They say you should marry your best friend, but not all happily-married couples start out that way, and most don't find themselves headed in that direction. Where do the great intentions, beautiful vows and magnetic attraction go?
The answer: Entropy.
Entropy is as google puts it, "lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder".
Our communities, bodies, inboxes and relationships tend naturally to become disordered rather than ordered; dysfunctional rather than functional. It takes effort and hard work to maintain a beautiful home, happy body and good friendships. Marriage is no different.
Marriage and all other man-made things will gradually decline into disorder.
You are never done building a marriage. You can never simply rely on those strong foundations you built all those years ago or hope that the new rot will go away on its own. You have to look for ways to build, fumigate and chuck out what no longer works for the two of you. Continually.
Here are the daily habits of happy couples across the globe.
1. Listen - Happy couples communicate throughout the day. They chat over breakfast, text whilst at work and simply, keep each other in the loop. Happy couples share the daily ups and downs as well as pictures of fat cats and rainbows. It sounds cheesy but regular interaction is a must. Heart-to-hearts need to be frequent and not precipitated by crises.
2. Laugh - Happy couples choose to laugh together. Personal jokes, harmless teasing, tickles and laugh-out-loud sitcoms can all be a source of shared joy. You want to want to be together? Make sure there's enough fun interspersed between all the chores. Chase each other around the house, ching chong cha for who does the dishes and play some pranks if you are so inclined.
3. Learn - Happy couples are continually learning and growing. They regularly say "sorry" and mean it. They stay interested in each other by celebrating new interests and learning AKA growing together. Same can be boring, but two folk that are evolving alongside each other is captivating.
4. Leave - Happy couples have interests outside the home. They are attached to one another because they choose to be, not because they have to be. Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder and so each partner should have opportunity for friends and hobbies and work and travel that they can enjoy away from their spouse. No guilt, no jealousy, no checking up. For love to grow there must be space to thrive.
5. Love - Love is a verb and requires action. It may be picking your sweetheart flowers, but it may also be climbing down a manhole to retrieve her lost keys. Stop serving each other and you risk becoming so focused on meeting your own needs that you stop serving (ie. stop loving) your partner. Purchase his favourite iTune, make her favourite meal, watch a Sci-fi and not a rom-com...
Remember you're fighting entropy, not your spouse.
Here's to happiness...