There was recently a television program on the ABC titled "Making Couples Happy". It has followed on from "Making Australia Happy" a show that used psychological research to develop a plan to assist individuals feel more fulfilled and therefore experience happiness more regularly.
"Making Couples Happy" takes the same approach as its predecessor in that it uses psychological research to provide techniques the couple might apply to improve how fulfilling the relationship can be. It is important to understand the distinction between feeling happy and being more fufilled with a few side orders of happy.
The main difference is that fufilment addresses satisfaction in a variety of ways. This includes the work involved, particularly if that work, while exhausting acheives moments of pride, happiness, contentment and peace in the long run. I think "Making Couples Happy" at no point dodges the necessary depiction of a relationship as a complex beast to work on.
I gave a presentation today on a similar topic. The take away message was, talk about how you communicate when what you are communicating about seems to consistently lead to frustration. In line with that try and imagine that in a relationship there are three entities: you, your partner and your relationship itself. Imagine that the third entity is what is to blame, not necessarily either of you.
Communication is about validation and solution. If you are not achieving either then its time to find out how the communication is breaking down. Check in with your emotions, remember and accept how much a partner can influence them. Where has your communication broken down? Are you communicating your love in a way that the other person doesn't hear?
Check out "Making Couples Happy" on ABC's iView. It is well worth the watch.