Do you remember your wedding day? Looking into your partner’s eyes and reciting your marriage vows to love them through thick and thin, sickness and health, better or worse? The love between two people on their wedding day can be felt throughout the room but what about 5, 10 or 25 years down the road? What is the secret to a successful marriage and why can some people make it work while others can’t?
Unfortunately divorce rates are on the rise. Society is changing, our relationships are changing and the family unit is changing greatly. There was a time when divorce was unheard of and the number of children in a class coming from broken homes were few. Nowadays half the students in a class will have divorced parents. Is there are reason for this trend and what can be done to keep husbands, wives and families together?
Long lasting marriages can be attributed to a number of things; love, trust, communication, sharing of responsibilities, etc. The list goes on and on. When a young couple first enters their marriage they may quite literally be blinded by love and could be unaware of all the other things required to keep a relationship strong. Once the rose tinted glasses are removed and the honeymoon stage is over they may start to see what’s lacking. This does not however mean that the relationship is doomed. Once you’ve established the gaps it’s time to start filling them. Marriage is an organic thing that must be tended to throughout.
Communication is key. If one or both parties are unhappy about something they must discuss it. For a discussion to occur both people must be willing to listen to the other person. It’s also important to know the difference between fact and feeling. Open communication is the first step in keeping a relationship strong and will lead to other traits being established, like trust.
Trust is so important for a relationship. When there is little trust it effects both parties. One will always be questioning things and the other will be walking on eggshells. A lack of trust can create anxiety in the relationship and will cause it to breakdown. It is possible to rebuild someone’s trust if it has been lost but to do that we have to go back to the point of communication. When trust has be broken it may not be enough to just communicate with each other. Introducing a third party by means of a therapist can help greatly. A marriage counsellor will help to filter through emotions and can get to the root of the problem to help the couple see where the other person is coming from. Once open communication can be re-established the couple will be able to reconstruct their foundation.
In any relationship there will always be compromises. The key to a good relationship is a balance in the compromises. If one partner feels like they are always giving in or having to make sacrifices they will start to resent the other partner. A balance in the workload and helping each other out will keep both people happy.
It’s also important to have your own life and your own identity. Having different hobbies or interests can help keep a relationship strong. You’ll each have something to talk about and you’ll maintain a level of independence. When you don’t spend every waking moment together you’ll be more excited to see and talk to the other person.
Along with having your own activities, schedule time to be with each other. Lives can become hectic, especially if children are involved. Set up regular date nights to reconnect with your partner. Quiet nights together will rekindle your relationship, will remind you of why you fell in love in the first place and will give you the time to catch up and communicate all the things you haven’t had time to talk about.
The truth to a successful marriage is that there isn’t a secret to making it work. A marriage isn’t work but it does take a concerted effort from both people to stay active and involved in the relationship. Relationships don’t just happen you have to build and maintain them. You saw something special in your partner the day you got married. Never forget that….
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