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The Secret to a Happy Marriage Is NOT Communication, Experts Say

Reader's Digest logo Reader's Digest 17/07/2017 Brooke Nelson
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It should go without saying that even happy couples fight. Still, with 40 to 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, the way you bicker might be more important than you realize.

Think about the last argument you had with your partner. What was the root cause? If you pick fights over something you won’t remember in two or three weeks’ time, it could be a secret sign your marriage is headed for divorce. Thankfully, there’s now an easy way to avoid it!

Kara Lawler, blogger for Mothering the Divide, recently shared a bit of marriage advice with TODAY. According to her, one of the most surprising secrets of happily married couples is not their constant communication—but lack thereof.

It may seem counterintuitive, but hear us out. Every cohabitating couple can relate to those small annoyances and grievances about living with their partner. But all that little stuff is exactly that: stuff.

Lawler writes that she resists the urge to pick fights about the little things, like when her husband leaves his shoes in the hallway or coats on the chairs. Doing so makes room—and saves energy!—for more important disagreements, she says. 

'For us, the secret seems to be in staying quiet about one another’s insignificant faults but at the same time, speaking up when needed—like over essential things, character things, big things, kid things, but mostly in doing so gently and with respect,' Lawler writes. 'Sometimes, we do it loudly, I guess, but we choose our battles carefully.'

Their relationship isn’t flawless, by any means. Still, though Lawler and her husband may bicker, they choose to work through those arguments together.

'Perfection in any relationship is just an illusion,' Lawler wrote. 'It’s not always roses and champagne. It’s hard work; it is disagreement sometimes; it’s choice; it’s forgiveness; it’s acceptance.'


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