by Jeff Anderson | Contributor
You may have seen lots of cute sayings on Facebook or in the art section of Hobby Lobby about having the best marriage possible. “Acceptance is the Key to Happiness.” “Today is the Only Day You’ve Got, So Make it Count.” “Always Believe That Something Wonderful is About to Happen.”
They all make sense, and they’re all true at some point or in a certain context, but what is the mindset needed to have a truly happy marriage? The truth is nobody has a perfect answer. We’re all so different and live in such diverse circumstances that there is no one-size-fits-all response.
Even so, here are some universal mindsets I believe can yield a happy marriage and keep you out of my office.
• Talk every day.
• Don’t let a day go by without saying, “I love you.”
• Your husband or wife is your best friend in the world. Share, laugh and support him or her.
• Make sure your partner knows you’re there for them, no matter what.
• Marriage is about “ours.” “Mine” and “yours” get left at the altar.
• The only time the word “divorce” is said is when someone really wants a divorce. Threatening divorce does not solve any issues you are having and only gets you closer to court.
• People who love each other don’t degrade, curse, or belittle each other. Hard words create hard feelings.
• Never do something when your spouse isn’t there that you wouldn’t do if they were standing right beside you.
• Always be honest but never cruel.
• Secrets destroy relationships from the inside out. The only secrets that work in a marriage are the ones shared with each other.
• If you can, take your spouse’s call. Even when you are too busy, make sure he or she feels you’ve found the time to talk.
• Your children are watching the way you treat your spouse. Treat him or her like they’ll remember it, because they will.
• Don’t be afraid to tell your spouse what bugs you.
• Talk about what you want in the bedroom.
• Your spouse should always know what your dreams are so he or she can help you realize them.
• Respect your spouse when you’re with them and respect them even more when you’re not.
• Surround yourself with friends who support your marriage. The friends who want you to do things that would disrespect your spouse are either not such good friends or in a bad place themselves.
• If you do something wrong, own it, say you’re sorry and ask for forgiveness. Don’t try to make excuses.
• Accept the apology. Forgiveness heals. And we all have something we wish to be forgiven for.
• Never stop dating your spouse.
• Hold hands with your spouse.
• Turn off your cell phones.
• Our marriage is the end, not the means. Our jobs are the means, not the end.
• Every day say, “I pick you” and prove it.
Editor’s Note: Jeff Anderson is a family law attorney, a husband and a dad to two teens. His bio can be found on page 9. To reach Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972.248.8383. ondafamilylaw.com