Until Death Do Us Part: 5 of the Best Tips For a Successful Marriage
Do you find yourself wondering if you made the right decision when you said your vows? After all, "until death do us part" is a very long time. Not everyone's vows are quite so eternal, but the commitment should still be the same. No matter what your religious or spiritual practices, marriage vows should, at the very least, be a commitment to your partner that you will stand by them through good and bad times - forever!
Often, couples go into a marriage feeling like their love for one another can overcome any obstacles that might come their way. The truth is, love is only a small piece of the puzzle for having a successful marriage
What is a Successful Marriage?
A successful marriage is not based solely on how much a couple loves one another, or how long they have been together. To have a truly successful marriage, both partners should be happy and committed to each other.
This does not mean as soon as one or both partners become unhappy, then it's time to end the marriage. Instead, it means figuring out what has happened to cause the unhappiness and looking for ways to improve the relationship. Before considering a divorce, couples should make sure they have tried everything else to make the marriage work, including seeking professional help.
Best Practices for a Successful Marriage
So, how do you have a successful marriage? Well, it's not easy, but below are five tips for a successful marriage:
- Improve Your Spouse's Happiness
Wake up each day asking,"What can I do today to put a smile on my spouse's face?" Keep it simple - it's the little things that matter, like bringing them a cup of coffee in bed, or going out to start their car on a cold day, before they have to leave for work. These thoughtful acts will take very little time out of your day, but will make all the difference in the world to brighten your spouse's day.
- Have Money Talks on a Regular Basis
Talking about finances is taboo for many couples. Often, the mere mention of words like, "money" or "budget", is the catalyst for an argument. Understanding how and when to spend or save money is key to avoiding squabbles about finances.
The first step is to decide on regular meeting times to sit down and discuss the state of your finances. These discussions should include such topics as budgets, savings, retirement accounts, investments and when and how to plan for making major purchases. Set a time limit for the meeting. The next step is to choose a relaxed setting, where there will be no distractions. Lastly, just pick a topic and begin the discussion. Take turns to allow each partner to provide valuable input.
If you make sure both partners are on the same "financial page" with spending, savings and investment plans, then these discussions will become much easier and more enjoyable, because you will be working together, rather than arguing about money.
- Have a Date Night
Life is often hectic for married couples, with such things as work, chores and taking care of the family. This is why it is important for couples to make a point of spending quality time together. The easiest way to do this is to pick one or more days out of the month to go on a date. Mark them on the calendar and decide together where you would like to go, and what you would like to do on the date. Don't back out, except in the case of a real emergency. If you can't agree on the details of the date, then take turns planning each date. Try to consider your partner's likes and dislikes when planning. Get creative and have fun!
- Maintain Independence
While it is important for couples to spend a lot of quality time together, it is also important for the partners to maintain their own independence. Each partner should have hobbies or interests outside of the relationship. This will increase happiness and make each partner appreciate the other more when they do spend time together. It is true what they say - "absence makes the heart grow fonder."
- Take Responsibility for Relationship Mistakes
When a couple disagrees, it is important to talk calmly about the disagreement. Each partner should express their view, while the other person listens. If you say something hurtful, then it is important to apologize and admit your mistake. You should not say, "I'm sorry, but you did this...". It is not your job to point out your partner's mistakes - just focus on taking ownership of your own mistakes and work on trying not to repeat them.
The same is true if one of the partners strays outside the marriage. If the marriage is to survive, the person who broke the marriage vows should take full responsibility for their actions, no matter what the other partner has done.
Marriage is a wonderful partnership when it is working great. Keeping each partner happy and committed is sometimes difficult, but with some work, thoughtfulness and creativity, you can have a successful marriage.