6 Secrets of Happy Relationships

Image of two dolls holding hands

Artwork credit: Untitled by Cara Caramina

Before the battles begin, we start out believing that being with this person will make us happy. Ironically, that’s the critical mistake…

“This isn’t working. Let’s just get a divorce,” Caroline said, as she stormed out of their new house. Wally stopped in the midst of unpacking a box. What was the point? They’d just moved to Colorado the day before, but every week had brought a new argument. Now at least they could agree on something. An hour later, Wally ventured outside to their motor home and found his wife crying. “I think what we had better do is resolve this permanently,” he said softly. Caroline agreed. But their solution didn’t involve lawyers or divorce—and the turning point of their relationship took all of an hour. During that time they each made a list of what they had learned in a happiness program created by spiritual teacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation. [Read: “7 Steps to Happiness”] Instead of looking at each other’s shortcomings, Wally and Caroline each wrote about their own attitudes and behaviors. “When I saw my list on paper, I realized I had flunked,” laughed Wally. “And I did, too,” said Caroline. While they may still disagree, they haven’t had a blown-out argument since that n …

Mona Shah Joshi is Director of the Art of Living in Georgia and has facilitated more than 50,000 hours of programs in mind–body wellness on four continents as a personal development expert and meditation instructor for the Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human Values (IAHV). Artofliving.org

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HappinessCouplesRelationship Advice