The following seven secrets have worked very well for over 22 years in my marriage and for many other couples too. Follow them, adapt them to work in your own marriage, and you'll be on your way to having what we all want -- a happy marriage!

1. Communicate

2. Meet each other’s needs

3. Learn to resolve conflicts

4. Grow with each other

5. Agree on money matters

6. Love and respect

7. Maintain a commitment to the marriage

Learn to resolve conflicts
The main element that separates success from failure in marriage is whether you can resolve conflicts or not. The bottom line is that unless the two of you are robots or doormats, there'll be times when you disagree and times when these disagreements cause tension and pain.

There is no question you shouldn't put up with addiction, violence or abuse. But if your partner simply wants something different from you or does something differently from you, it doesn’t mean that your partner is wrong – it just means your spouse has different preferences, life experiences and point of view. Celebrate these differences. Chances are very good it is these very differences that made you fall in love with this person in the first place.

Successful couples keep communicating, no matter what may be going on between them. They negotiate differences and disagreements so that they both end up getting something that is important to them. They smile and support each other rather than nag and complain. They understand that loving is more important than winning.

Unfortunately, some spouses do carry the attitude, “I’d rather be right than happy.” Therefore, they live a life of constantly trying to demonstrate they are always right. They must have the last word in an argument and prove their point to the extent it is hurtful and damaging to the other. This type of behavior does not foster happiness in a relationship, it all breeds resentment. Instead, take a step back and learn to pick your battles. Drop insignificant issues in favor of maintaining harmony and balance in the marriage. Look to change the attitude to, “I just want to be happy.”

At the end of the day, when you are able to share a bed, touch each other as a symbolic gesture to the emotional commitment of love that exists in the marriage, you both win. Victory is indeed sweet.

Next: Secret four of a happy marriage: Grow with each other

Author's Bio: 

Alex Blackwell is the author of The Next 45 Years - a website dedicated to sharing and creating happiness, life balance and success for the rest of our lives. To read more inspirational stories and articles, please visit: http://www.thenext45years.blogspot.com