Love, Self

Have A Happy Marriage? Here's How To Make Sure It STAYS That Way

So many couples fixate on mending what's broken between them. But what happens when you're marriage is already great? 

You've truly found your soul mate. And all of those smiles in your Instagram "couple selfies" are the real deal. Perhaps you still even get those first-date tingles when you see your partner walk through the door at the end of the day. 

Congratulations on finding true love and creating a relationship that actually works! Now ... how do you make sure it stays that way? 

Any couple married for more than five minutes will tell you that a successful union takes more than just saying "I do" and putting on a ring. Even the most compatible of couples face trying times and want to make it through those challenges united on the other side.

In fact, a Pew Research study on marriage found that 84 percent of people believe a successful marriage is the most important (or one of the most important) goals to achieve in life.  

So how can you actively preserve the strength of your relationship, even if it's already pretty awesome? 

Host and Senior VP of YourTango Experts Melanie Gorman gathered a panel to ask this very question. Weighing in were psychologist Dr. Stan Tatkin; premarital, marital and infidelity recovery counselor Jim Walkup; couple therapist and author Colene Sawyer Schlaepfer; and relational recovery therapist Argie Spuck.

The experts agree: Successful, lasting relationships don't happen by accident. 

The panel explored how to keep a happy relationship strong from several angles including:

  • The real reasons we partner up with another person in the first place (aside from having children)
  • Fun ways to stay connected and set shared goals for your relationship
  • Why making explicit agreements is essential to sustained relationship happiness
  • How to make the most of separations and reunions as a couple

As the panel concluded, the best advice from the group boiled down to one required step: To protect the health of your happy partnership both partners must make it a TOP priority.  

Yes, there are positive action steps to take, important conversations to have, and new experiences to share. But, these approaches alone won't keep you connected if you start taking your partner for granted and set your healthy relationship on auto-pilot.

When our marriage feels safe and secure, it's easy to forget how fragile partnerships are and start focusing our limited attention elsewhere. But all relationships need nurturing, even happy ones. Sure, a tree can grow in a drought climate, but over time, it will become spindly and stunted. The same thing happens in marriages.

Tending to and connecting with your partner daily is essential to sustaining your already thriving relationship. Watch the video above for insights on how to make the adventure of staying in love even more thrilling and rewarding than falling in love. 

Then, share this video with your partner. Or better yet, give one of the Experts on the panel a call if you feel like you need a little extra support nudging your relationship from "good" to "great."