- Gender and Relationships
Secrets of a Successful Marriage
till death or whatever do us part
The longevity of marriage is not based on a great friendship despite conventional wisdom to the contrary. To have a long term relationship, a spouse doesn't need to be your best friend, a spouse needs to be your partner. Same-sex couples often refer to each other as partners. It is a more accurate reflection of their respective positions and better defines the roles of those persons in the relationship. When two people create a true partnership, they will create not only a successful marriage but form a bond of friendship superior to any other.
So how do you and your partner create a long term relationship? It begins with an awareness that no matter what, there will be moments along the way that threaten the health of your union. These are the times when partnering comes into play. The more time spent together, the more little things can become issues of annoyance and dispute. If you concede to being partners, you will recognize when its time to have a family business conference. The rules of this meeting are no name calling, no threats, no below the belt comments, and no one leaves the room until the matter is resolved. Remember you are trying to resolve disagreements as partners, meaning there must be compromise and concessions for both. Business partners have the same goals and that is to work for the success of the business. They understand that making their business profitable benefits them both. To be successful in marriage you must address conflicts in the same way. Both parties must contribute to the common welfare. Choose your battles wisely and avoid the friction. If something is bothering you, ask yourself if it meets the test for what is important before you elevate it to the level of conflict. Remember that being forgiving will enhance your chances of amicable problem resolution. Follow these rules and don't be mean. Its a giant step in conquering the long term marriage.
Problem resolution is an important component of a sound marriage but paramount to staying together and having a rewarding experience is to determine what is valuable. Being married is not just a formal "hanging out." What are your common goals for the future and what part does each play in achieving those plans? If a marriage, much like a business, is destined to fail then close it down. Don't keep wasting your "money". Learn from your mistakes and try a new career path. Move on and don't look back. By the way, don't look back should be construed as not re-hashing the past in your mind or verbally, especially not verbally. Look where you are going, not where you have been. When you are ready to attempt a new partnership, take the leap of faith knowing you survived once and that you will do better this time. Entrepreneurs try and try again. You can't win the game if you don't play and winning is much better than second place.
Two people cannot live together without having a heated disagreement or two. We are human and need to express our emotions now and then. Marriages consist of periodic conflicts, which upon resolution, strengthen that relationship. So don't think the grass is greener somewhere else because this is always going to be the case no matter with whom you spend time. There are annoying habits, financial problems, relatives, friends, activities, addictions, health and a thousand other potentially marriage-wrecking obstacles out there but even the worst of these challenges can be overcome with a little cooperation, consideration, and communication. Learn to forgive and ignore the little things while combining forces to accomplish the larger issues.
The secrets of a good marriage are really not a secret. The simple recipe is developing an unwaivering sense of trust in one another to create a team secure in the knowledge that one's partner is dedicated to their mutual success. From my experience after four-plus decades of marriage (to the same person for you cynics out there) be assured that If you don't have faith and trust with your partner, you are destined to fail.