5 Things Super-Happy Couples Do Every Day
By Ty Wenger
Lord knows this is not the sort of thing guys brag about. But my wife and I
have a ridiculously happy marriage. Really, it's almost disgusting.
We paw each other in public. We goof around like a pair of simpletons. We
basically act like giddy newlyweds in the middle of happy hour. Sometimes we'll
do something so revolting, like sitting on the couch and drawing smiley faces
on the bottoms of each other's feet, that we're forced to make hacking, gagging
noises to maintain our dignity. Actually, this happened just last week.
See, I told you it was disgusting.
It hasn't always been this way. In fact, I'm not ashamed to admit that our
current marital bliss is the result of almost a year of counseling, a desperate
effort undertaken several years ago, when we appeared destined for doom. What
we learned then is something all happy couples eventually discover: A good
marriage is a bit like a pet boa constrictor: either you feed it every day or
bad things happen. Daily habits are extremely helpful in forging solid
marriages, says couples therapist Tina Tessina, author of How to Be a Couple
and Still Be Free. "If you're really interested in making your
relationship work, little rituals are a great way to do it."
Want examples? Look no further than Tessina and her husband, Richard, who
have developed an array of daily relationship builders during their 19 years of
marriage: Every morning, they repeat their wedding vows to each other; they
hold regular state-of-the-union meetings; and (my personal favorite) Tina
routinely leaves Post-it Notes for Richard ("Hi, honey! Have a great
day!") stuck to the underside of the toilet seat (think about it).
"Every marriage has what I call a relationship reservoir, or the
stored-up emotional energy of the relationship," says Tessina. And although
these daily habits are all very simple things, they help fill that reservoir.
When there's a lot of positive energy there, you give each other a little pat
on the butt or say, "I'm so glad I'm sharing my life with you," and
you're storing it up. Then when the relationship is under stress, you'll have
the energy you need to get through.