Uncovering the Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Uncovering the Secrets to a Happy Marriage


Julie and Clay’s first baby was due any time. To celebrate and to enjoy one last date night before the baby’s birth, Julie planned a romantic dinner. That evening, Julie was first to arrive at their favorite restaurant, and waited.

And waited.

Clay was supposed to come there straight from work, but after twenty minutes he was still a no-show.

Julie called his phone. No answer.

Thirty minutes passed.

Then an hour.

Clay and Julie eventually lost their reservation, and Julie’s expectations for the night were ruined. When Clay finally walked in the front door of the house later that night, Julie was relieved … then she felt angry that he had been so inconsiderate to her.

How would you have responded in that moment?

Julie took a step back. “Wait a minute,” she thought. “I know he was looking forward to our evening together as much as I was. He must have a good reason for being so late.”

Sure enough, an important client had called at the end of the day, and Clay’s boss was in the room helping to make sure Clay had the answers he needed. Especially with layoffs on the horizon and a baby coming, Clay didn’t feel it would be wise for him tell his boss he had to leave.

Julie could have escalated that scenario into full-blown conflict. Instead, she chose to assume the best – not the worst – about her husband. Her approach preserved their happiness by giving him a chance to explain himself without accusation. It also became a positive deposit in their relationship. She trusted her husband’s heart for her even when circumstances might have suggested otherwise.

According to speaker and author Shaunti Feldhahn, assuming the best about your spouse is just one of the things happy couples do. She conducted a national survey, interviewing over 1,000 couples who said they were happy in their marriages. She found 12 common traits among them.

She’s with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Uncovering the Secrets to a Happy Marriage” to share her findings. Listen to our broadcast on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or take us with you on our free phone app. This program is part of our “Best of” programs for 2022, airing throughout the month of December.

Shaunti’s book The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things That Make a Big Difference is available for a gift of any amount. And when you help Focus on the Family today with a gift, your donation will be DOUBLED for twice the impact in helping others through this ministry. Our thanks to generous donors who’ve made that possible. For more information, click here. Or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).



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