Marriage is meant to be fun, right? Why do we walk into it seeking perfection instead?
Marriage expert Dr. Les Parrott and his wife Leslie wrote a book called Making Happy: The Art and Science of a Happy Marriage. They share six dials that a couple can ‘turn’ – to improve and enjoy their relationship:
Count your blessings
Les suggests making a list, or using a gratitude journal. Scientifically, practicing gratitude improves your mood and raises your level of happiness
Try new things
Les points out that trying new things “releases a shower of neuro-chemicals in the brain that brings the couple back to when they were first falling in love.”
Dream a dream
Rather than becoming too tactical, “dreaming is what instills and cultivates hope in a relationship. Hope presumes a future together.” Les offers a few things to dream about – vacations, building a bucket list, a future home or ministry.
Celebrate each other
Research has shown that when we don’t take time to celebrate even the small things, the overall mood of the relationship declines.
Attune your spirits
In Les’ words, “Every marriage, we say, has a thirst, has a hunger that longs for a deeper connection. That deeper connection comes through shared meaning – this has to do with walking together with God.”
Add value to others
Serving as a couple builds your trust in your spouse and increases your love for others. Les points out that couples who give and put others first are statistically happier and more loving than couples who don’t practice giving and serving, both inside and outside the Church.
You can hear the full discussion with Les and Leslie below.