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Marriage Tips The secret to blissful marriage

"Happiness is not a result of happenstance. Couples who are happiest create that for themselves daily".

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Newly weds play

Newly weds

Mutual respect is not optional.

Over the past few years, I've posed this question to more than ten thousand happily married women: "What is the secret to your marriage?" Without question, the number one response is always mutual respect.

In our culture, we often hear how much men need to be respected. But when you sit in the presence of couples who've been happily married for 25 years or more, one thing becomes abundantly clear: There is no person on earth they respect more than one another.

See More:Marriage Tips 5 secrets to lifelong happy marriage

Happiness in marriage is a choice

Happiness is not a result of happenstance. Couples who are happiest create that for themselves daily. They determine each day to look for the best in each other. We all have an endless amount of flaws but the happiest couples are those who make a conscious decision to choose happiness each moment of every day.

You need to have your own thing

For many, saying "I do" is synonymous with losing a part of themselves. In marriage, more often than not, we focus on the importance of interdependence. What is often missed, however, is the beauty of independence.

A separate identity is important and keeps each person from "smothering" the other or becoming bored with one another. Having your own pursuits hobbies, work, volunteering ensures there is a new discovery to discuss with your spouse daily.

See More:Marriage Talk The best ways to talk to your spouse

Taking yourself too seriously is a major buzz kill

Without exception, every happily married couple I've interviewed over the years has fun with each other and laughs a lot. They don't take themselves or each other too seriously, and each can make jokes about the other without offending that spouse.

Your relationship should be lighthearted in nature and a remembrance that we are all incredibly flawed is helpful in that process.

Don't sweat the small stuff ... and it's all small stuff

In 2006, the author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, Richard Carlson, boarded a plane in San Francisco headed for New York at the age of 45 and never made it off. He was healthy, vibrant, and full of life.

In less than a few hours, his young wife became a widow. Happily married women recognize no breath beyond the current is promised, so they treat every moment with their spouse as if it were their last, according to the brides.

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