I came across an article highlighting the 12 habits for happiness. When I shared them online, Josiah pointed out that the same habits are a good recipe for marital happiness. If like me you have wondered what habits are necessary for guaranteed marital bliss, read on.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. This mantra, attributed to Dalai Lama is so important in a marriage relationship that it is a key determinant on the quality of the relationship. When a spouse is kind, they come through for you. They are sensitive to what you are going through and they sacrifice their comforts for you. It sounds easy but it is far from. It takes a special character to be constantly kind to others, leave alone to a spouse. The fact that we are with our spouses everyday means that we spectacularly take them for granted. We go out of our way to be nice and kind to others. We are angels to strangers but rarely show this to our spouse. I once got a ride from a neighbour only to learn that his wife can never ride in his car. Even when it is raining, she still takes public transport, same route as him to work. That is not unkind, it is selfish and cruel. It costs nothing to be kind to your spouse, yet the benefits come back to you, overflowing.
Exercise. Taking note to sweat daily uplifts your mood. We all need upbeat spouses. A broody one is like a relentless menstrual cramp. In addition to the endorphins produced during a brisk walk, exercise also reassures your spouse of your intention to keep your body healthy enough for your sunset years together.
Be patient. It is a virtue. It is also a sign of emotional intelligence. Do not constantly fret about things, deadlines, social rules, should, could and must be. Breathe. Exhale. Learn from Mother Mature. The Earth patiently orbits the sun, every second for eighty thousand, seven hundred and sixty plus hours yet you cannot have the grace when your spouse is seven minutes late? Take one stair at a time and watch how calmly you get to seven floors. Take double stairs and get on the first floor, breathless. Eat healthy. Same as exercise. Eating healthy gives you good body odour, did you know that?
Judge less. If there is any other relationship that people feel even more righteousness than the Holy Spirit - let alone their spouse - it is in a marriage one. Try counselling a couple and you will want to drown in a bottle of liquor afterwards. She said, he said, she did, he did but none of them has the capacity to look inward. They judge the other harshly, they are blind to any positives from their spouse and they use a spot light to highlight the faults of their partner. Try be the perfect spouse and stop expecting a perfect spouse.
Keep smiling. When you smile at the world, it smiles right back at you. What you sow is what you harvest. The universe mirrors you. If you give positive vibes, you get back the same. Need I add that smiling makes you better looking to your spouse and that it is infectious?
Love yourself. You can only give what is in you. You cannot claim to love another if your love tank is empty. When you love yourself, you will not accept anyone to belittle you in any way form or style. People with a healthy dosage of self-love can never put up with abuse in marriage. Live your purpose. It is the surest expression of self-love.
Show gratitude. Stop the entitlement and embrace gratitude towards your spouse. The universe will reward you handsomely.
Believe in yourself. You are a child of the universe and have every right to be here. Pursue your dreams. When you believe in yourself, your spouse finds you attractive ad when you do not, your insecurity rubs off on your spouse who has to constantly massage your ego.
Do not look down on anyone. There is no permanent situation in life. You must never discriminate on who and how you extend your respect based on status. Human dignity is intrinsic. Sleep well. It will make you a healthier, happier spouse. See failure as an opportunity, especially failure of other relationships. What did you learn? How has it helped you grow? What was your contribution in its failure? Failure is one ingredient of the success matrix. Learn from it and be better.
Karimi is a wife and mother who believes marriage is worth it.