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4 Secrets To A Happy Marriage That Can Improve Any Relationship

Did you know that the rate of infidelity in American marriage hasn’t increased in 20 years, even though attitudes toward adultery have loosened in the past 40?

The University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project’s annual report is full of these revelations, including what makes the most successful married couples so happy.

Our friends at The Huffington Post have pared the report’s findings down to help us understand how to strengthen our relationships:

1. Marriage is as much an economic partnership as it is an emotional one.

The most recent recession helped families strengthen their bonds, mostly because couples needed to successfully navigate difficult financial times together.

Mutual belt-tightening and simple lifestyle shifts, like cooking and eating together at home unite families. This makes financial decisions, healthy communication, and quality time easier.

2. It’s OK to switch traditional financial responsibilities.

Generally, women tend to make everyday purchasing decisions in a household while men make long-term investment choices.

However, the UVA National Marriage Project suggests flipping the responsibilities.

Furthermore, in investing, men may feel overly confident whereas women may seek out financial advice from a professional. This difference could ultimately lead to more prudent financial choices in a relationship.

3. Accumulating “stuff” doesn’t make for a happy relationship.

Making sure that you and your partner both agree on how to divide the family budget is an important first step toward marital harmony.

However, if you still feel like a sports car, a house or a gold-plated toilet will make you, your marriage, or your family more whole, you’ll undermine the ways that your partner can satisfy you.

Happy couples know that happiness comes from their union, not material possessions.

4. Be comfortable and confident enough to define your own roles.

For the past few decades, the idea of the man as main breadwinner has gone the way of the Dodo.

Men can be caregivers, and women can be breadwinners. Moreover, if you allow your roles to shift naturally, you may find yourself happier in your marriage. All household contributions are valuable, and once you realize that it doesn’t matter who does what, you’ll each find what makes you feel happiest and most productive.

Time communicating, compromising, and prioritizing your partner is the ultimate way to strengthen your marriage. When you try out these strategies, you’ll see your partnership improve in the best ways.

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