Research shows in order to have a happy marriage, you must do 5 nice things for every negative one. 5 to 1! This morning my husband and I had a negative interaction. Because he didn’t sleep well, he was tired and stressed, and I didn’t respond well to his grouchiness. We didn’t argue; we just didn’t have a positive experience with one another. This simple negative interaction is probably a common occurrence for many couples.
I had no idea that it would take us both being intentional to make sure we had 5 positive interactions to make up for this 1 negative one. Healthy habits are a powerful tool in a relationship. Want to be happily married for a long time? Try making these 5 things a habit.
1. Make small gestures often.
I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I just get busy and forget to do nice things for one another. Make an effort, even if it’s small, to be nice to your spouse. You’ll be amazed at the huge difference these little things make. And once they become a habit, you will continually reap the rewards for these small gestures of affection.
2. Consistently encourage.
It’s amazing how much it affects me when my husband encourages me. When he compliments me on something, I feel loved and seen by him and valued. It helps me value him in return, and reminds me to encourage him, which turns into a positive cycle for us.
3. Kiss and touch.
In all the busyness of life, it can be easy to forget to show physical affection or touch to your partner. It’s easy for us to walk out the door in the morning without even saying goodbye to each other because we’ve already started doing our separate routines. But it doesn’t take much for me to intentionally kiss my husband before we go our separate ways. Or for him to greet me affectionately at the end of the day. We could easily make this a positive habit that will strengthen our relationship.
4. Express gratitude.
My husband cleaned the house the other day, and I made sure to thank him and tell him how much I appreciated it. Taking the time to express gratitude for the little things will build a much stronger connection.
5. Talk often.
Couples in strong relationships want to share everything with each other. They enjoy telling their partner about their day, what’s going on in their heart and other relationships, etc. and they equally enjoy listening to their spouse share. Use our Q & U app to ask even more questions to your spouse.
We’d love to hear from you! What are some of your healthy habits?
Cassandra Soars has published various national magazine articles on a wide range of topics, including life in Mozambique, Africa, where she lived for five years. Her first book Love Like Fire: The Story of Heidi Baker is available on Amazon.