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For many married couples, falling in love and saying “I do” was the easy part. Living happily ever after is the part that takes a whole lot of work — they know that the real relationship begins when the honeymoon is over.
Couples these days are savvy with a multitude of information at their fingertips, but one thing they will tell you is that they too learn by experience — trial and error.
1. Once a week affair
Don’t drive yourself crazy when your friends talk about all the awesome sex they’re having, though it can be tempting to compare your own with theirs. What’s normal? Marriage therapists say “normal” is different for everyone, but more isn’t better. Research shows that the happiest couples have sex just once a week.
2. Privacy is important
According to The Secret Lives of Wives by Iris Krasnow, each person is entitled to the “secrets that aren’t hurting anyone else.” For example, sometimes secrets are more about having privacy, and when we’re around someone 24/7, there are bound to be a few things that may be better left unsaid.
3. Age actually matters
According to one study, delaying marriage not only means women are enjoying a higher socioeconomic status, but those who marry later also tend to have a lower divorce rate.
4. Separate beds, anyone?
This may sound rather drastic, but one study says couples who sleep in separate beds may see some relationship improvement. Some people even opt to live in different houses – sometimes due to logistical issues and sometimes by choice.
5. Go on holidays as a couple
A study by Headwater Holidays says that couples who take two vacations per year are the happiest. Obviously, vacations are always amazing – but for couples, they’re even better. Fifty five per cent of the couples surveyed claim that they are more likely to make time for each other on holiday than at any other time of the year. Here’s a holiday idea that’s bound to make you feel closer after your trip.
6. Be BFFs
According to a study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, researchers found that people who placed an emphasis on the friendship aspect of their relationship were happier, and, yes, more sexually satisfied.
7. Have separate accounts
A survey reveals that 42 per cent of couples who have joint accounts also keep separate ones. It’s more for independence and convenience – especially in an emergency. You’ll never have to hear, “You bought what with my money?!” again.
See other reasons why keeping separate accounts may be better for your relationship.
8. Work out together
Consider taking things like dance classes together. It promotes intimacy, communication and pheromones. Worried you’ve got no rhythm? Don’t worry – laughter never hurt anyone, either.
9. Be willing to say sorry
A good, old-fashioned quibble is a good thing, according to several studies (including one done by Dr Jane Greer). Just remember to say you’re sorry, because that’s also key to success. See other easy relationship rules to live by here.
10. Be able to travel separately
Couples need to balance their time spent together and apart, say marriage counsellors. It’s good for couples to take alone time a step further, and that it’s healthy (and common!) for couples to go on vacation separately.
This story was first published on www.womensweekly.com.sg.