Can Two People Really Live Happily Ever After?

It is known that weddings can be fun but staying happily married can be a lot of hard work.

It’s really endearing when I see an old couple holding hands at the supermarket. However, I’ve also seen couples that clearly are not happy being together. One spouse is usually speaking ill about the other, and there’s a lot hurt and frustration in the relationship.

How does it happen? Did they marry the wrong person?

What is the TRICK?

Every couple goes through ups and downs. There will be rough patches. It is normal! The key here is what they do when things get challenging.

In the book, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, Drs Les & Leslie Parrott share their learning from a pilot who explained that the important thing about landing a plane is the attitude of the plane. The attitude has to do with the nose of the plane. If the attitude is too high, the plane will come down bumpily. If it’s too low, the plane may go out of control because of excessive landing speed. The trick is to get the right attitude despite atmospheric conditions.

The trick to having a happy marriage is developing the right ATTITUDE despite the circumstances they find themselves in.

It is also choosing to make happiness a habit.


Most negative people feel they could be positive if only they had a better house, a better income, a better spouse. However, we all know that a person with a negative attitude will always have a negative attitude no matter what!

There are so many unhappy couples because either one of the couples have developed a negative mindset, blaming their spouse for things they did or didn’t do.

Example 1:

Hubby: Where’s the car keys? You never put them back where they belong.
Wife: I didn’t take your stupid car keys. Why do you always blame me for everything?

Fight begins!

Example 2:

Hubby: Where’s the car keys? You never put them back where they belong.
Wife: (He’s blaming me again. I feel like telling him I don’t know where his stupid car keys are,
but then I know we’ll end up arguing about it. Ok, let’s focus on the problem.) When was the last time you used the car?
Hubby: I don’t remember.
Wife: Didn’t you go out this morning?
Hubby: Oh yes, I put it by the shoe shelves. Sorry.

A positive person will take responsibility for their own feelings.

Instead of putting the issue between them, and thinking the partner is against them. Couples need to learn to put the issue in front of them and see the situation in a positive light and work as good teammates.

Also, note that using the words like “You never…” or “You always…” does not help in the conversation because it puts the other person on a defensive mode.


Life gets busy. The work responsibilities, children, household chores. The list is endless, and it gets too easy for spouses to take each other for granted. We just shuffle through the daily conundrums and completely miss paying attention to each other’s needs.

Here’s where I would like to introduce a concept of checking in on each other. Dr John Gottman calls this concept “turning towards” your partner. In this concept, every time you turn towards your partner’s bids for emotional connection, you are making a deposit into their emotional bank account.

Example 1:

Hubby: Honey, I’m home!
Wife: Hi, dear! [Wife is busy buying groceries online and doesn’t look up.]

No conversation carried further. Hubby exits the room.

Example 2:

Hubby: Honey, I’m home!
Wife: Hi, dear! How was your day?
[Wife looks up from her device and turns towards him]
Hubby: It was pretty interesting! My boss resigned, and you know what…
Conversation continues.

When spouses turn towards bids, the bidder hears:

  • I’m interested in you.
  • I hear you.
  • I’d like to be with you.
  • I care for you.
  • You matter to me.

Habit #3 – CARE FOR SELF

This may sound selfish to some but it’s a concept that I feel is so vital for the happiness of a couple. Jerry Maguire was half right when he told his wife Dorothy that she completed him.

The fact of the matter is we are to be a whole single person when we marry another person. It’s too much of a pressure to put on another human to complete you. They can add to your life and edify it, but we are to be fully responsible for our own happiness.

There was a time when I had not cut my hair for a long time, and I felt lousy about myself. I then lamented to my husband about it.

His response surprised me. He asked me, what was stopping me to get a haircut? In my mind, I thought I was trapped because I was taking care of things at home and the kids. There was no time for selfish and frivolous things like shopping or getting a haircut. I thought I was “sacrificing” myself for my family.

After that incident, I realized that my family would be much happier to be around a happy me, than a grumpy unkempt mommy.

So, remember to care of yourself. Catch up with friends, read a book, pick up a hobby, play a sport. Make it a habit to do something that makes you happy. Your spouse will thank you for that.

Encourage each other to do things we love and love the things we do. Life is too short to be anything but happy!


So, it is possible for two people to live happily ever after. Remember that it’s in your control. Life is not always going to be a bed of roses, but let’s have the wisdom to choose our attitude in each circumstance. Have the habit of happiness.

  1. Choose Positive
  2. Check In On Each Other
  3. Care for Self

The bottom line is married couples can stay happy if they decide to be happy.

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