What makes a marriage last? When a couple ties the knot and is punch drunk in love, it is common to think that love and sexual passion are the key ingredients for a successful marriage. But once the bloom is off the rose, you realize that having a successful marriage is far more complicated than that. The best way to have a successful marriage is to understand the secrets of what makes a long term marriage work. Here are 7 truths for making your marriage a lasting one.
- Accept that there are ups and downs. Long-term marriages go through phases and sometimes you get along well and sometimes you don’t. It is unrealistic to think that you are going to feel connected and happy all the time in the relationship.
- Hang in during bumpy times. Stay connected, remain respectful to one another and never threaten divorce during the difficult times. The goal is to ride out difficult periods, knowing that the two of you will reconnect. Judge your marriage by the totality of it and not by one slice in a long history.
- Marriage is dynamic and adaptable. People grow and change, circumstances alter and consequently, a marriages lasts when people are flexible and find ways to adjust to new situations. Needing a relationship to remain the same for 20+ years makes it stagnant, suffocating and boring. Change is an opportunity, not a threat.
- Bring the best YOU to the relationship. If you remain focused on your own personal growth, you will be more fulfilled as a person and more interesting and happy as a partner. You will also put less pressure on the relationship and your partner to provide you with a sense of self or purpose.
- Your sex life waxes and wanes. You aren’t necessarily attracted to your partner with the same intensity throughout the relationship. Your sexual desire changes with your physical health, your emotional states and your feelings of connection to your partner. There are periods where the two of you will be having great sex and regular sex, periods where your sex life is less central to your relationship and times when one or both you are dissatisfied with the state of your sexual connection.
- Communication is the key. Couples need to be able to share feelings with one another, talk about difficult subjects and remain civil to one another. Even when you would rather sweep something under the rug, you and your partner need to find a way to muddle through a challenging conversation.
- Know how to compromise. Both of you realize that it is not your way, all the time. You are able to make room your partner’s needs and settle on a middle ground or accommodate their requests, just as often as you are willing to fight for your own needs to be met.
Marriage may be the ending of the dating phase of a relationship, but it is the starting point for a couple learning how to build a long, happy life together. The more realistic your understanding is of marriage and what is needed to keep it healthy and working, the more likely you will have a successful union.