8 tips to keep a marriage happy
There’s no perfect marriage. Even couples who say they are happily married go through ups and downs, occasional fights and misunderstandings. But many end up with divorce not because the love is gone but because they wait until it’s too late to get the help necessary to save their marriage. If the flow of your relationship is going through lots of bumps, consider the following self-help tips to get your marriage back on track.
Identify what the real issues are
When we are angry at our partner, we tend to dig deeper into the past, looking for the past mistakes they have done to us. This habit however, can stray you away from the real issues your marriage is facing in the moment. Create an honest list of problems that your marriage has, including those you have never brought up yet to your spouse but you think is essential to your relationship.
Assess the weaknesses and strengths of your marriage
In the past years you were together, what had been the greatest hindrances or issues you encountered? What are the qualities that make your marriage special? What can be done to reduce the issues and increase the quality of your marriage?
Focus on what you can do
No one likes being told that they are doing things wrong, or that they are a bad person. When dealing with marriage problems, we tend to focus on what our partners should do or change. But this can just lead to further misunderstandings. Try not to focus on your partner’s flaws, rather on what you could do differently.
Stay in the calm zone
Avoid snide remarks, sarcasm, criticism, anger, blame, accusation, etc. If you really can’t stop yourself from saying hurtful things to your partner during a conversation, then just leave. Get some fresh air. If you let yourself be flown away by your emotions, you might end up saying or doing things you will just regret in the end.
Learn to express concerns constructively
Avoid beginning your sentence with “You always…” or “You never…” Remember, you must focus on fixing issues on your end. Instead of saying “I would like you to…” say “I would like to…”, or “My concern is…” etc.
Set up conversation rules
Try not to interrupt until your partner is done speaking, and avoid raising your voice. Clarify if you need to, so you completely understand what he or she is trying to tell you. Many couples think they have heard it before and start to talk over their partner so never really hear what is being said.
Create positive experiences together
Touch more. Kiss more. Smile and laugh more. Talk more. Have sex more often. Spend more time together. Don’t last a day without giving your partner a nice compliment. Give more praise and show more gratitude. Go out for a romantic date. Travel together. Do the things you used to do when you were first dating. One positive experience can overthrow ten negative experiences. This may seem a bit false but marriage needs effort and work on both sides.
Seek professional help
Many marriages have been saved by counselling. If you can’t avoid arguing when discussing issues in your marriage, maybe you need the intervention of a qualified therapist. Don’t leave it until one of you has packed a suitcase and is threatening to leave. Going before it gets to that stage makes the changes easier.
Even though there are always going to be problems in your relationship, both of you can do something to minimise their impact on your marriage and make your relationship stronger and more satisfying.
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