Marriage And Happiness: Will Marriage Make You Happy?

What's the scoop on marriage and happiness? Will marriage make you happy? Or will it make you unhappy?

Despite our fascination with weddings, roughly half of those who make it to the alter end up in divorce court . . . and divorce is a messy business that ill-affects children and casts a long shadow on the future. It is costly in terms of money, stress and emotions. So, ever wonder what the latest research says about marriage? Will it make you happy?

Or could it contribute to your unhappiness, misery and discontent?

Research Findings

Here's the good news on marriage and happiness. A positive relationship between marriage and happiness has been reported in the research for many years. Several large surveys show generally how much happier married people are than those who are unmarried. Married people report greater happiness than those who have never been married, and those who are divorced, widowed or separated.

But it's not just saying the vows that does the trick. Studies show that people who live with a partner are also happier than those who live alone. Both married men and married women are happier than unmarried individuals, but some studies suggest that marriage may confer slightly greater benefits on men than women.

And . . .

Marriage tends to:

-- make people consistently happy

-- help them to experience positive emotions and find deep levels of life satisfaction

-- Marriage may protect people against life's hardships by offering support and friendship from the spouse, who can serve as a friend and confidant

-- A spouse can serve as a valued and trusted decision making partner, lowering a person's stress level

People who live alone may feel the brunt of life's hardships, whereas married folks benefit from the kind of close, strong support a partner can afford.

To better understand the relationship between marriage and happiness, let's take a look at life satisfaction. Happily married people report greater levels of life satisfaction than others, and marriage can really boost a person's happiness or sense of subjective well being.

Joy, a sense of belonging and inner peace may flow from a happy marriage. When a marriage is really good, the benefits may be even greater, including a sense of euphoria with life or a real sense of ecstacy.

Of course, the problem is having a really good marriage! Maybe the question should be, Will a good marriage make you happy? A truly exceptional marriage will go a long way toward helping you gain true and lasting happiness.

Happy Individuals

Naturally, happy people tend to make the best possible mates or spouses, and they create the happiest marriages. Research indicates happy people may have the best chance of getting married, too.

Keep in mind, happiness, like depression, is contagious. Being around unhappy people will make most people less happy, whereas happy friends tend to lift us up!

Unfortunately, not many people know how to manage a marriage and get the most out of it. The art of building a happy marriage can be elusive . . .

And most married people could use some training in the area of making their marriages better. Or in responding favorably to their spouses. Especially important is learning how to respond to your mate when things are not going well.

As the facts demonstrate, a good marriage is worth the effort. Since marriage is important, and it can make you happy, I've added a list of powerful but simple tips you can use to improve your marriage.

Even if you have a good marriage, these tips can make your relationship more satisfying and enjoyable.

Happy Marriage Tips: A Baker's Dozen

1. Look on the bright side -- always try to be as positive and optimistic as you can be. A spouse's positive attitude leads to positive behaviors and a more satisfying relationship. Marriage and happiness will go hand-in-hand for you.

2. Talk often and be honest with your spouse -- don't play communication games.

3. If you think of yourself as being superior to your spouse, better get some help for your marriage. A perceived sense of superiority can trash a relationship fast!

4. Take time to have fun and be kids again -- remain youthful and avoid taking yourselves too seriously!

5. If you have an argument or melt-down, repair the problem quickly -- be quick to understand, forgive and forget.

6. Be responsible for your own happiness and avoid blaming your spouse for your problems or unhappiness.

7. Learn to respond effectively to your spouse when you feel he/she is making you unhappy or upset. Avoid responses that will worsen the situation.

8. Give big problems or serious issues time to heal.

9. Each spouse should give the other plenty of support and encouragement to be all he or she can be in life . . . support, suport, support!

10. Each spouse should receive input and accept influence form the other. Stay clear of arrangements whereby one spouse influences the other, but it does not go both ways.

11. Marriages that distribute power evenly among both spouses are often happiest, as both spouses feel equally important and vital to the marriage, and no one feels inferior, less important, or left out.

And toxic resentment won't build up.

12. Avoid forcing changes upon your partner. Offer support and inspiration, but trust him/her to make needed changes. Don't nag or pressure your spouse, and watch your marriage and happiness grow together!

13. Put your best foot forward -- remember to strive to be your best every single day. Make sure you don't stop being polite and sensitive just because you got married. Don't stop listening. Don't start being a slob or acting like a lazy bum! Treat your spouse like the special person he/she really is . . . and don't stop, ever!

Try these tips and you'll enhance your chances of making your marriage a happy one -- one that fills you both with contentment and helps you to reach your personal goals, yielding great happiness and joy for both partners.

Marriage and Happiness: The Bottom Line

Will marriage make you happy? Despite the complications, yes, it can certainly help . . .

especially if you can follow simple but effective steps to make your marriage the best it can be.

If your marriage or romantic relationship is in trouble or facing significant problems, you may need to get professional help. Your marriage is worth it. Don't forget that marriage and happiness are two peas in a pod, so take good care of your marriage.

Remember: by learning how to respond to your partner wisely and effectively, you will change your entire life and revitalize your most precious relationship. Get more information on marriage and happiness, and our relationship coaching services here. Research on marital communication helps us predict whether a marriage will succeed or not. Marriages headed for failure tend to have plenty of red flags. They relate to bad habits that spouses have learned -- habits which are often difficult to break, even when people want to learn better ways of coping.

Traditional marital counseling often fails because it focuses on helping people to fight fairly or to keep the fights to a minimum. What works better is helping couples learn how to behave like other successful couples. In other words, the focus should be on learning success-oriented skill sets and good habits . . .

good, effective habits that will help you to easily and painlessly get the most of your marriage.

When both spouses are highly skilled at relationships, and each is working on improving himself/herself, both the marriage and happiness level will flourish.