Millions of couples get married in America every year. According to experts at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of all these marriages come to a wretched end. Does this mean that your union is doomed? Not necessarily. When couples maintain the lines of open and honest communication, wonderful things can happen. To promote the longevity of love, we are pleased to present this mini-guide to ensure long-lasting happiness for you and your spouse.
When love is brand new
At the beginning of any romantic relationship, people tend to be on their best behavior. When one half of a freshly-formed couple wants to participate in a particular activity, the other generally agrees to try it out, even if it’s not something they were interested in before. Newly in-love pairs start projects together and go on grand adventures. Couples who maintain their sense of adventure throughout life are more apt to keep the youthful attitude and open minds that brought their hearts together in the first place.
Choose your battles wisely
Your Tango recently surveyed a number of happy couples who’ve been together a very long time. When asked how they manage to keep their happiness levels high, most couples said that sharing a healthy sense of compromise is imperative to a blissful long-term marriage.
Consider the case of Steve and Barbara. At the time of the Your Tango survey, the Irvine, California couple had been married nearly 25 years. Steve explained that when he and Barbara began talking about moving in together, his domestic belongings consisted of mismatched furniture, neon beer signs, rock ‘n’ roll posters, and an improvised bookcase that was cobbled together from used bricks and scrap wood. Steve loved his Jethro Tull posters, and he enjoyed the bachelor pad ambiance provided by his collection of vintage beer lights. Barbara was not so fond of his ill-planned décor.
Steve could have argued that his stuff was as important as hers, but he didn’t. He gifted a teenage nephew the concert posters and neon signs that he was accustomed to and allowed Barbara free rein to decorate their shared home her way. Something went horribly right, and this one simple compromise led to a blissful lifetime of shared living space.
Communication is key, and timing is everything
Sheryl and Steven have been married for more than two decades. When queried by Your Tango, the couple noted that they pledged long ago to not argue when either or both of them was tired or hungry. Steven explains that when it comes to married communication, listening is far more crucial than talking.
Unfortunately, some couples don’t last, no matter what they do. Sometimes, a couple is poorly matched, sometimes the bad behavior of one spouse leads to a lack of trust and eventual loss of love in the other. We hope this never happens to you, but if it does, you should speak with experienced divorce lawyers at a law firm.
If you’re sure you’ve given your marriage a fair chance and still can’t keep it together, try to move along with grace, civility and forgiveness.
Nicholas Wells is a relationship therapist who has been married for close on 20 years. He uses his experiences to guide his patients to resolving their differences to create a stronger bond than ever before. He also writes for online and offline publications sharing his tips.