Whether you are newlywed, or refer to yourselves as ‘old Ball ‘n’ Chain,’ every marriage has its share of ups and downs. While it may sound cliché, lulls and patterns of mundanity are natural to the ebb and flow of married life. Periods of stress, boredom, and poor communication are part of the course.
“Marriage takes work.”
Marriage does take work, and like anything else in life, you have to do the work to reap the reward. But the work of marriage is not like cleaning the toilet and taking out the trash. The effort that goes into a successful marriage (read happy, functional and fulfilling) is the type of work that can be fun and therapeutic.
In a survey that we conducted, we asked happy couples to divulge the key to successful marriage. Read on to know their 15 tips for a successful marriage.
1. Be independent
Be Independent was rated ‘extremely important’ in a marriage. In order to be happy in a relationship, we must be happy first. That is, in fact, the key to a successful marriage. With that in mind, wives and husbands must continue to take out time for themselves, enjoy their personal hobbies, and in general, spend some time apart. Not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, but in the time we spend alone, we get to reunite with our spiritual side, re-establish our sense of self, and check in with the progress of our personal preferences, goals, and achievements.
Being dependent, on the other hand, weakens your resolve and ability to move forward as a free thinker. When we maintain our independent sense of self, we will always have something to talk about at the dinner table, and we are forever stronger, healthier, and more attractive to our partners.
2. Be a good listener
While all women should work at the art of active listening, we emphasize this as an area of special attention for men. Too often, men do not realize that all their partner needs from them is a listening ear. This is due to their programming and the way in which they are taught to relate with others.
Remember that listening and hearing are not the same thing. Listening involves our hearts. Open yours, hear what she says, look at her while she speaks, paraphrase even, and reassure. Listening is the real key to a happy marriage, for that matter, to every relationship
3. Agree to disagree
Being good together does not mean that couples agree on every little thing. Most of the couples we interviewed actually had varying attitudes, opinions, and belief systems; and even held opposing views on major areas in some cases. All couples should have some level of disagreement somewhere. Successful, loving couples respected the point of view of one another, and even had a sense of humor over their points of contention. Recognize that of two opposite views, one of them does not have to be “right”.
4. Communicate – know your partner’s ‘Love Language’
There are several books out there on the Languages of Love. This was developed of the concept in psychology that each individual has his or her own unique way in which they communicate love. By knowing your partner’s preferences and hobbies, metaphors can be used in communication that relate to something the person understands well.
Observe the physical way in which your partner shows love. This could be, washing your car, or picking up the kids. From her, it could be keeping the toiletries stocked and ironing his shirts. For others, its words, letters, and affection. Figure out your partner’s love language so you will always know how to speak to him or her. Love languages are often talked about but couple don’t heed as much attention to this that what they should. Understanding love language is the secret to a happy relationship.