10 Habits of Happy Couples

I just found and read this article yesterday, and I think it's really great.. That's why I want to post it here today so it can be a good reminder for myself (and maybe for you too :))

10 Habits of Happy Couples
By: Mark Goulston

What does it take to be happy in a relationship? If you’re working to improve your marriage, here are the 10 habits of happy couples.

1. Go to bed at the same time
Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn’t wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps.

2. Cultivate common interests
After the passion settles down, it’s common to realize that you have few interests in common. But don’t minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from appearing too dependent.

3. Walk hand in hand or side by side
Rather than one partner lagging or dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side by side. They know it’s more important to be with their partner than to see the sights along the way.

4. Make trust and forgiveness your default mode
If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can’t resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.

5. Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong
If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something. If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.

6. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work
Our skin has a memory of “good touch” (loved), “bad touch” (abused) and “no touch” (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the “good touch,” which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world.

7. Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” every morning
This is a great way to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.

8. Say “Good night” every night, regardless of how you feel
This tells your partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to be in the relationship. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger than any single upsetting incident.

9. Do a “weather” check during the day
Call your partner at home or at work to see how his or her day is going. This is a great way to adjust expectations so that you’re more in sync when you connect after work. For instance, if your partner is having an awful day, it might be unreasonable to expect him or her to be enthusiastic about something good that happened to you.

10. Be proud to be seen with your partner
Happy couples are pleased to be seen together and are often in some kind of affectionate contact — hand on hand or hand on shoulder or knee or back of neck. They are not showing off but rather just saying that they belong with each other.

Happy couples have different habits than unhappy couples. A habit is a discrete behavior that you do automatically and that takes little effort to maintain. It takes 21 days of daily repetition of a new a behavior to become a habit. So select one of the behaviors in the list above to do for 21 days and voila, it will become a habit…and make you happier as a couple. And if you fall off the wagon, don’t despair, just apologize to your partner, ask their forgiveness and recommit yourself to getting back in the habit.

Become More Like Jesus

Beberapa waktu yang lalu, aku pernah iseng tanya pertanyaan ini ke DM: "What is the biggest difference yang kamu alamin setelah kita menikah?" And dia jawab dengan singkat, padat dan jelas: "Now I have you in my life.." :)

Hmm... maksudnya?? (maklum namanya ceweq selalu perlu penjelasan yang lebih jelas lagi, haha..)

Intinya dia jelasin kalo sekarang after menikah ya udah gak bisa sama lagi kayak dulu waktu masih single. Dulu kalo mo ke mana-mana or mo ngapain sendiri ya cuek aja, but sekarang udah ada orang lain yang harus dipikirin (a.k.a sang isteri tercinta :p) Harus mikirin how to make her happy, how to provide everything for two people (soal finance misalnya), what she needs, dsb.

Sebaliknya, aku juga ngalamin hal yang sama.. Setelah menikah, aku gak bisa lagi cuma mikirin kebutuhan aku sendiri doang. Kalo mo ke mana-mana, aku pasti mikirin makanan buat suami di rumah (jangan sampe dia masak Indomie terus, haha..) or kalo mo masak, aku juga mikirin apa yang dia suka (bukan cuma apa yang aku suka). Kalo pergi belanja, aku malah keseringan beli barang-barang yang DM lagi perlu or kebutuhan-kebutuhan rumah, jadi jarang beli barang buat diri sendiri kayaknya :p

Selain itu, ada kegiatan-kegiatan yang sometimes juga harus kita korbanin demi pasangan kita. Or buat kita yang dulu waktu single tidurnya sendirian, sekarang you have to share your comfort bed with someone else (yang mungkin bakal ngeganggu jam tidur kita, hehe..) Everything change :)

And maybe beberapa di antara kita (terutama yang baru married) mulai mikir: "Kenapa ya setelah menikah kita gak bisa sebebas dulu?" Ya pastilah, haha.. meskipun belom punya anak, tetep aja setelah menikah you have another priority and another commitment :) Now we have someone who stick to us until the rest of our life, bahkan lebih dari anak-anak kita.

Ada satu statement yang aku lagi suka banget, ditulis Gary Thomas di dalam bukunya "Sacred Marriage". Dia bilang gini:

"If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there's no question - stay single. Marriage takes a lot of time. But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can't imagine any better thing to do than to get married. Being married forces you to face some character issues you'd never have to face otherwise."

Lewat pernikahan, karakter kami berdua bener-bener banyak dibentuk. Jujur aja, selama aku hidup, DM adalah orang yang paling Tuhan pake buat ngebentuk aku, hehe.. Kita juga sama-sama hadapin konflik yang belom pernah kita alamin sebelumnya (apalagi buat orang stabil kayak DM yang jarang punya masalah, haha..) Karakter kita yang jelek-jelek koq juga jadi bisa keluar semua ya? LOL! :p

Ternyata pernikahan itu bukan kayak di dongeng, yang after wedding langsung "Happily Ever After". But pernikahan itu sebenernya sekolah karakter :) Banyak character issues yang Tuhan mau uji and mau beresin dalam pribadi kita masing-masing. Tuhan pakai pasangan kita to bring us to become more like Jesus day by day :) Lewat pernikahan, kita juga belajar to love our spouse with unconditional love.. how to keep loving them meskipun mereka nyebelin and gak berubah-berubah, hehe.. To love them like what Jesus has done to us.. Husband and wife relationship is the picture of relationship between Christ and the church.. :)

So, buat kalian yang masih single (terutama buat yang bakal menikah soon), selain sibuk sama persiapan wedding and segala macem urusannya yang bikin ribet, hehe.. Prepare your heart to be shaped by God.. Siapin hati yang mau belajar and terus dibentuk lewat pasangan kita.. Minta Tuhan hati yang mau berkorban and a desire to become more like Him everyday.. :)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
- Philippians 2:3-4

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