Do you wonder what happy couples do to stay happy? It’s a really good question. I thought I’d have some fun and flip that question around. Let’s take a look at what happy couples NEVER do and you need to stop doing NOW!
I’d argue that being a happy couple is one of the most important achievements in life. It’s a feat worth pursuing. A goal worth working hard for.
After all, how can you be truly happy in life if your primary relationship is unhappy?
If you’re not the happiest couple you know, this article is especially for you. I want to shine a spot-light on what happy couples never do. And you should stop doing these things, too, if you want to get back to being a happy couple.
There are 20 things that happy couples NEVER do:
1. Happy couples never put their job or kids ahead of their relationship
Happy couples don’t say “We come second!” No, no, no! In fact, the most important agreement you can make with your sweetheart is to always put your relationship first. That’ll form the foundation for long-term security and happiness.
2. Happy couples never throw each other under the bus
You shouldn’t ever throw your partner under the bus. Really! That means you don’t badmouth them to your best friend or your sister. Nor do you make fun of them or belittle them in front of your kids.
3. Happy couples never maintain poor boundaries with others
Bad boundaries with other people can lead to tension and fights. And unchecked boundaries can eventually lead to betrayal. Crummy boundaries are a really bad idea.
4. Happy couples never stop being playful
You can’t always be serious and act like stuffy grown-ups and expect to be happy. Lighten up! Be silly and playful as often as you can be. It’ll make your relationship happier.
5. Happy couples never forget special occasions
I’m serious. Happy couples don’t forget to celebrate important dates. So do whatever it takes to remember your spouse’s birthday, your anniversary, Valentine Day, and any other occasion that’s special to you or your partner.
6. Happy couples never are unavailable to one another
Here’s the thing…if you want your partner to really trust you, you’ve got to be available to them 24/7. And vice versa. Have the policy that you can reach out anytime you need to.
7. Happy couples never tell other people important things first
It doesn’t bread happiness when your partner is the last one to hear that you ______________. (Fill in the blank.) It works the other direction too. You feel pretty insignificant when you overhear your spouse telling their mother something important that they haven’t bothered to share with you. Right?
8. Happy couples never threaten divorce
I’ll say it again. Never, ever threaten divorce. You simply cannot threaten your relationship and be a secure and happy couple.
9. Happy couples never insult or mistreat their partner in front of others (or at home for that matter)
Here’s another way of saying this: happy couples aren’t mean to one another. Ever!
10. Happy couples never keep secrets from each other
Secrets are the decay of happiness in a relationship. There’s so much truth to the phrase “You’re as sick as your secrets.” Happy couples tell each other everything. And I mean everything.
11. Happy couples never use threats or anger to get what they want
Threats and anger will throw you into a fight, flight, or faint response. It’s how our brains are wired. There’s no room for happy feelings when your body is on danger alert. Instead, use love and attraction to get what you want.
12. Happy couples never criticize their partner on purpose
Most people have a sensitivity to criticism. Happy couples understand this and work hard to talk to one another in ways that aren’t critical.
13. Happy couples never go a single day without hugging
When you hug your partner, you’re giving each other the gift of calming touch. A lingering embrace helps your nervous system relax. Exchange hugs at least once or twice a day.
14. Happy couples never avoid talking about difficult topics
If you think that avoiding the tough conversations makes couples happy…think again. You’re going to be happier if you talk openly about your sex life and finances, for example. So put on your big-kid panties and have the hard conversations.
15. Happy couples never make unilateral decisions
You should run all your decisions through the test of “Is it good for me and for you?” If you want to be a happy couple, you’ve got to stop acting like a single person.
16. Happy couples never delay in saying “I’m sorry!”
I can’t overstate the importance of repairing hurt feelings quickly. When your partner tells you that they’re upset with you, let your first response be to relieve their distress with a genuine apology. It will not weaken you.
17. Happy couples never get out of the habit of dating each other
Keep the attention, fun, spark, and enjoyment of your relationship alive with date night. For the rest of your life.
18. Happy couples never let fights go on for very long
Indulging in the pattern of having long arguments will drain the happiness right out of your relationship. Keep your arguments short. Agree to finish the conversation later and shift into doing a positive activity together.
19. Happy couples never focus on the negative
I guarantee that if you always focus on negative things you will not be a happy couple. Bring your focus to the things that are positive, right, and that make you feel good. Go a step further and magnify moments of joy and awe by commenting on them with your beloved.
20. Happy couples never disregard the power of gratitude
The habit of pausing to notice and share things that you’re grateful for (with your partner) will infuse your relationship with happiness. Let your spouse know specific things you’re grateful for every day. Bonus points if your gratitude is about something your partner has done which reflects a characteristic of theirs that you admire.
Now that you know what happy couples never do, I hope you’ll stop doing those things in your relationship. But if the negative habits and patterns are too ingrained, you may need some help in becoming a happy couple again.
Let me know if you’re looking for marriage transformation. I’m a sought after Denver couples therapist, and I’d love to help you get back to happy.