Happify did a recent infographic on the science behind a happy relationship. Seems to me that it isn’t really science at all but common sense. It boils down to couples that have positive interactions have relationships that last. It also stresses the negative impact having children has on relationships. This is something I see a lot, people underestimate the negative impact of children on the happiness of relationships. Obviously people are going to have children but I think we need to be more honest about helping parents prepare for what it means for a relationship especially when the children are young. When you don’t have children it is much easier to make your partner your focus. This means showing appreciation for all the little things that they do. So often when a marriage starts to get difficult it is because one or both spouses feel unappreciated. Say thank you even for the little things like taking out the garbage and see how that changes a relationship.
In regards to the things that make you crazy that your spouse does I suggest reframing them in your mind. What about thinking about how grateful you are to have a spouse that (fill in the blank here with annoying habits). Having worked with people suffering from grief they all say they would love to have the person they lost in their life doing said annoying thing. We so often don’t appreciate what we have until we have lost it. A happy life means we work very hard to appreciate what we have in the present.