“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
Most of us dream of a marriage that lasts for the rest of our lives. We picture ourselves finding our perfect companion, having a gorgeous wedding, and drifting blissfully off into a happily ever after. It’s not a fantasy - you can have a marriage filled with love, support, and happiness, as long as you’re willing to work for it. Here are 7 tips for building a healthy marriage that stands the test of time:
Keep Taking Care of Yourself
Marriage makes us feel secure and comfortable, but that security can lead to complacency if we’re not careful. For your own health as well as the health of your marriage, keep exercising and eating well - you can even turn healthy habits into bonding activities by finding a workout both you and your spouse enjoy and cooking meals together.
Be Upfront About Finances and Spending
Nothing tears apart a marriage like mismanaged finances. Even if the two of you talked about debt before getting married, spending problems and financial hardships can crop up years later. Big money decisions should be made together, and debt should never be covered up. Money is not the most important thing in the world, but it can be enough to shake even the strongest relationship.
Talk About Kids Before There Are Kids to Talk About
This is a good one to talk about before marriage, but keeping the conversation going can help weed out any potential problems. If you have already decided you both want to have children, make sure you discuss parenting styles and family dynamic. We all have different perceptions of family life based on our own experiences, and conflicts can come up when these perceptions differ. There is no one right way to raise kids - develop a parenting style that fits you and your partner.
Maintain Friendships Outside the Marriage
As important as it is to spend time with your spouse, it’s equally important to have time apart. You are both still individuals with differing needs and interests, and co-dependence isn’t good for anyone. Make plans with friends, pursue your separate hobbies and interests, and be sure to nurture your family relationships. Two strong individuals are better able to be successful partners.
Humans are experts at holding grudges and letting resentment build up until it boils over. If you are going to spend your life with someone, you have to accept that at some point, you are both going to do something the other won’t like. It’s important to learn how to forgive to ensure small problems don’t grow over time. One forgotten event or unintended harsh word doesn’t erase years of love.
Show Your Appreciation
Life can get so busy that we forget to appreciate the little things - and the big things, too. When we get used to having someone around, we can start to take them for granted. An unappreciated spouse is an unhappy spouse. Simple gestures like unexpected flowers, making a favorite dinner, and leaving sweet notes for them to find are easy ways to show your spouse you care.
And Say It, Too
Actions speak louder than words, but sometimes words are the icing on the cake. While it’s important to show your spouse you love them, don’t forget to tell them. One heartfelt “I love you” a day can make a difference over a lifetime.
It doesn’t take two perfect people to make a marriage work, but it does take a couple willing to make mistakes, learn from them, forgive, and grow…’Till Death Do Us Part. 💍💞