Marriage is an intimate and equal partnership between two individuals. This union brings joy and several new milestones—new titles, habits, routines, first house or a pet together, new relatives, and yes, some unknown challenges. Couples who have been married for many years or those who tied the knot recently may keep looking for answers to a successful marriage. So what is the recipe for a healthy, strong, and happy marriage?
Read on as we tell you a few secrets to a successful and blissful marriage.
- Communicate: It is important to keep the lines of communication open. Couples should exchange their desires, ideas, values, beliefs, and emotions honestly. Be a good listener and learn each other’s verbal and non-verbal cues. When communicating, it is important to be open not only to positive aspects, but also to constructive feedback.
- Appreciate your partner: Do not take your partner for granted—express your appreciation and gratitude for their contribution in your life. Value the simple things they do for you. For instance, tell them how a cup of coffee they make for you in the morning kick-starts your day.
- Arguments don’t mean an unhappy marriage: Arguments do not necessarily mean you are in an unhappy marriage. As two individuals who have different personalities, a difference of opinion is bound to occur. Try to sort out the issues amicably, and ensure both of you have an equal say in any matter.
- Accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses: Set realistic expectations for each other. If you are good at finances, communicate with your partner and get into an agreement. Then take the lead in managing your budget rather than getting annoyed with your partner. Be accepting and understanding of your partner’s limitations.
- Laugh together: Couples support each other through thick and thin. So, make sure you share a laugh to keep the mood light. Sharing inside jokes, watching a comedy movie together, or just exchanging silly texts will keep you both smiling.
- Don’t expect your partner to complete you: Couples should complement each other and not be over-dependent on their spouse. They should independently be mature, happy, and satisfied rather than relying on their partner to make them feel complete.
- Identify the true problem: Stress is usually the most common reason for conflicts between couples. In such cases, it is quite easy to blame each other or pick up arguments over things your spouse did. Figure out what is the source of stress of bothering you rather than venting the blame on your partner.
- Have fun together: Although you should have your interests and friends, you should find common hobbies or fun activities that you can do together as a couple. It could be traveling, tennis, or cooking. This quality “we” time can help strengthen your bond.
- Be kind and gentle: It is important to be respectful towards each other. Over-critical, condescending, or judgmental behavior can undermine your spouse’s confidence and make them feel sad.
- Cherish moments: It is not always about celebrating big milestones. You should celebrate little intimate moments with each other, too. Savor small, good moments amid tough times and remind each other that you have each other’s back.
- Do not resist change: All changes are not bad. Some changes can bring about positive outcomes. So, make sure you not only expect the change but also accept it. You need to be flexible to find a balance with your partner.
- Do not fret over small issues: It is important to not let the small issues in your marriage take over your life. Try to move past such problems by communicating with each other. Any event in life is as big or small as you make it.
- Choose your battles: Disagreements are bound to happen among couples owing to different personalities and opinions. However, it doesn’t mean you need to prove yourself right all the time. You should learn which issues to pick up for discussion and which ones to let go. Harboring a grudge against your spouse or lingering over the past will not do any good to your relationship.
- Express your love and gratitude: Love is not just about physical intimacy. You can show your love towards your partner through small gestures such as a welcome hug or kiss, a surprise date, or just some flowers or a nice small gift.
- Avoid public confrontation: Arguments between couples are not uncommon. Make sure to sort out your differences in the privacy of your home rather than engaging in public disagreements. Have each other’s back and be polite towards your partner.
- Acknowledge your partner’s needs: Listen to your partner and understand their needs even if they are different than yours. Do not belittle their expectations and aspirations—both personal and professional.
- Plan dates: Marriage doesn’t mean an end to dating. Plan your days when you want to spend time together watching a movie or going for a nice dinner sans your friends or kids. Keep the spontaneity alive in your relationship.
- Make your partner feel special: You may get gifts for each other on anniversaries or birthdays. However, sometimes, you need to get out of your way to make them feel valued and special. If your partner likes relaxing massages or a sumptuous dinner at home, do that to make their day.
- Sometimes, let your partner vent: Every issue in their personal or professional life does not need to be solved. Your partner may just want to vent it out—let them! Be supportive and listen to them patiently.
- Keep the physical intimacy alive: Having feelings of attraction for your partner is an important part of maintaining intimacy in a relationship. Moreover, it is equally important to make them feel attractive. Keep the romance alive and continue to have fun together.
- Remember, you both are a team: You and your partner are not against each other but together against your issues. You should not let differences or external factors get in the way of your relationship. Work as a team to find solutions and establish common goals.
- Make a conscious effort: It is not always going to be easy—you will not only make happy memories together, but also go through many crises. Long-term relationships involve hard work and conscious effort from both partners to overcome life’s ups and downs.
- Put your partner first: You both will have your own set of needs, priorities, and aspirations. However, when making big life decisions, put your partner first. Do not give in to the external pressure or think “what’s in it for me?” Discuss with your partner and understand whether they are comfortable with your decision. Remember, true love is about giving.
- Be in close contact with friends and family: Your marriage is not your cocoon. It is unfair to base all your expectations on one relationship. Your relationship with your partner is the most important one, but it should not be the only relationship you have. Keep your friends and family in the loop for support.
- Have fair fights: Do not let your arguments get ugly. Set the rules and avoid name-calling or playing the blame game. No matter how heated the arguments get, don’t disrespect each other or say things that you may regret later.
Marriage is a journey and not a sprint—on the way, you make memories, cherish moments, and overcome challenges. It is not always easy, and yes, it does take a lot of work, too. By sticking together through thick and thin and putting each other first, you can make this journey happier and more fulfilling.