Harriet Lerner, PhD. relationship expert and celebrated author of The Dance of Anger says, “It takes two to couple up and get married but it takes only one to make the relationship better.” Many people, mostly women, make the mistake of waiting for their husband to change; which only leads to unhappiness in a relationship and finally may lead to a divorce.
With rising divorce rates in the USA, it is important to know what makes a marriage work and what either of the partners can do to enhance their relationship and keep a happy marriage for a long time, ideally, forever.
It is sad but true that we don’t see many happy couples who are engaged in long-term relationships in the world today; like we used to see back in the day. Even though love is an essential ingredient for a happy relationship; love is not enough to make a relationship long lasting. Here are five fundamental principles of a successful happy marriage.
1. Mutual trust and transparency
Trust is the foundation of a relationship. A relationship can only be strong if married couples can trust each other. Just like any other human virtue, trust has to be earned through honesty. Trust can only be built with honesty and transparency, so there should not be any deception or lies within couples. When couples trust each other, they can explore the full potentials of intimacy in a relationship. Without trust, there is insecurity and fear.
Good communication is not only the foundation of a strong relationship and marriage, but it’s the very heart and soul of a relationship that holds the marriage together. If you fail to communicate efficiently with your partner, you are sure to fail in your relationship as well. In many cases, anger, yelling and silence become barriers and may create distance between you and your spouse and may actually build a wall. Not everyone is born with the skills required to become a good communicator, but it is always possible to learn communication skills. Both yelling and not talking at all can be bad for a married couple. For women who have difficulty expressing themselves, Dr. Phil suggests that you write down ten things you would like to see more or less from your partner. This exercise would eliminate many of the confusions between married couples. (Dr. Phil.com – Advice – Saving a Marriage)
3. Respect for your partner
Love and respect go hand in hand. You cannot have love without respect for one another. Men and women both communicate differently and often men are guilty of rejecting the other person’s perspective immediately without giving it a second thought. For some people, they are not even aware of the fact that they are rejecting everything that their spouse has to say. This gives rise to challenges, disputes, and fights. Respect allows you to value your partner’s point of view whole heatedly.
Many couples fall in love and get married but soon after they realize that the love is forgotten. Love might be a strong ingredient missing from your married life, and could make your relationship suffer. You need to realize that as time goes on,both you and your partner have evolved. Most couples forget the need to engage in interesting conversation, candle light dinners and romantic evenings after they have been married for several years. Make plans to spice up your love life. Most partners make the mistake of taking each other for granted. However, you will only keep your love alive if you can exchange views, spend quality time, and try to discover new ways to enjoy your coupled life, buy gifts and surprise each other. Curiosity is one of the driving forces of a happily married life.
5. Think “we” not “me”
Once you get married, there are several adjustments you need to make in your life. The first thing you need to understand and realize is that you are not single anymore, so all your plans should include both of you, not just you. Don’t leave your partner out from your plans. The one mistake that most couples make is to make plans only for him or herself. Being considerate and generous about your husband or wife can go a long way. Try thinking from the other person’s point of view, and most miscommunications will disappear. You can even make the other person’s day a lot better if you think of what he or she would like to do later on.
Marriage is an institution where team work is needed to make it work. According to experts, there are many advantages of having a monogamous, long-term relationship and that binding comes with both, responsibilities and benefits. Both partners should work hard to keep the relationship alive, making things work, and making sacrifices when needed. It’s also important to be honest and transparent, to respect and trust each other, despite differences. When things don’t work out, it’s best to seek expert advice, marriage counseling, and all the help you can get to keep your marriage alive, especially if you have children together. Remember that not just your lives, but the lives of others around you are also affected.
P.S: Did you find these tips helpful? We’d love to hear from you, so please add your own thoughts or suggestions in the comment box below.
Source: Balanced Life Team