What does it take to be happy in a relationship? If you’re working to improve your marriage, here are the 10 habits of happy couples.

1. GO TO BED AT THE SAME TIME. Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn’t wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps. And when their skins touch it still causes each of them to tingle and unless one or both are completely exhausted to feel sexually excited.

2. CULTIVATE COMMON INTERESTS. After the passion settles down, it’s common to realize that you have few interests in common. But don’t minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from appearing too dependent.

3. WALK HAND IN HAND OR SIDE BY SIDE. Do things together. Rather than one partner lagging or dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side by side. They know it’s more important to be with their spouse than to see the sights along the way.

4. MAKE TRUST AND FORGIVENESS YOUR DEFAULT MODE. If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can’t resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.

5. FOCUS MORE ON WHAT YOUR SPOUSE DOES RIGHT THAN WHAT HE OR SHE DOES WRONG. If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something. If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.

6. HUG EACH OTHER AS SOON AS YOU SEE EACH OTHER AFTER WORK. Our skin has a memory of “good touch” (loved), “bad touch” (abused) and “no touch” (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the “good touch,” which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world.

7. SAY "I LOVE YOU" AND "HAVE A GOOD DAY" EVERY MORNING. This is a great way to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.

8. SAY "GOOD NIGHT" EVERY NIGHT, REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU FEEL. This tells your partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to be in the relationship. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger than any single upsetting incident.

9. DO A "WEATHER" CHECK DURING THE DAY. Call your spouse at home or at work to see how his or her day is going. This is a great way to adjust expectations so that you’re more in sync when you connect after work. For instance, if your partner is having an awful day, it might be unreasonable to expect him or her to be enthusiastic about something good that happened to you.

10. BE PROUD TO BE SEEN WITH YOUR SPOUSE. Happy couples are pleased to be seen together and are often in some kind of affectionate contact — hand on hand or hand on shoulder or knee or back of the neck. They are not showing off but rather just saying that they belong to each other.


  1. and that they pray every night before bed :)

  2. Great list, Terri. All of these are so important to a long lasting, healthy relationship. There can be times in a marriage when the "feelings" don't always tingle, but these are important points to keep being there for each other. Thanks for posting. - Amy

  3. #5 is definitely the hardest one for me! I have to check myself before I say something that I will regret later when it comes to nit picking at silly things. My hubby and I are also very careful about not letting the sun go down on our anger, so if there is something we have to work out, we either do it before bed or agree to talk about it the next day, but we usually do our best to do it the night of :) Great list!

  4. These are so great! Some can be more challenging while others come naturally. The only one that doesn't work for me is going to bed at the same time. My husband snores really badly so I have to go to bed before him so I can get to sleep before he does! Haha! Oh well.


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