One of the things Pastor Kurtis had us agree to do before he married us was to begin each day by putting our foreheads together before we got out of bed, and praying about the day ahead.

Sure does keep you close. You are allowed — and it’s recommended — to get up and brush your teeth first.

So this got us thinking about the things that regular folks — happy couples — do to stay happy. A partial list follows.

  • Let’s start with a tough one — give up the right to be right. Ouch. It’s human nature to want to be right. Some folks have raised it to an art form, with a commitment to be right at any cost. Even at the expense of the relationship. Sometimes it comes down to, ‘Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?’.
  • This one is really simple, yet so powerful. Hold hands whenever you can. While walking, while driving, while watching TV or a movie. Not a bad idea.
  • Years ago Sheryl Crow sang ‘All I wanna do, is have some fun’. We think this applies to couples too. It’s so easy to forget about this in the midst of jobs, bills and kids. And it’s even more necessary in the midst of all these things. Think of the things you used to do for fun as a couple, and then do them again.
  • Have couple friends with whom you can talk honestly about your relationship. It’s so easy to become isolated as a couple, and to lose perspective on what real problems really are. It takes a good friend to tell you that you are making much too big a deal about some little issue.
  • Along that line, learn from wise couples that have gone before you. Find an older couple that are happy and have been together for some years. Ask them for their perspective and secrets.
  • Date. Each other. Often. A regular date night is one of the most consistent suggestions we here from happy long-term couples. You can get a lot of great ideas for creative, fun and inexpensive dates at http://GreatDatesDoneCheap.com.

Jeff Herring is a former marriage and family therapist, and relationship coach, who teaches entrepreneurs to write articles about their expertise. Maritza Parra is a coach who has appeared on Oprah’s XM Radio Show ‘The Soul Series’ and teaches entrepreneurs how to create products to duplicate themselves for years to come. For more information see www.creativedateideas.com.

Fairytale Weddings January 2012