If you want to learn how to have a happy marriage, get your advice from someone who is happily married.
I have been happily married for over 10 years now. I don't think of marriage as a job. I think of it as an investment of my time. Time I gladly give to it because of the benefits I get from it. We've been through rough patches. What gets us through is respect for each other as individuals and a commitment to stay together even though things have been tough.
At this point, given what all we have been through - I feel REALLY secure in the relationship and I've extremely happy - despite the difficulties of our current financial situation - which can tear relationships apart - I feel like we've only gotten stronger.
Anyway - In order to have him there for me - I have to nurture him and be there for him. It's a reciprocity thing. Yeah - it's harder to do when a kid is taking up your time, but I still try to make sure I tell him regularly how much I appreciate the fact he is in my life. I don't do that for him. I do it for myself to remind myself how lucky I actually am to have him in my life so that I don't take him for granted. I don't need or expect him to reciprocate, though he usually does.
Anyway - because it's something I do for me, it doesn't feel like work. It makes me happy to remember why I married him. It makes me happy to think of how lucky I am he is in my life. It isn't work, but it is something I have to remind myself to do regularly to make it a habit.
I also take an operant conditioning approach and actively reward my hubby with good boy rewards (not sex - verbal rewards - literally - thank you for helping me) to encourage him to pay attention to and appreciate me as well. It works and no - I don't feel like I am manipulating him. It's the use of behavioral science to ensure we are both happy in the relationship.
How do you keep your marriage healthy and happy?