredibly powerful in marriage. Many women begin to feel invisible and unappreciated in their relationships. As a husband, it is distressing to realize my wife feels this way due to my lack of recognition for her efforts. This motivates me to create a more appreciative and supportive environment for her.


Recognizing and appreciating what our wives do sometimes needs to be a deliberate effort. As men, we often get so focused on our tasks that we miss much of what happens around us, especially the contributions our wives make that enable us to accomplish our goals.



 

Conclusion

Expressing genuine gratitude and appreciation isn't just about the words you say; it's about the emotions and sincerity behind those words. When you take time to show and tell your spouse how much they mean to you, it enhances intimacy and builds a stronger emotional connection. This practice not only makes your partner feel valued and loved but also fosters a positive and supportive environment within your marriage.



 

Start today by finding one specific think you genuinely appreciate about your spouse. Show it through expressions and actions. Make it a daily habit and watch how it transforms your relationship and opens the door to deeper connections and intimacy.


Comments


bottom of page