They say that the honeymoon phase in any relationship is not meant to last, but marriage comes with challenges. If you fall in love with somebody enough to commit yourselves in front of God, your friends, your family and the government, then you want to do what you can to make it last as long as it can. Most people come apart after 7 or so years because the culture doesn’t teach us how to maintain those emotional bonds that we start with.
Love is a wonderful thing to have in a marriage but it’s not everything. Marriages take work, commitment, and even on the days where you bore each other to tears you still need to want to stay together and be together. You can read scripture about strength during challenges, but you can also come together and communicate your issues. After all, if you can be so intimate with somebody that you are basically naked, you can have a frank conversation when something hurts your feelings! Below, we’ve put together a list of ideas that can help you to make your love last and keep you communicating properly.
- Don’t wait to get a therapist. Did you know that couples often wait until the problems are insurmountable before they get therapy? The average couple it’s at least six years before they get any help with their relationship problems, but that’s a lot of years to sit and Stew over what you should be doing and what could be happening. If you are constantly repressing all of the sadness that you have and you’re not communicating it properly because of fear or because you don’t want to go around in circles in a fight, then getting a therapist to keep your relationship healthy is smart. The average couple lives with unhappiness for far too long, but you don’t have to be that way. From the moment there is any sign of trouble, get help and don’t wait and have a million conversations that go nowhere.
- Be kind to each other. A big problem within marriages as couples who are mean. They pick fights or they pick issues and they will squander those and not talk about solutions but constantly talk about problems. You need to edit yourself and avoid talking about every critical thought that pops into your head. There will always be touchy topics, but you need to express your needs and your concerns without blaming or criticizing the person you supposedly love. Be kind in your words and your actions and your partner will always thank you for that.
- Think before you argue. Arguing can be healthy. Sometimes you need to have a fight to get things out into the open enough to discuss them and move forward. The problem is that arguments will often start because one person escalates conflict by making critical remarks or contemptuous remarks. Be gentle in the way that you bring up any issues and try not to play the blame game. You need to be able to calmly engage in conflict and discuss, not shout.
- Influence each other positively. One of the biggest things that couples need to do to remain in love and loving each other is to make sure that their relationship is equitable. If one of you is physically going out to work and the other is staying at home and working in the home, whether that’s with children and housework or with a job or all of the above, you need to be equitable when you are both at home. You don’t trade chores and housework for money. If a partner comes home from work instead of criticizing the mess they should jump in and help. You both need to be equally responsible for housework and children because you both live in the house and you both have the children. Be a positive influence on each other so that you don’t have any resentment for each other.
- Maintain high standards. Having high standards of each other and for yourselves is important because refusing to accept negative behavior puts you in a good position from day one. If you have a low level of tolerance for bad behavior at the start, you will be happier as the years go on. You will both respect each other’s boundaries and understand where you both stand when it comes to feelings for each other and you’ll be able to grow together.
- Learn how to exit an argument calmly. Focusing on the positives and understanding how to stop an argument in its tracks is important. Nobody needs to sleep overnight feeling angry at each other. Learning how to come to a conclusion without one of you feeling like they’re being bullied or backing down is important.
Thank you for reading!