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Nine Secrets of a Lasting Marriage
Have you ever wondered what it takes to have a happy, successful, long-lasting marriage? Marriages like these don't just happen. They are not the result of luck or chance. A lot of work goes into making such marriages last. There are many factors that go into making a marriage all that you want it to be. So, what are these factors or secrets? Drawing upon my personal experiences, I've come up with a list of nine secrets that I believe make for successful and happy marriages. Individual experiences may differ, but I am sure you'd agree with many of these secrets. So, without further ado, let us review these nine secrets that make for happy marriages.
Secret 1: Trust:
The foundation of a successful marriage is built on trust. Without trust, the marriage would crumble sooner than later. Of course, you shouldn’t blindly believe your love (for they could deceive you too), but always give the benefit of doubt to your spouse, unless proven otherwise by hard, solid, compelling facts - not suspicions. Accuse your spouse on a hunch and you’ve destroyed a significant portion of the trust that existed between you two and therefore you would have just ended up shaking the foundation of marriage, perhaps irreparably so!!
Secret 2: Ability to Compromise:
If you are the sort of person who doesn’t like to say sorry, then things could get difficult. You see, even if it was not your mistake, you should be open to saying sorry sometimes. This is important because if both partners are stubborn and refuse to accept their mistakes, then you’d have a tough time making your relationship work. Don’t let your ego prevent you from taking the blame on your shoulders - sometimes. Your partner is likely to appreciate your magnanimity! Of course, you shouldn't overdo this, for then your partner could take you for granted and you'd have to end up saying sorry for a lifetime, perhaps, which isn't healthy. Also, the part about taking blame (when it is not your fault) refers to simple arguments, not serious issues - in such cases, you should not accept responsibility and say sorry, if it was not your fault.
Secret 3: Communicate:
This seems obvious, but most couples end up in a situation where they communicate hardly and therefore leave room for misunderstandings to build up, which can progress to suspicions and eventual divorce perhaps. Therefore, it is essential to keep the channels of communication open.
Secret 4: Don’t Neglect Physical Intimacy:
It is natural for couples to lose some interest in sex as the years go by. This can lead to either of the partners looking elsewhere to fulfill their physical needs. So, do work on your sex life and maintain the lust in your marriage. Be innovative by trying out new situations and positions. Keep the flame of lust burning steadily and strongly.
Secret 5: Attack Problem Areas Fast:
You must have heard of the adage, “A stitch in time saves nine.” Well, I couldn’t agree more!! Stitching up/resolving problems at the root would undoubtedly prevent a small problem from becoming a huge problem at a later stage. So, be aggressive in dousing small niggles that crop up in your marriage.
Secret 6: Learn how to handle arguments:
How many times have you started an argument with your spouse that gradually turned nasty, then nastier, finally (potentially) ending in some degree of physical confrontation? I am sure you didn’t like that experience!! Most fights such as these end with you wishing that you could’ve avoided it. So, what can you do about it? Well, understand that it takes two to fight. So, if your partner wants to vent and let off some steam – allow them to do that. Listen patiently and put forth your arguments in 1 or 2 sentences. Don’t feel that you have to respond to each and every statement made by your partner. If at all you feel like you are going to lose it, give yourself a break and walk out. Come back when things have calmed down and explain your side patiently and calmly. Remember, by raising your voice and shouting – issues don’t get resolved. The only thing that does is to worsen your relationship.
Secret 7: Learn to Give Space:
Understand that you both need space to do your own stuff. Do not expect your partner to be always with you, all the time. Yes, you love each other dearly, but don’t impose yourself on your partner. It can feel suffocating at times and that isn't healthy.
Secret 8: Accept Each Other’s Flaws:
There are some things you can try to change and then there are some things you can’t – such as your spouse's "irritating" habits. Do not try to change something in your partner, if it isn’t harmful to him/her. You may not like it, but try to learn to accept it. If they wish to change on their own, fine – but do not come across as being pestering. Do not constantly remind them of their shortcomings. They may just not be able to change, as much as they wish sometimes. So, learn to accept it rather than try constantly to change it and make him/her feel bad about it constantly. Nobody likes being reminded of their flaws constantly and sometimes in front of others as well (that’s read bad).
Secret 9: Be Encouraging:
When times are bad, a supportive spouse is more valuable than anything else in the world. You feel down and depressed, perhaps at having lost your job, but an encouraging, motivating, supportive spouse can make it far easier to bear and ensure that you get back on your feet faster and stronger. A critical, unsupportive spouse on the other hand can sink you real fast, with hurtful barbs and discouraging words!!
Some Marriage Quotations
I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~ Rita Rudner
More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse. ~ Doug Larson
Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgets them. ~ Ogden Nash
A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. ~Ruth Bell Graham
Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. ~ Simone Signoret
© 2011 Shil1978