Protecting your marriage is like guarding it with your life. The relationship you have with your spouse should be your priority.
1. Work on making things work.
For those who think that feeling butterflies in the stomach for a person is already love, well, think again. This isn’t necessarily love. When two people marry each other, we immediately think they’re perfect for each other, which is not necessarily right.
Studies show that the main component of a successful marriage is people who stay in love. Married people tend to be healthier in both physical and emotional aspects. They earn more compared to single persons or divorcees. They also tend to live longer. Marriage can make a person happier. The risk for depression and diseases is lower.
Despite the benefits of staying married, many couples still end up getting divorced. Marriages go wrong if issues are not addressed early on. Take care of little glitches before they become big problems. Take for example, if you have a cut in your hand, clean and treat it at once before the wound gets infected. It’s the same with marital discord. If you wait longer to fix things with your spouse, the more difficult it becomes to solve the issue. At some point, one or both of you may just give up on your marriage.
Married couples shouldn’t quickly give up on their troubled marriages. Even for dating couples as well, having problems in a relationship is not reason enough to quit. Why not try to make things work? Ending your marriage doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your next relationship will be better. Try to put more effort in making things work. Divorce shouldn’t be an easy option.
As there are two individuals in a relationship, the responsibility to make things work doesn’t fall on only one person. Don’t be blaming your partner for everything. Assess yourself. Think about what you could have contributed to your marital problems.
Simply walking away isn’t a solution. Leaving your spouse won’t resolve your issues or set you free from your responsibilities. The problem doesn’t end with a walkout. Couples are called partners because they are there to help each other. Protecting your marriage entails an open communication. Expressing your thoughts, concerns, plans, or desires may help better the relationship. A lot of break-ups happen because couples don’t know how to deal with each other’s differences. The real issue: They don’t know how to talk to each other.
No two individuals have exactly the same experiences. Men and women have a lot of differences. However, both have the same needs basically. Both need to be loved. Both need company. Both need to belong. So, whatever it is that you want from your marriage, expect your spouse to have the same.
2. Take things one day at a time.
Both spouses should constantly try to work on things, even if they’re not having any serious problems. A successful marriage doesn’t just happen. Taking one day at a time makes the challenges less overwhelming. In a marriage, things don’t always remain as they are. The smiles may turn to tears, the laughter to sorrow. The following are thoughts to keep things going:
• Falling in love is not enough; staying in love is all that matters. Nurture your relationship. Always find quality time for your spouse. Don’t take anything for granted with regards to your relationship.
• Make decisions together. Every decision should be discussed first by the couple before it can be turned into action. It should benefit both and the marriage.
• Sacrifices are part of married life. There are some wants that need to be put aside so that you can do what is best for the two of you or the family. Once you’re married, you need to accept the fact that not everything is about you.
• Your family should always be your first priority. Your plans and ambitions should be shaped by them.
• Displaying negative emotions brings stress. Don’t be the cause of stress to your partner. Don’t whine or nag. Instead, work on staying interesting. Be a reason for your spouse’s happiness.
• Constantly tell your partner you love him or her. Don’t say it with words alone, but also with actions. Do some things that will surprise your spouse once in a while like helping with the household chores or buying simple things for him or her.
• Encourage each other to try new things. In the long run, couples tend to get bored with each other. The excitement of the getting-to-know stage will eventually die down. So both of you need to try out new things to make your marriage more interesting.
• Be each other’s best friend. Be the person your spouse can trust and depend on all the time. However, give him or her some space. Even if you’re married, he or she still has his or her life to live.
• Compliment each other every chance you get. There’s no better way to show your spouse your appreciation. This will boost his or her self-esteem and encourage him or her to be the best that he or she can be. Show admiration for each other. If there’s admiration in a marriage, there’s understanding.
3. Understand what true love is.
Love is not envious. Be proud of your spouse’s achievements instead of feeling challenged. If he or she is smarter or earns more, be happy. Marriage is not about competing against but supporting each other.
When you marry a person, it’s like a package deal. You’re marrying the person and everything that comes with him or her, the good side and the bad side. Don’t be asking for a fairy tale. The key is to have true love and realistic expectations.
Couples who are bound by true love trust and respect each other. Together, they hope for and protect their marriage. They grow old together. Sometimes, you will have to go through fire to test your marriage. But if your love is true, you will be able to endure it all.
4. Have good communication.
Keep the communication lines open. Have regular talks with your spouse. Conversations are your windows to each other’s feelings and thoughts. Even though you’re busy, always find time to talk to your spouse. You can talk on the phone during coffee break at work or over breakfast and dinner. Before going to sleep at night, share stories about your day. Through simple conversations, you get “updated” of what’s going on in your spouse’s life outside your home. He or she is also “updated” about your activities.
• Be honest. If there’s something bothering you, tell your spouse. If there are some decisions that you aren’t comfortable with, express your concern. But remember to express yourself in a calm, composed manner. Don’t raise your voice. Don’t be an argument magnet. If there has been a misunderstanding, wait until your anger subsides before attempting to talk. Or never both be angry at the same time. Don’t force what you want on your spouse. Respect his or her decision as long as it doesn’t pose any harm.
5. Learn acceptance and forgiveness.
• Marrying a person means accepting everything there is in him or her. Don’t try to make him or her the person you want him or her to be. Celebrate your differences. Use them to make your relationship more exciting.
• Don’t be too stingy about forgiveness. People make mistakes. Marriages that last have couples who are forgiving and tolerant for the right reasons.
Being in a satisfied and happy marriage is one of the best successes in life. There are various reasons why people marry. They marry for intimacy, for companionship, or for security or convenience. But the greatest reason for marriage has to be true love.
Marriage is a process. It needs to be worked on to make it last. Everyday isn’t as beautiful as your wedding day, but with the right attitude and reasons, your version of “happy ever after” shouldn’t be too impossible.