5 Things Super-Happy Couples Do Every Day
Him: "Umm, uh did you say something?"
And, well, there you have it.
Happily married couples typically say their relationships work better when they
can sit down and gab one-on-one, like thinking, feeling adults. But who's got
time for that? Actually, anybody who sleeps at night, if you follow the lead of
Julie and Thom and their nightly visits to their "igloo."
"It all started one winter night years ago, when Julie had had a really
bad day," says Thom, 33, a marketing director in Columbus, Ohio. "We
were huddled under the covers of our bed, and Julie was describing how all the
people who made her day miserable were 'bad polar bears' and how she didn't
want any of the bad polar bears coming into the bedroom and how the bed was our
refuge from them. You realize how embarrassing it is to admit this, right?
Anyway, that's when we started calling the bed the igloo."
"The igloo is a place to retreat to," says Julie, 31. "It's our
little sanctuary; only nice things happen in the igloo."
Eventually Julie and Thom began holding a powwow in the igloo at the end of
every day, making a nightly excursion that Julie says has become a vital part
of their five-year marriage.
"It's funny, because I always thought that when you lived with somebody,
you'd automatically know everything that was going on," she says. "But
we find that if we don't take that time to connect with each other, it's really
easy for life to get in the way. The igloo offers one of the few times in the
day where there's not a whole heck of a lot else going on, so you're able to
focus on each other in a deeper way."
Of course, you don't need to christen major pieces of furniture with cute
nicknames to improve the communication in your marriage. You simply have to set
aside a few minutes every day to remind each other of why you got married in
the first place. And there are as many ways to do that as there are marriages
Lori and Joe, who are happily married in Philadelphia, have a nightly ritual
they call crook time. That's when Lori cuddles up in the "crook" of
Joe's shoulder and they talk. "The name's a little sappy," Lori admits,
"but it's always a nice way for us to catch up."
Every night, Angie and Bob walk their pet Chihuahua, Chachi, through the
streets of Brookline, Massachusetts. In addition to keeping Chachi from picking
dogfights he could never win ("He has a bit of a Napoleon complex," Bob
says), they use the time to strengthen their 11-year marriage.
It may be going a bit far to emulate Tim and Jill, a Connecticut couple who
somewhat sheepishly admit that they check in with each other from work
"six, maybe seven times a day," Tim says, "sometimes a dozen times
when we're really being crazy." (Jill says, slightly more defiantly,
"He's just my best friend, and our marriage is a great partnership, and
there's no one I'd rather talk to.")