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 won't be one of them. Read on for 10 of the best rules for a happy marriage. 

10 Ways to Make Your Marriage Last Forever

1. Forgive

Forgiveness is one of the main ingredients of a successful marriage.

Everyone makes mistakes. Your partner is bound to do things that upset you from time to time, but if you can forgive them, it will strengthen the bond between you.

2. Apologize 

One of the most important rules for a happy marriage is to apologize to each other. That sometimes means apologizing, even if you don't feel like you have anything to be sorry for. 

Often, apologizing is more about the happiness of your relationship than your ego. 

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 other half 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 other half, and it's important that you do that together. 

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

7. Be a team

The happiest 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. 

This also means letting go of previous relationships. Never compare your wife to a previous girlfriend, or your husband to a previous boyfriend.

10. Never go to bed angry at each other

This one is cliche, but it's true. 

Know that it's totally normal to get angry at each other, but try your best to resolve your problems before you go to sleep.

It's never good to be kicked out of the bedroom, sleeping on the sofa, or lying next to each other in resentment at night.

That just creates a wedge between the two of you.

Instead, try to talk things through until the both of you feel comfortable enough to sleep. Your marital bed should be a place of peace and sanctuary, not a warzone.

In conclusion

If you use 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 simplify a complicated relationship.

I would love to hear your comments or answer any questions you might have about this post.

Yours sincerely,   


Dr. Carissa Coulston, Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hons), MPsychol(Clinical), PhD, MAPS