15 Things that Happy Couples Will Never Ever Do
Follow these guidelines to live happily ever after
Happy couples have several habits in common. Whether it’s never taking each other for granted, or ensuring that they have quality time with their partner, there are certain things that couples do in lasting relationships that differentiate them from those that fail.
With more than half of marriages ending in divorce, it's important to focus on what makes happy relationships so good. Read on as our relationship experts share their top 15 tips on what happy couples never do.
Never do these things if you want a lasting relationship
- Try to resolve every issue. This is a mistake that even relationship experts fall into, as it seems counterintuitive to allow conflicts to fester. However, research suggests that happy couples do not resolve 69% of their conflicts. Once we accept that some conflicts simply cannot be resolved, we can allow our positive feelings toward the relationship to override the negative feelings and live happily ever after.
- Ignore private time with their partner. Happy couples prioritize their time. Great couples spend time together. Life is busy for all of us. These couples schedule time together. They find things to do that each of them enjoy. And, they say no to other things that would keep them from having adequate time together.
- Believe in unconditional commitment. There is no such thing as unconditional commitment. Commitment comes with conditions. If you hurt, abuse or neglect your partner, they may still have loving feelings toward you, but their commitment will shift. Relationships that are underpinned by effort, a willingness to compromise and a focus on growing together last. Relationships rooted only in mystical beliefs (e.g. “we’re soulmates” or “if we’re meant to be together, we will last”) are less likely to last. Couples who are happy try to keep one another happy. They make an effort with regard to lifestyle, appearance, sex, expressions of love and communication.
- Never hold grudges or attack one another unfairly. Happy couples speak to each other with respect.
- Never threaten to break up or divorce their partner as a meaningless threat. Those words fester and cause irreparable damage. Happy couples talk it out and don’t try to scare their partner into behaving differently. Lasting relationships are no place for teenage-style drama.
- Happy couples are never on their phones while driving together or out at a restaurant unless there’s something specific to look up or respond to. They enjoy each other’s company and appreciate the time that they can spend together.
- Don’t accept passivity. Men don’t shirk their responsibility to show their share of leadership. They make their share of decisions and take responsibility. They don’t blame their wives.
- In-laws and others are not allowed to get in the middle of their relationship. Happy couples do not side against one another with someone else.
- Don’t avoid expressing their feelings. They do not allow anger and disappointment to build up. They clearly and respectfully say what they feel.
- Never forget to tell each other that they love them. It’s important to tell your boyfriend, fiancé or husband that you love him, not just assume he knows. And vice-versa.
- Never go weeks or months without sex or intimate contact with their partner. Physical touch is how couples bond, and keep their bond strong. Kissing and hugging during the day, and cuddling on the couch at night, are important as well in keeping love alive.
- Don’t try to be exactly alike. They let differences work for them. All couples are made with two different people. No two people in the world are just alike. Opposites often do attract. But, great couples learn to build upon those differences. They build upon each other’s strengths and let each other minimize their weaknesses.
- Happy couples never shirk responsibility by avoiding irritating household chores and leaving it for the other person to handle. They either hire someone to do the work, they do it themselves, or they help their partner with the task.
- Never complain about minor annoyances. People do stuff that gets on our nerves at times. That’s true of all of us — even with the people — maybe even especially with the people we love the most. Great couples have learned not to let those little things distract from the major things — like love and commitment.
- Don’t expect the playcard to always be even. Happy couples serve each other. There are no 50-50 splits of responsibility in a great marriage. Great couples learn to sacrificially serve one another. In the best relationships, it would be difficult to judge who serves one another more. There may be times one gives 100%, because the other can’t give anything. And there are other times the other spouse gives 100%. And neither complains when it’s their turn to give all.
Sources: Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills child, parenting, and relationship psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, and co-star of a WE tv series; Elliott Katz, author of Being the Strong Man a Woman Wants: Timeless Wisdom on Being a Man; Dr. Jess, Astroglide’s resident sexologist and sex, relationship and marriage therapist and author.