Is a solid, lasting marriage a thing of the past? If examining ever climbing divorce rates, one could make that assumption. Newlywed couples may lovingly overlook each others flaws. As the relationship develops, petty arguments can morph into serious storms. By learning and abiding by a few simple rules, couples can strengthen relationships and avoid conflicts, while still enabling growth and fulfillment of individual needs. A marriage relationship may not always be easy, but following these tips can smooth the potential pitfalls within daily aspects of marriage.
1. Respect male/female differences. This may seem silly, but you must realize that male and females are vastly different in thinking patterns and in reactions to situations. These differences are meant to bring a healthy balance to relationships by complementing each other. Don’t assume your spouse will automatically appreciate something because you believe it is urgent or top priority. Allow spouses as partners in decision making. Listening to and respecting a different perspective will help bring about mutual understanding. Over time, your spouse’s opinion will become more esteemed than anyone else. 2. Study and learn each others interests, likes and dislikes. Taking time to notice and learn things about each other, demonstrates how much is willing to be invested into the relationship. Complement and encourage your spouse. Doing fun things together, such as dancing, exercising or tackling a home project, draws couples closer. 3. Demonstrate love through sincere daily actions. When the relationship is just beginning, much effort is placed into performing simple tasks in winning affection. This should not end with the honeymoon. Simple tasks performed throughout the day show appreciation just for being there. For example, my husband usually has a cup of coffee waiting for me when I get home from work. I look forward to talking about the day’s events and spending precious time sharing in each others lives. 4. Watch how you treat your spouse in front of others. Family and friends will form their opinion of the relationship through watching verbal and non-verbal cues and from private conversations away from your partner. Never criticize a spouse in front of others, and be extremely careful when feeling the need to vent. If fighting or arguing occurs, even behind the scenes, family and friends will remember any known grievances and hold a grudge against your spouse long after the relationship is mended. Keep private matters private. 5. Keep the communication lines and trust open. It’s good to have friendships outside the marriage, but do not spend more time together with friends than with your spouse, especially newly divorced friends. Provide a comfortable atmosphere of freedom and openness to share ideas and feelings without criticism or complaint. In order to stay married, you must hold on to the friendship that attracted you in the first place. This friendship will outlast all other parts of the relationship, and will become the glue holding the marriage together.
Strong marriages do not magically appear. It takes fresh daily commitment from both partners in building a solid foundation for a future together. Investing small steps will make that happen.