Married life isn't always easy, but it can be very rewarding if you and your partner are on the same page. Keep reading to learn 10 rules for a happy marriage.

The pressure to maintain the perfect marriage can be daunting.

Divorce rates are declining, but one-third of marriages still end in divorce.

If you follow these rules, yours is unlikely to be one of them. Read on for the best rules for a happy marriage. 

1. Forgive

Forgiveness is one of the main ingredients of a successful marriage. It's not just about letting go of the small annoyances; it's about understanding and accepting that your partner is human and prone to mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes, and your partner will inevitably do things that upset or disappoint you. However, the act of forgiveness is powerful. It's not about forgetting what happened or excusing unacceptable behavior, but about releasing the grip of resentment and anger.

This allows both of you to move forward without being weighed down by past issues.

2. Apologize 

Apologizing is a cornerstone of a healthy and happy marriage. It's about taking responsibility for your actions and acknowledging when you've hurt your partner, even in instances where your intentions were good.

Sometimes, apologizing is necessary even when you don't feel you're entirely to blame. It's not about who's right or wrong; it's about valuing your relationship more than your ego.

A sincere apology shows that you prioritize your partner's feelings and the health of your marriage over being right. It opens up a space for healing and understanding, allowing both partners to discuss their feelings and perspectives.

3. Don't be afraid to argue

One of the many myths of a healthy relationship is that you don't argue.

That's just not true.

All couples have arguments from time to time, and it's expected that tensions will run high every now and then.

Arguments are part of a relationship. In fact, they can make them much stronger, as long as you deal with them the right way.

If you can deal with arguments correctly and come out of them better off, your partner will be much more open to you and will feel more comfortable to let you know when they're unhappy. Then, you can avoid having more of them in the future.

4. Listen

Always take the time to listen to your partner, and listen intently.

This is easy enough at times when you're discussing common interests, but you also need to listen when your partner is talking about something that you might not find interesting. It could be of great importance to them.

Even the little things, like asking how their day is going, will make all the difference. 

If your partner doesn't feel as though you're paying attention, they could begin to feel lonely and disconnected from you.

5. Appreciate

Even after the 'honeymoon period' is over and things don't seem as rosy as they once did, never forget to show your appreciation for your partner.

It's all too easy to take your partner for granted once you get used to them.

If they don't feel appreciated, they might begin to think that you don't need or want them around, and may even be tempted to stray from you.

That's why showing appreciation is one of the most important rules for a happy marriage. It's imperative that your partner knows that you love and value them.

Showing appreciation for the things your partner does also encourages them to continue those behaviors. If they feel loved, they'll be a better partner for you.

This goes both ways. 

6. Embrace change

When asking people who are on the verge of divorce what pushed them to it, you often hear “s/he's not the same person I married”. 

Your hobbies, your bodies, your lifestyles, and even your opinions on some subjects, will inevitably change.

No one stays the same forever.

The things that happen in our lives shape us, and sometimes irreversibly change us, whether it's for better or for worse.

Don't get too hung up on nostalgia, fantasizing about how it used to be. Instead, embrace what your relationship is right now. 

You need to embrace the changes that take place in you and in your partner, and it's important that you do this together. 

Growing together is an incredibly intimate thing, and it will bring you closer than ever before. 

7. Be a team

The happiest of couples often refer to themselves as 'a team,' because that's effectively what a successful marriage is.

When you're experiencing challenges or problems in your lives, face them together. If you're a good team, you're much stronger together than you ever will be apart.

An important part of this is not shutting your other half out when you're going through difficulties. Trying to face them alone could alienate them and cause problems in your relationship.

It's important to let them in. If they're fully aware of what you're going through, they'll be better-equipped to help you with it. 

As people always say, a problem shared is a problem halved.

This doesn't mean that you have to lose sight of your individuality. In fact, it's important that you make time for yourself and the things you enjoy that don't involve your partner.

8. Respect each other

One of the greatest rules of a happy marriage is respect.

Even when you're fighting, you have to maintain respect for each other in order for things to work. 

It's important to keep calm when you have disagreements. It's OK to get angry, but never resort to name calling or spiteful comments. You'll only regret them later. 

9. Don't bring up past mistakes

This goes back to having good communication and forgiveness.

If you have raised an issue with your partner, after which they've apologized and you've solved the problem and moved on, you have to let it stay in the past.

You can't bring it up again to use as ammo in other arguments later down the line. That will only build resentment. 

10. It's ok to go to bed angry

This one may sound like the opposite of what you've heard a million times before, but it's one of the many myths of a healthy relationship

The concept that conflicts must be settled before going to sleep isn't always practical. Pressing for a resolution when either or both of you are unprepared can escalate the issue.

Occasionally, pausing to decompress and reflect may result in more effective resolutions the next day.

Prioritizing open, constructive communication is more important than adhering to a specific timeframe for resolving disputes.


If you follow these tips, you'll be much more likely to maintain marital bliss. 

If you feel as though your relationship isn't that easy and will need a little more work, read our post on how to overcome relationship challenges.