3 Steps To A Happier Marriage

There's a secret to having a longer, happier marriage: We've got to constantly switch things up on our spouses! I found this tip in a book called The Myths of Happiness. It says no matter how happy your partner makes you, when you get used to having them around, the thrill fades. Psychologists call this “hedonistic adaptation.” It’s why some things that excite us one day, can stop exciting us when we do them every day. Think about it this way: If you had an ice cream sundae every day, it eventually stops becoming a special treat.

The same thing goes for spouses – the more we get used to them, we begin to take them for granted. And after 20 years of marriage, my wife has had plenty of time to get used to me, which is why I love surprising her every once in awhile. Experts say that without variety in relationships, couples tend to become bored and dissatisfied. So, how can you add variety to your relationship, and boost it at the same time?

  • Shake up your routine. Don’t go to the same restaurants every week. Visit new places together. And instead of hanging out with the same friends every Friday night, make an effort to meet new friends. This doesn't mean you need to turn your life upside down to keep things exciting, but make the effort not to do the same thing week after week.
  • Plan more surprises. Psychologists say that with time, partners tend to get to know each other too well. But you can usually counteract that problem by planning a surprise – like a dance lesson, for example, even if both of you have no clue how to tango. Whether it's a spur-of-the-moment getaway or simply taking your sweetie out to dinner, it might be just the event to switch things up.
  • Increase the amount of non-sexual physical contact in your relationship. Because many couples say that after just a few years together, they begin to miss simple things – like holding hands and hugging. So go hug your main squeeze more often! And know those hugs are making you healthier, since hugging not only reduces the risk of heart disease but also relieves stress.

Psychologists say the key is to begin focusing on these things before you feel boredom setting in. Because by adding more surprise and spontaneity to your relationship, you and your partner are more likely to keep your relationship fresh, meaningful and positive for many years to come.

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