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Being Happy In A Relationship Is A Choice Not A Fate
[Image: couple.jpg?w=760&h=507&l=50&t=40]

What sets apart happy couples from those who aren't? There are usually several things that differentiate them, but ultimately, happy relationships require two emotionally healthy and loving people to commit to being the best partners they can be.
"Everyone needs compliments and they especially need them from their partner. You cannot give too many sincere compliments ― whether you have been together five years or 50. It can be simple things like saying, 'You look especially gorgeous today' to deeply felt statements like 'I was so proud of you today when you gave our son such wise advice,'" said Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology and certified sexologist.
It goes without saying that every couple gets into arguments, but happy couples always fight fair. Disagreeing in a marriage isn't a problem since it's a common occurrence; however, it's how couples work through their disagreements that will make or break them.
"Disagreements are opportunities to practice conflict resolution and build communication skills," said therapist Kurt Smith. "Take a look at your disagreements and see what bad habits each partner has when you disagree. Do you talk over each other? Get angry? Yell? Swear? Name call? Disengage? Each partner should make a list of their bad tendencies and use future disagreements to practice responding differently and building better communication skills."
At the same time, emotionally mature couples give each other the benefit of the doubt. It's not unusual for couples to feel that their partner is on a completely different team than they are, but psychologist Dr. Marie Land said that they always have to remember they care for one another and they are on the same team. "Giving your partner the benefit of the doubt is a great strength in a happy relationship," she said.
Fourth, happy couples focus on the things they like about their partner, rather than the things they don't. Doing so increases warmth and friendship between couple. However, couples therapist Kari Caroll quickly explained that this does not mean people throw their relationship standards out of the window.
"When these couples are met with perpetual problems, even then they find the humour in their differences and work to find temporary compromises that enable them to continue appreciating their partner for who they are," she said.
Lastly, healthy couples make it a priority to take time out off their busy schedules to reconnect with each other. Sex and relationship coach Celeste Hirschman said romance and excitement die down as the relationship progresses, but those who know how to show affection will end up happier down the road.
"They understand that in long-term relationships, affection and sex don't just happen, couples need to have a commitment to cultivating connection instead of hoping it just happens," she said.

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