Allan and I got married six years ago and over these years, we saw a lot of ups and downs, we face the inevitable situations, good times, bad times, and the ugly times but in the end, we grew together and we learned together. You know what they say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Well, our relationship never got to that point where this statement could be literally implemented but the point is that the little things that cause great confusions and misunderstandings are the ones that make a relationship stronger than before. When you get out of a troublesome situation, you only look back at it to laugh it off. This is how life is and problems arise at every step of it and we learn to deal with them. The one thing that we both have learned is that the key to happiness is to evolve.
Becoming parents, managing your finances, and maintaining your household does take a toll on the degree of your happiness but the answer is to learn from your mistakes and keep them from happening in the future – except for the times when you’re planning another kid, you can’t avoid the hard times in that scenario – sorry! (It isn’t that bad either, call it a bittersweet situation.)
Working out the Important Stuff BEFORE Marriage
The thing that gave our marriage great start is that we worked out all of the important stuff before marriage. One of the biggest challenges that any marriage faces is that the couple is unsure about their mutual goals. If there are any plans to be made or the compromises, working it out before taking your relationship to the final level is a great way to start and ensures a peaceful and happy marriage. In our case, we had already discussed that I would be leaving my job as a fitness trainer to raise the kids. There was nothing out of the blue and none of us had to compromise anything to achieve a mutual goal. Even though I was a fairly independent woman but we both knew that one of us would be leaving his job to raise the kids. We believe that working out the little things like this one, before our marriage, allowed us to be ourselves around each other.
Approach all Problems as a Team
In any stressful situation, approaching the problem that is causing that stress as a team is the best way for a couple to resolve it. If you’d take an example of any couple, everyone appreciates his/her partner during the good times and when they make any achievements but when you get married, you and your partner’s achievements as well as failures are supposed to be shared mutually. It is very helpful when you let your partner know that you’re dealing with a crisis alongside with him/her during any unpleasant situation. Discussing which one of you can bring what to the table to resolve a situation is the key to happiness during hard times. Another best thing that you can do to make the problem less meaningful in front of the relationship with your partner is to address the problem as “it”. Pointing fingers is an absolute waste of time and energy which drains you and your partner of the energy required to overcome a problematic situation.
Laugh it Off
As soon as you understand that you are a human being and you cannot control everything, you and your partner find your way to happiness. Taking any unwanted situation lightly removes the stress that otherwise you and your partner would be dealing with. As a couple, Allen and I, are always joking around about the things that we have no control over. For example, if you didn’t put your kid in a diaper and you’re dealing with a tank full of pee on your leg then instead of losing your nerves, laughing it off can help. Laughter in a relationship is like fuel that keeps everything going. Generally, you have a lot of it during the early stages of a relationship but the real thing is to keep it going as the years pass by. Don’t let the daily life stress have a toll on the child in you and your partner. Life is what it is and no one can afford to live without doing the mature but filling in the silences with a laugh can help fuel things up.
Have a Balance between Work and Family Life
You would have heard it countless times before that the key to a happy household is the perfect balance between work and family life. Allen suggests and I agree that it is very important to leave the work stress at the office. Sharing what’s bothering you with your partner do help but it is very important to understand that your work responsibilities are only yours and no other person can see things from your point of view even if it’s your partner. Other than that, the key to happiness in a household is to leave the work to the office. The moment you step out of your work space, it is important to understand that you are only a human being and you have done your best and now it’s time for kicking back and relax with the family.
Add Exercise to Your Daily Routine
A little bit of exercise goes a long way in helping you maintain a good health and coping with stress. As a fitness trainer, I believe there is no type of stress and emotional imbalance that you cannot deal with using an intense workout session. To make things better, if you’re taking some time to get involved in a physical activity along with your family then there’s nothing better than that. You get to spend time with your partner and kids in a blank state of mind which helps out removing any negative feelings and emotions towards work, home life, and each other.
Follow Healthy Eating Habits
Where it might seem a little off topic but it is important to remember that everything that affects an individual, affects his/her relationship with the people they interact with and in this case, their family. If you’re a healthy person, you will be living your life to the fullest and will be able to be a good partner and parent at the same time. You won’t be dealing with any unnecessary stress and other unpleasant situations related to managing your work and family life. Enjoying junk food every now and then is only good when you’re already following a healthy eating habit in the first place.
Never Make Unreal Family Goals
In this age of electronic media, a lot of families deal with unnecessary stress just because they have goals and ambitions that are far from being normal. Being thankful for what you have and aiming to make each day of your life better than the one before is the key to happiness for any household. The very meaning of a family is a group of individuals who accept each other along with their shortcomings and failures. Always remember that it isn’t about the destination as much as it is about the journey – find happiness in the present and slowly work towards progress. Maybe read the Stockdale Paradox to make things clearer.