What does ‘long lasting marriage’ mean to you? To me it still means forever but with divorce on the rise and separation an easy solution to exit a marriage, ‘forever’ for most Australians now is less than 10 years. Not really what I would consider a long lasting marriage.
Marriage is like any relationship, there are good times and bad times but to achieve the status of having a long lasting marriage, it requires constant work and attention. All the work put into a marriage early on in the relationship needs to continue to develop for the marriage to stand the test of time.
I have been married over 18 years and for the most part it has been a mutual commitment. Recently however, I have pulled away from the marriage as I am too busy in life and my children have taken any spare time I have. As you can probably guess, this only works for a short period of time and then everything starts to change, and not for the good.
My relationship started to become a parallel one where we lived side by side. Why was I not working on the most important relationship in my life? I had become lazy and had stopped working hard at keeping us happily together.
There are many factors a marriage needs to prevent ending in divorce, like having common financial goals and learning the art of forgiveness. However, too many rules can be daunting and put added pressure on a couple trying to survive every day. I found the five most important factors which have helped continue my long lasting marriage moving in the same direction:
5 secrets for a long lasting marriage
Communication involves both talking and listening to your partner. The basis of a marriage relies on being honest with each other and honesty starts and ends with communication. It is essential to set some time aside every day to talk with your partner and catch up on each other’s lives. Communicating with each is often where the attraction begins in a relationship but unfortunately this is the first factor that disappears and this was true for me. We stopped talking to each, except when it involved the children. Listening to my partner had been difficult for me to readjust to but when I do, we get on so much better.
2. Respect your partner
A long lasting marriage requires both partners to show each other respect. Valuing each other’s needs and understanding that every one wants to feel appreciated in a partnership builds a solid foundation in marriage. Not that I had stopped respecting my husband but I stopped valuing his wants and needs and that was a reason our connection altered.
3. Keep the romance alive
The only difference between a marriage and any other relationship is the romance between partners. Showing your partner how you feel and keeping the spark alive can generate positive emotions and help the relationship move in the same direction. It may sound a little cliché but we have gone back to date night. We don’t always manage something every week but we both make an effort to put aside time to each other.
A marriage is a partnership and any partnership involves compromising. Business partnerships fail every day when one partner expects to get their own way every time. Marriage is no different. An imbalance is created when there is no longer any compromising and this will ultimately end in separation. I’m not sure if not listening is the same as not compromising but getting back on the same page is important.
5. Don’t forget to laugh
Life can be very stressful and the challenges in marriage can be overwhelming. Remembering where it all began and laughing with each other are positive ways to ensure a marriage will be long lasting. Laughing produces the happy hormones in the body and when these good feelings are felt in a marriage, it opens up communication, sparks a little romance and makes compromising easier. The first thing I loved about my husband was that he made me laugh. I had forgotten how to laugh with him but I now realise that life is better when you laugh.
If you feel your marriage needs a little work, don’t underestimate these top five factors when it comes to getting things back on track.