What Happy Couples Do!

Aug 24 2009

What Happy Couples Do!

What Happy Couples Do is a book I’m currently reading and subsequently finding to be a wonderful resource for engaged couples, newlyweds and yes, even couples {like me} with mileage under their marital belt.  It’s written by Carol J. Bruess, Ph.D. & Anna D.H. Kudak, M.A. and from the  book’s jacket, here’s what it’s about:

In this charming book, couples from around the world share clever, touching, and sometimes silly rituals of romance.  The authors show how these loving gestures, private nicknames, and other expressions of endearment help form enduring bonds between two life partners. It also goes on to conclude that the happiest couples are those who are most intentional and creative about their relationship.

Just a Few Nuggests of Wisdom …

{chapter 19 Invisible Bond} The work of marriage happens in the every day moments.  The how-was-your-day conversation.  The cup of coffee.  The medicine.  The donut hole.  The most mundane occurrences of our lives.  Do make sure you’re not missing those moments by thinking only about what could be.  Should be. Ought to be.  Once was.  Recognize that this is it.  these moments are your marriage.  That doesn’t mean you can’t do them better, differently, more thoughtfully.  What it does mean is that your invisible bond is being tightened or undone through and by these conversations.  These events. These gestures.  Little by little.  Forever and ever.

{chapter 35 No Sense in Worrying} The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s apathy.  And the opposite of empathy is selfishness.  In marriage, there is little room for selfishness, no room for apathy, and lots of room for knowing that you have a partner willing to experience what you experience and feel what you feel without expectation or judgment.

{chapter 42 Good and Stubborn} One of the key characteristics of couples in happy and enduring marriages, research shows, is stubbornness.  Yes, couples who are good and stubborn about keeping their marriages strong and healthy through the inevitable ups and downs report the happiest and most stable marriages.

{45 Adam’s Suit} Research shows that positivity in marriage is contagious. Kind words. Loving gestures.  Each is likely to be responded to in kind.  Negativity is the same, but more insidious. Which force would you rather have prevail in your marriage. The safe, gentle pull of joy, kindness and positivity?  Or the wild spinning of negativity and contempt?

So, what exactly are these “happy” couples doing?

Just a few “Rituals of Romance”

  • the couple that find each other’s hands in bed at night to pray out loud together…
  • the couple that write steamy notes to each other in brand-new jars of peanut butter…
  • the couple that encourages positivity and openness by having a weekly discussion~ where they acknowledge successes and little extras they’ve done throughout the week
  • the husband who every day, brings his wife a new “flower of the day” from the garden
  • the couple that put up their “dumb” “plastic” I love you banner here and there to lift a mood/brighten the spouse’s day
  • the empty-nester couple that grows toward one another by helping others~ they helped open a hospice house for real people with terminal illnesses…
  • the husband who scratches his wife’s back til she falls asleep, OR the husband who clips his wife’s toenails {srsly?}, OR the husband who twirls his wife’s hair & playfully sticks it up her nose… AND many more stories.

THE POINT: every couple has their own unique nuances poignant to them and only them!

Reading this book of course, gets me thinking about my own marriage and our rituals and nuances, etc.  You know, the mundane occurrences.  Like every time I put my feet up, my husband grabs them and rubs them. Every time.  And, I’m so glad I’m seeing this sweet “mundane” act with new eyes. {I love you honey… along with your silly antics that make me giggle every day!}

There are so many ways to say I LOVE YOU… and most of which are FREE!  Check out the book, I recommend it. Let me know if you do and what you think of it.

What Happy Couples Do site

What Happy Couples Do Blog

What Happy Couples Do up.s. this is NOT a sponsored post!


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6 thoughts on “What Happy Couples Do!

  1. Thanks for the great review of our book! We are always touched when readers find the stories inspiring enough to blog about them, share with others, and allow them to affect their own lives and relationships. Three cheers for happy couples everywhere!

  2. We celebrate our anniversary monthly . . . it’s fun, keeps it fresh and gives us something to look forward to as we’re tightening our belt on our other out-and-about activities. The book looks great, especially like the day-to-day sharing of life…that’s where happiness is I think.

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