Whether you are a newlywed or refer to yourselves as ‘old Ball ‘n’ Chain,’ every marriage has its share of ups and downs. While it may sound cliché, lulls and patterns of mundanity are natural to the ebb and flow of married life.
Periods of stress, boredom, and poor communication are part of the course.
“Marriage takes work.”
Marriage does take work, and like anything else in life, you have to do the work to reap the reward. But the work of marriage is not like cleaning the toilet and taking out the trash.
The effort that goes into a successful marriage (read happy, functional and fulfilling) is the type of work that can be fun and therapeutic.
1. Be independent
Independence was rated ‘extremely important’ in a marriage.
In order to be happy in a relationship, we must be happy first. That is, in fact, the key to a successful relationship. With that in mind, wives and husbands must continue to take out time for themselves, enjoy their personal hobbies, and in general, spend some time apart.
Not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, but in the time we spend alone, we get to reunite with our spiritual side, re-establish our sense of self, and check in with the progress of our personal preferences, goals, and achievements.
Being dependent, on the other hand, weakens your resolve and ability to move forward as a free thinker.
When we maintain our independent sense of self, we will always have something to talk about at the dinner table, and we are forever stronger, healthier, and more attractive to our partners.
2. Be a good listener
Most partners dread this sentence but do you know that if you are wondering how to have a successful relationship then creating a platform for healthy conversations is the way to go?
While all women should work in the art of active listening, we emphasize this as an area of special attention for men. Too often, men do not realize that all their partner needs from them is a listening ear.
This is due to their programming and the way in which they are taught to relate to others.
Remember that listening and hearing are not the same things. Listening involves our hearts. Open yours, hear what she says, look at her while she speaks, paraphrase even, and reassure.
Listening is the real key to a happy marriage, for that matter, to every relationship.
3. Agree to disagree
Being good together does not mean that couples agree on every little thing. Most of the couples we interviewed actually had varying attitudes, opinions, and belief systems; and even held opposing views on major areas in some cases.
All couples should have some level of disagreement somewhere. Successful, loving couples respected the point of view of one another and even had a sense of humor over their points of contention.
Remember, respect is one of the major elements of a successful marriage. Recognize that of two opposite views, one of them does not have to be right.
4. Communicate – know your partner’s ‘Love Language’
There are several books out there on the Languages of Love. This was developed of the concept in psychology that each individual has his or her own unique way in which they communicate love.
By knowing your partner’s preferences and hobbies, metaphors can be used in communication that relates to something the person understands well.
Observe the physical way in which your partner shows love and you’ll know what makes a successful marriage.
This could be, washing your car, or picking up the kids. From her, it could be keeping the toiletries stocked and ironing his shirts. For others, its words, letters, and affection.
Our advice for a successful marriage? Figure out your partner’s love language so you will always know how to speak to him or her. Love languages are often talked about but couples don’t pay as much attention to this than they should.
Understanding a spouse’s love language is the secret to a happy relationship.
A major relationship killer, lack of acceptance is a trait more commonly attributed to women, who are known for their nagging. Remember, we married our spouse for who he was then, and who he is now. Even if we wanted to change him now, we can’t.
The key to a successful marriage lies in realizing this as soon as possible. When urging or persuading him, you are only focusing on his weaknesses or problems. Change your perspective immediately and start focusing on positive traits instead.
6. Take responsibility
It is that easy and one of the secrets of a successful marriage. When you participate in a project, take responsibility for your successes and your failures.
When you and your partner have a disagreement or argument, remember to take responsibility for your actions, including anything you did or said, especially if it was hurtful, unthoughtful or created adversity.
These are some sure shots principles for a successful marriage.