Tell me something: How’s your marriage going?
Indeed, it’s one thing to be married. It’s another thing to be happily married. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or potion you can take to insure yours will be successful. To have a healthy relationship, you’ve got to be willing to put in the work – consistently so. But if you want some tips on things you can do that will significantly increase your chances of having a union that is rock solid and satisfying, we’ve got a few recommendations. (Let us know if they ended up working for you!)
Ask pretty much any divorced couple the top five reasons why their marriage ended and one of the things is sure to be poor communication. When two people do not feel heard or like their feelings are respected, that makes it really hard to establish a true and lasting connection. You and your spouse owe each other the time that’s required to stop what you’re doing, make eye contact with one another, and hear each other out. It might seem cliché but it’s true. For a marriage to be truly successful, communication is key.
2. Protect your union.
The safest place you and your partner should feel on the entire planet is with one another. This especially goes for your feelings and vulnerabilities. Of course you’re going to have family members and friends that you enjoy spending time with. But be careful about how much you share about your relationship and how you talk about your spouse around them. You need to be a place of refuge for one another. You both need to know that you can be trusted – in and out of each other’s presence.
3. Have realistic expectations.
It’s one thing to have a set of standards (encouraged). It’s another thing to have mile-high list of expectations (unrealistic). No matter how much love is between you and your partner, they are still human beings. They are going to make mistakes. Sometimes they are going to (inadvertently) hurt your feelings. They are not perfect. But you know what? Neither are you. Expect to have a healthy union. But also expect that it’s going to need a lot of effort on both parts to make that happen.
4. Make intimacy a priority.
Intimacy is an essential part of marriage. We’re not just talking about sex either. You and your spouse need to verbally affirm each other, be physically affectionate with one another, and put forth effort to keep the emotional connection strong. Go on dates. Cuddle on the couch. Have make out sessions like you did when you started dating. The kind of intimacy you share speaks volumes about the kind of relationship you truly have.
5. Keep the “d” word off of the table.
If in the back of your mind, you’re always thinking “I can end this any moment I want”, at some point, you probably will. There are going to be times when marriage is rough, but you can make it through so long as you are both committed to making it work. If there’s one thing your spouse should be, it’s your closest friend. When you see them through those eyes, you tend to be willing to stick together through thick and thin. Couples who know they are committed to one another, no matter what, are couples who are in it for the long haul.