What are the tricks to a happy marriage?

Make Time for Fun

Don't settle for another night of bad television -- get out there and have some fun!
Don't settle for another night of bad television -- get out there and have some fun!
© iStockphoto.com/RushOnPhotography

In 2009, a study was published that had people running for their spouses' old yearbooks. Researchers found that people who frowned in old photos were five times more likely to get a divorce than people who had smiled for the birdie way back when [source: Moskowitz]. The study's researchers couldn't say definitively why the smilers had better luck in marital affairs, though there were theories that these people had more positive dispositions and were able to have a healthy, happy outlook on life.

Even if your yearbook photographer caught you unawares, it's never too late to start injecting your relationship with large doses of fun. Making time for fun helps keep the boredom with marriage at bay, and spending pleasurable time together with your spouse will only deepen your feelings of intimacy and trust.

While we'd all love fun to just happen spontaneously, it rarely does, so that's why we're saying you should make time for it. Get out those calendars and schedule a regular date night. That may seem near impossible for those with young kids or demanding jobs, but your kids will inevitably thank you for demonstrating a healthy, loving relationship, and if you're willing to work a few extra hours for a client you barely know, you should have a few hours to spare for a spouse.

Once date night's on the calendar, then you can start exploring your options. Maybe the two of you have always wanted to take up tennis; weekly lessons will help you develop a hobby you can share for years to come. Love eating out? Make an effort to explore new restaurants that you haven't been to before, so that it doesn't seem like a routine outing. If you can't afford the time and expense of a weekend away, treat your hometown like a tourist destination and spend some time taking in museums, exploring outdoor attractions and watching your local sports teams together. Don't like sports? Approach an activity that your spouse likes but you don't with a spirit of compromise. You'll get to spend quality time together, and you just might find a way to enjoy yourself.