Why do some married couples seem to be so happy, and is it something every marriage can achieve? Noted researcher, speaker, and author Shaunti Feldhahn returns to report her latest findings on The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages. Shaunti shares that after she spent time researching the minds of men and women, she was curious how they built successful and happy relationships. She points to a number of factors:
- Boss around your feelings – choose to believe the best about your spouse! Use your self-talk to build up your spouse and calm yourself, rather than starting an inner dialogue about how they’ve just hurt you or let you down.
- Recognize the difference between brutal honesty and shared honesty.
- Spend time with your spouse. Friendships are built on geographic proximity, rather than shared interests. Shaunti’s research found that happy couples spend more time together, not less. This increased their transitions from moments of conflict to moments of peace.
- Have a secret signal for when you’ve made up. Shaunti spoke to a couple who would touch pinkies after a fight, to signal that everything was okay between them.
- Go to bed mad. If you can’t resolve something, it’s okay to sleep on it, and in the morning the conflict will seem much smaller.
In the second part of the program, we took your calls to find out how YOU cultivate happiness in your marriage. Here’s what we found out:
- The importance of laughing with your spouse and appreciating a sense of humor – one caller referred to it as “Christian laughter”
- Spending time doing daily tasks with your spouse
- Don’t compare your husband or wife to other people
- Pray each day as a couple – it’s hard to stay angry with someone you’re praying with