Relationship Minute: Happy house

There’s an old, well-meaning if misguided saying, “happy wife, happy life.” Maybe a better way to update and reimagine that is, “happy spouse, happy house.”

“Happy wife, happy life,” implies a sort of “yes, dear,” “whatever you say, dear,” attitude—resigned, and maybe resentful. But there’s a big difference between that and accepting influence, which is a two-way street.

Foster a culture of reciprocity. Rather than thinking about what your partner isn’t doing for you or what you’re not getting from them, try to notice the ways they are doing their best and dig into ways you can show up for each other better.

You may even want to take out the guesswork and ask them, “what can I do to make you feel loved today?”

Because when the relationship is solid and has reciprocity, it creates a better environment for everyone.

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.