The Secret to Having a Happy Marriage

These expert tips may help you live happily ever after.

By Sara Stillman Berger Jun 28, 2019Glasses, Eyewear, Beard, Facial hair, Zombie, Photography, Dessert, Sunglasses, Suit, Gesture, GETTY IMAGES

All that dancing and laughter—weddings are a lot of fun, but being married isn’t always a piece of cake. (Sometimes it’s more like the frosting chunk that went up your nose during the smash—good intentions, but wrong outcome.) There’s actually a lot of work that goes into living “happily ever after,” so whether you’ve been married for years or just tied the knot, we asked the experts what couples can do to have a happy marriage. Follow their helpful tips for a stronger, healthier and yes…more blissful bond.

First of all, even happy couples argue.

No marriage is happy all of the time. “Like all relationships, there are ups and downs,” says psychologist Erica MacGregor. But when you do fight, happy marriages listen to each other’s point of view, recognize when the argument is going off the rails, and make the necessary repairs, she says. In fact, Dr. Juliana Morris, a family and couples therapist, says that some of the happiest couples she has worked with “have weathered hard times.” So if you and your spouse sometimes argue, or are going through a rough patch, this does not necessarily mean you are in an unhappy marriage. In fact, it probably means you’re normal.

Focus on each other’s strengths.

It’s not always easy to see past minor annoyances, and at times you may even hate your partner. But to have a happy marriage you have to accept your partner’s strengths and weaknesses and be able to set realistic expectations, says Ellen Chute, LMSW. For example, if you’re better with numbers, don’t get angry when they misbalance the checkbook. Instead, make it your job to set the budget. If their strength is cooking, they can manage meal planning instead. “Using our strengths on a daily basis is associated with greater well-being,” says Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, co-author of the book book Happy Together, which she wrote with her husband James Pawelski, PhD. “And when we help our partner use their strengths we experience more relational satisfaction,” she says.

Read the other 8 Tips: How to Have a Happy Marriage – 10 Strong Marriage Tips (

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