Marriage is difficult and challenging, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The key to having a successful marriage is following these 9 tips and sticking to them throughout your marriage. If you do this, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the joys of marriage without any of the pain and suffering!
1) Stay together for your kids
Even if you and your spouse aren’t getting along, remaining in your home will show your children how to live together. Kids want their parents to stay together because they want to maintain some sense of normalcy in their lives. You don’t have to be best friends, but you should remain civil and supportive toward each other—even when it’s hard. Stay together for yourself: Whether you’re married or single, there are many perks of being part of a couple. Married couples can enjoy tax breaks and health insurance benefits, for example. If you’re going through a rough patch with your partner, remember that staying together is about more than just showing your kids what a healthy relationship looks like; it can also provide stability and companionship as well as help you build a support network of family members who care about both of you.
2) Develop great communication skills
It is important to remember that communication can be verbal or non-verbal. Great communicators tend to be sensitive to tone, facial expressions and body language of their conversation partner. They also tend to speak slowly and clearly, so their message will not be misinterpreted. Make sure your words match your tone! A scolding I’m sorry doesn’t make up for harsh words just moments before. Another way great communicators connect with others is by actively listening.
3) Remember how you felt when you first met
There’s a reason all those old romantic comedies kept emphasizing how you felt when you first met? It’s because it’s important. When you fell in love with your spouse, didn’t it feel like nothing could go wrong? In fact, most of us will admit we felt invincible—as if we could take on anything and win. And so we should try to remember that feeling, both consciously and subconsciously. Because here’s where people make mistakes: they forget what made them fall in love in the first place. They get complacent; they get comfortable; they start taking each other for granted. You have to work at keeping your relationship fresh and exciting.
4) Stay away from drama
When you get into other people’s drama, it’s easy to spend days or even weeks discussing and obsessing over topics that have little or nothing to do with your life. There are times when getting involved in someone else’s drama is necessary (for example, if there is an abusive situation), but we can usually avoid other people’s issues. The next time you hear something juicy at work or within your family, consider how important it is to your life before saying anything about it.
5) Always keep the romance alive
Your relationship is sure to flounder if you stop being romantic with each other. Remember, romance doesn’t have to mean lavish dinners and expensive gifts every day—the occasional hand-written love note or impromptu weekend getaway will suffice. Kissing your partner good morning or goodbye, for example, is one of many romantic gestures that can go a long way in keeping your romance alive. Don’t take each other for granted: We all take our partners for granted from time to time, but it’s important not to let those times become too frequent. Even if you’re simply bored with life together, keep an open mind about working things out.
6) Be supportive
In your relationship, you’re not just two individual people living together; you’re also part of something greater than yourselves. Even if your partner isn’t interested in every activity you’d like to do, make an effort to put his or her desires and needs above your own from time to time. After all, we’re stronger when we work together as one! It’s tempting to focus on our own wants and needs, but by putting someone else first, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable—and that’s a huge step toward finding happiness. When you find yourself getting frustrated with your partner over seemingly small things (or even big ones), try practicing selflessness instead: I know I don’t always make it easy for you to support me—but I want us both to be happy. So how can I help? How can I compromise?
7) Let go of grudges
While it can be difficult to forgive those who have hurt us, holding on to grudges causes us to feel angry and resentful. This is draining emotionally, not to mention that grudges are often one-sided; we’re hurting ourselves far more than we’re hurting our so-called enemies by not letting go of our anger. So let it go! Our well-being and happiness depend on it. We don’t need anything or anyone else to complete us; love should never make you feel like you aren’t enough as you are. Love makes us whole—it doesn’t take away from who we already are. We deserve love and respect, no matter what stage of life we find ourselves in or what relationships we choose to form along the way.
8) Share your feelings with each other
Don’t try to go into a relationship with someone and expect them to read your mind. If you have an issue, speak up! Speak honestly with each other about what you need to feel fulfilled in your relationship. Don’t be afraid of hurting each other’s feelings; in fact, that’s what relationships are all about—compromising together and caring for one another deeply. The most important thing to remember is that both parties should always come from a place of love and respect.
9) Listen to each other more than you talk (it’s harder than it sounds!)
Being happy in a relationship is more about taking an interest in your partner than it is about giving gifts, doing nice things and helping out around the house. One way to avoid finding yourself overwhelmed by household chores and quarrels? Take an interest in what’s going on in your partner’s life, even if you feel it isn’t as interesting as yours.