Aug 262018 5 Responses

7 Signs You Are Happily Married (Part 2)

Here is part two of 7 Signs You are Happily Married. For part one, click Here.

4. Sex is mutually satisfying. This isn’t to say that each partner enjoys every encounter equally. It’s not to say that desire is the same among both spouses. But in unhappy marriages, it’s not unusual for sexual intimacy to lose a sense of equality. It becomes more about one person, or one partner becomes more selfish than the other. Happy couples tend to view sex as a key aspect of their relationship. It’s a unique activity which bonds them with one another. They find more joy in giving one another pleasure than in receiving it.

5. You like to spend time together. Do you avoid time with your spouse or do you seek it out? Granted, time means different things to different people depending on what season of life they are in. Jenny and I have to fight for every second to spend together because our kids are young and busy. Other couples are retired and have the opportunity to spend every second together. Time to those in their 40s is the not the same as time to young newlyweds or more mature retirees. Yet the premise is still the same–do you enjoy spending time with your spouse? If the answer is no, something is wrong. Happy couples happily spend time with each other. They appreciate each other’s perspective, enjoy each other’s company, and are as happy together as they are with anyone else. If you like to spend time with your spouse, be grateful. Many couples avoid one another rather than seeking time to be together.

6. You hear and are heard. You can’t be happy if you are unheard. Communication is such a key component of connection that without it, we do not feel fully human. When our spouse fails to hear us (and make us feel heard) we unknowingly respond to the absence of connection. Some shut down. Others begin to try harder and trying harder is almost always counter-productive. When a husband and wife respect each other so much that they tune their ears to the other, safety is created. The connection is strengthened in such a way that they feel protected by each other. This allows them to have fun and be happy. Yet you can’t truly be heard and unless you are also hearing. True connection comes as a couple communicates with one another not simply to each other. When you hear and are heard, a happy marriage is possible.

7. You feel a deep sense of gratitude for each other and marriage. Happiness is often a result of gratitude. As we appreciate what we have, recognize we easily could have missed out on the good, understand we are not guaranteed tomorrow, and focus on the positives without denying the negatives, we feel a sense of thankfulness for what we have been given. Unhappy couples feel entitled. They believe they deserve their spouse or, even worse, believe they deserve someone better than their spouse. Happy couples know their husband or wife isn’t perfect, but they appreciate them for who they are. They recognize the opportunity which marriage brings. They feel grateful for their spouse and the concept of marriage. Many doubt the institution of marriage, but happy couples understand it’s value. They know much of what we are looking for is not found in unbridled freedom, but instead comes through willful submission of ourselves to something greater than us. Gratitude for what we have breeds joy.

Happiness is a byproduct. It’s not our main pursuit, but it is an important characteristic of a good marriage. I don’t want to just be married. I want to be happily married.

5 Responses to 7 Signs You Are Happily Married (Part 2)
  1. David Reply

    Kevin – I love your writing and these are two great articles on being happily married … but if we are not there, then what? My wife and I have gone through a very difficult couple of years. I do believe you start where you are, with what you have … but how do we shift toward being happily married after loss, disappointment, etc? These articles just point out how far we are from happy – but don’t point to a way back.

  2. Karla Grantham Reply

    Kevin,
    I am in the same situation as David. Please address this question in an article. We have had a rough couple of years. I ran across your articles when I needed them the most. You have no idea what comfort and realization they have brought me. I trust your wisdom and am very thankful to have found you. I need help.

  3. […] For the last four signs of a happy marriage, click HERE. […]... kevinathompson.com/7-signs-you-are-happily-married

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