Is the happily married couple a rarity?

My father and his wife, married for 15 years, hate each other. Oh, they try to play nice when others are around, but deep down, they can’t stand one another.

One of our best couple friends recently separated, after trying to save their marriage for over a year.

And there’s my friend who’s barely out of the newlywed stage, just celebrated her second anniversary this past summer. Her and her husband go weeks, sometimes months, without sex and full days without speaking, even though they’re in the same house.

And then there’s M and me… A fun loving, laid back couple that’s exceedingly happy to be together.¬†And I look around us and don’t see anything close to what we have.

It’s not that we’re perfect. We’re far from it. And we’ve had our issues, major issues that have come close to splitting us up. But they didn’t. We worked through them. It took, literally, blood, sweat, and tears, but it’s helped us learn what works for us.

So it makes me wonder, are happy couples normal? Or is it rare to find couples who actually like one another and enjoy each other’s company?

And it got me thinking about what makes couples work. I wonder what it is about M and me that allows us to be happy that other couples are missing.

So I can up with a list of things that may not necessarily work for everybody and every relationship, but that help to keep us happy and together.

Caitlyn’s Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Lots of Sex

Now, I’m not naive enough to believe that good sex can save a marriage, but I know from experience that it can’t hurt. No one has ever filed for divorce, saying, “You know, he just made me cum too much.” And I know sex can’t fix everything, but it can bring you closer, increase intimacy, and releases oxytocin, making you bond more.

Bite Your tongue

When your mother taught you not to say anything if you couldn’t say something nice, she wasn’t just talking about on the playground. Our partners tend to get us at our worst.We take things out on those closest to us because we know they’re safe. We can scream, yell, and say nasty things, and they’ll still love us when it’s done. Although they still love us, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay. In the long run, it causes sadness, anger, and resentment.

Learn to Let Go

We all fuck up from time to time. But if you want your marriage to work, you’ve got to learn to let go of past transgressions. All of them. If every time you fight, the time you got drunk and showered your tits to his friends in 2002 comes up, it needs to be dropped. Get over it, or don’t, but quit drudging it around through the mud.

Pick Your Battles

If you like to fight, then sure, fight about every little thing you r partner does that pisses you off. But if you don’t like to fight and want a happy marriage, pick your battles and pick them carefully. Does it matter if the toilet paper goes over or under? Does it matter if his socks are left on the floor? No. None of it matters. If you’re going to pick a battle, pick one that matters, one that you’re willing to lose your marriage over. If not, just let it roll.

Know Your Role

Now this one’s hard for most married couples. For M and me… not so much. That’s because we have our dynamic, the power exchange between us. And while many women, especially some of my feminist friends, may not really understand why I’ve “just given up” my say in our marriage, it’s not quite like that. See, because of the roles that we have defined between us, there are no pissing contests. We rarely get into the power struggles we used to when we were a “normal” couple. Am I saying every woman should be submissive to her husband? Fuck no. But maybe by setting roles and understandings, the pissing contests would cease.

Communicate

Perhaps on of the biggest issues with today’s couples is their struggle with communicating. In this crazy world of instant messaging and status updates, it’s harder than ever to sit down and talk to someone, even someone you love. Finding a way to talk to one another, really talk, is key to a lasting and happy relationship.

Have an Adventure

Science has shown that situations where adrenaline increases, so does attraction. So grab your partner and have an adventure. It doesn’t matter if it’s a backpacking trip across Europe, a hike across town, or a new sexy adventure in the bedroom. Just do something exciting that gets your heart pumping and do it together.

So What’s Your Secret?

I’ve given mine, tell us your secret to what keeps your relationship hot, happy, and healthy.