Marriage is not just sharing a life and a house together. And it is much more than a permanent dating. It is saying yes to a whole new chapter. A chapter in which you accept and embrace that one special person in your life.
You say yes to exposing your intimacy, to unforgettable moments, to bright new mornings and so much more. However, anyone who has been married will most certainly tell you that marriage is definitely hard work.
When you make a pact with a person about spending your eternity together, it is only natural to experience some bumps along the way. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it.
Relationship expert and research psychologist Dr. John Gottman explains his 40-year research in his book “What Makes Love Last,” and he reveals that the two primary ingredients for a happy and harmonious marriage are trust and commitment.
This holy unity requires undivided attention and strong efforts from both sides equally in order to stay healthy and harmonious. Here’s what the relationship experts have to say about that:
5 KEY INGREDIENTS FOR A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS MARRIAGE
1. Be ready to COMPROMISE
Being mature to peacefully settle a conflict with well-established arguments rather than fight is the core value of a successful marriage.
Life won’t always go the way we want, so having the ability to negotiate through every difficulty and make compromises whenever the road gets rocky is the most important thing you should learn before you make the step.
According to Andrew Marshall, a marital therapist, “People think love is just about connection, but what’s equally important is to have good relationship skills. And the most important one is to be able to negotiate with one another.”
Deciding to take the low road and trying to resolve issues through constant arguing can only result in weakening the marriage.
2. LEARN TO LISTEN to your partner
Similar to making compromises with your partner, you need to make time out of your schedule and really communicate with your partner. Discuss your thoughts, listen to their problems, advise each other on every topic that bothers you, just share your deepest feelings about everything.
Dr. Mike McNulty, a well-known psychotherapist advises “Focus on the stressful things or events that are important to your spouse. Listen. Help your spouse express his or her feelings. Empathize. Show support. Don’t problem solve or fix. Most of us just want to be heard.”
There will be times when your partner will only need you to be there and listen to what they have to say. Press hold on the counter arguments and just listen to them speak. Communication and compassion is the only way a marriage can outlast even the hardest of periods.
3. BE KIND to one another
Whatever is happening with you, or however hard your day is, always be kind to your loved ones. If you don’t understand something they’re saying, just kindly ask “Can you please explain it to me once again? or “I didn’t quite get it.”
Don’t let every day’s burdens put you in an intolerable mood. Nobody deserves to deal with your unresolved issues.
And if you’re feeling extra anxious and furious, just stop yourself before you actually blurt something you’ll be sorry about and count to 10.
4. Give each other some SPACE
Let’s be honest. Being around someone 24/7 can get really boring after a while. Usually, one of the partners would feel annoyed or smothered. And according to relationship expert James Preece, “The biggest gift you can give your partner is the chance to miss you.”
When in a marriage, it’s of great significance to have a sacred alone time doing whatever you like. It is essential to give each other space to spend more time with friends and family.
Give yourself a space to breathe out and wind off. Coming home to your partner’s loving embrace after a cozy coffee date with your best friend will make you feel even eager to see them and tell them how much you love them.
5. Don’t forget to ALWAYS HAVE FUN
And whatever you do, remember to always have fun. Don’t ever allow yourself to forget the reason why you married your partner. Don’t let the passion burn out.
There will be times when you’ll be silly and then there will be days when you’ll be serious, but the base of a healthy marriage is finding the perfect way to balance both sides.
Staying intimately active (if you know what I mean) is another thing you shouldn’t sweep under the carpet. As years go by, desires tend to fade away if you don’t do much to nurture it.
Take some time off and plan a romantic dinner together, or simply take your weekend off and go for a nice hike in your upstate cabin. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure to preserve time for you and your partner.
After all, marriages won’t always be smooth sailing, but the one thing you could do is to keep your ship safe and sound. Learn to deal with the storms, and you’ll find the key to the everlasting bond.