With 40–50 percent of married American couples divorcing, it’s natural that you want to know the best ways to make your marriage last. The truth is that every couple is different, and what works for one may be a nightmare for you and your spouse. The following suggestions have been recommended by therapists to help couples live fuller, happier lives together.
Conflict is healthy, and it helps couples learn how to accept one another’s differences and compromise. A good marriage does not pick sides; both spouses should be able to express their opinions without belittling one another. As Loveisrespect advises, when disagreements occur, make sure you resolve them with respect, love, and honesty. Giving someone the silent treatment, making accusations or giving them ultimatums is manipulative and only draws a wedge between you. If you struggle to communicate with your spouse or you feel like most of your thoughts and feelings go unheard, speak to a couples’ counselor.
Share Financial Expectations and Budget
According to The Cagle Law Firm, marriages are more likely to last longer when people marry at an older age, have more education, and are more economically stable. A greater sense of self and comfort in one’s own identity will lead to a happier marriage overall. Of course, this doesn’t mean that those who wed younger are doomed to divorce. With the right approach to money management, you and your spouse can support one another as you grow professionally and build a life together. Make sure that you are both open about your spending habits; you should divvy up the financial responsibilities in the home as evenly as possible while being respectful of each other’s income level and capability.
Take Care of Your Health
It’s easy for people to expect their spouse to fill up all the gaps in their own identity or well-being; if your spouse doesn’t exercise, why should you? If you’re depressed, it’s their job to cheer you up. This type of thinking not only puts you in a helpless, powerless position, but it also places an unfair amount of pressure on your spouse to be everything for you. Spouses are meant to support one another during difficult times and enhance one another’s general sense of happiness and well-being. It’s up to each person, however, to take care of themselves physically and mentally. People who exercise regularly, eat well and have healthy coping mechanisms are happier overall, which translates directly into their marriages.
One of the biggest mistakes married couples make is to stop dating. No matter how much you love someone, you can still become bored with your marriage. Crated With Love suggests that you keep dating each other long after the wedding day. Schedule a weekly date night, get dressed up and do small, loving gestures for one another. Make sure you continue to value the small moments of intimacy, too. Folding the laundry together and taking the dogs out for a walk are just little tasks that can make your daily routine more meaningful.
Your spouse will keep growing and changing throughout life. With a little effort, you can grow together, not apart, and keep your marriage alive.