While there are many secrets to getting along with the love of your life during the ugly, tense, and smelly times, the number one thing you should embrace is the ability to just let stuff go. “You have to choose between being right or being happy,” says Claudia Six, Ph.D.
“Happy couples let go of being right.” That good old “forgive and forget” mechanism is a majorly necessary component to any successful long-term relationship because it allows us to prioritize the future, instead of getting stuck in the past.Here, six relationship experts share the things happy couples are able to put behind them, pronto.
1. Who’s Doing More
“Happy couples work as a team. They don’t sweat the small stuff, like who loaded the dishwasher yesterday and who made more money this month. They have a common goal and understanding of working together to live their best lives possible.” —Kelley Kitley, L.C.S.W and founder ofSerendipitous Psychotherapy
2. The Past
“Often in relationships, we compare our current love interest to a past lover, which can result in developing forms of insecurities, inadequacies, and ineffectiveness in moving forward. If one wants to truly enjoy their current situation and remain happy, one has to effectively let go of any past situations.”—Alexis Nicole White, author and relationship expert.
3. The Need to Be in Contact 24/7
“People had happy relationships before texting. You will have so much more to talk about at the end of the day if you haven’t dragged the person through your day with text messages. When you are together, shut the world out for a while. Silencing your cell phone lets the other person know that they are the most important thing in your life right now.” —Nicki Nance, Psy. D.
4. Bad Marriage Jokes
“Happy couples give no credence to the stereotypical putdowns of husbands and wives that are often featured in pop culture. They love each other and don’t seek to belittle, disrespect, or poke fun at each other like they may see on TV or film. If you’re not already aware of how common it is for marriage to be the brunt of many jokes, begin to notice the subtle and not so subtle messages about marriage you may be viewing on a daily basis.” —Shlomo Slatkin, licensed clinical professional counselor, and founder of TheMarriageRestorationProject.com
5. The Need for Secrecy
“Let go of privacy. I’m not talking about using the restroom with the door wide open, but rather being completely transparent with your mate. And unless your mate has given you a valid reason to doubt their loyalty, trust that there are no secrets between you. True intimacy has no secrets.”—Shawnda Patterson, relationship coach and author of The Dating Game
6. Feuds with In-Laws
“You really don’t like your partner’s parents. So what? Happy couples know that they’re not going to change their imperfect in-laws, and they put the relationship they have with their partner and the partner’s parents in perspective. Finding a sense of humor, as well as effective boundaries, are great ways to have a happy relationship by letting go of the fact that you just don’t like his or her parents too much.” —April Masini, relationship and etiquette expert and author of Think and Date Like a Man