A lifelong marriage goes through many seasons.

The romantic honeymoon phase kicks off the journey, but soon enough, the couple often enters into the hectic young-children-and-little-sleep stage. Before they know it, those toddlers are teens … and then the high schoolers go off to college.

Pretty soon, that once fresh-faced husband and wife are coming home to an empty nest.

With all of these changes and challenges how can we keep our marriages healthy and happy?

It turns out there’s a “math” to contentment for couples… and, consequently, to a happy marriage.

Today we’re starting a two-day broadcast, “Making Your Marriage Happy Now and Later,” with authors Les and Leslie Parrott. During our conversation, the pair share how research shows that happiness can be summed up like this:

  • 10 percent circumstances
  • 50 percent our biological “set point” of happiness
  • 40 percent choices

And it’s in that 40 percent that we land during today’s program, because that’s what’s in our control. As Les points out, “40 percent of our emotional state is conditional on the things that we choose to focus on.”

So during our time together, the Parrotts describe six “happiness boosters” that will help you and your spouse create happier marriage, no matter what life stage you’re in. From gratitude to trying new things, the six “boosters” they describe will help revitalize your marriage and keep your relationship alive through life’s ups and downs.

What are the six boosters?

  1. Count your blessings. Nothing can increase happiness more quickly in a relationship than shared gratitude.
  2. Try new things. Falling into a routine, or even a rut, is easy. But that is a killer to happiness, so you’ve got to shake it up.
  3. Dream a dream. The moment a couple quits looking to the future together is the moment they become vulnerable to dissatisfaction.
  4. Celebrate each other. We all applaud the big things, but it’s the little and unexpected celebrations that can make or break a couple’s happiness.
  5. Attune your spirits. The soul of every husband and wife hungers for deeper connection and a greater sense of shared meaning, and when it’s found, happiness abounds. Married couples who attend church together tend to be happier than couples who rarely or never attend services.
  6. Add value to others. When a husband and wife do good beyond their marriage, happiness envelops their relationship like never before.

-Jim Daly

The Six Ways to Boost Happiness in Your Marriage


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