How to Have a Healthy Marriage

Happy Senior African American Couple Man Woman on Beach

 

Many people think of marriage as the ideal goal in life, two people together forever in wedded bliss, and for many couples, marriage is just that.  However, many couples get married with the idea that their relationship will stay the same forever, and they’ll never have to worry about it.  What most married couples probably already know is that marriage takes work to stay together for decades.  Read below for tips on how to keep your marriage healthy.

Make sure to remind your partner that you care about them.  It can be nice to feel as though you’ve settled into a routine in your marriage, but don’t let that turn into taking your spouse for granted.  If something reminds you of them, tell them you thought of them.  Say thank you for the little things they do for you, and make sure to take some time to show them how important they are to you.

However, make sure your relationship with your spouse and/or family isn’t your only relationship.  Pay attention to your other relationships with your friends, and make time with them away from your family.  It can be refreshing for you to spend time with your friends, and it will give you something new to talk to your spouse about.  Some distance can be helpful for your relationship; giving you both time to miss each other will help remind you both how much you mean to each other.

Always be honest, especially about money!  It is extremely hard to win back a spouse’s trust when they find out that you haven’t been managing your money correctly, even if you have a separate bank account.  You don’t necessarily need to tell them about every little purchase you make, but make sure they know how you stand financially.  Your spouse finding out through credit reports, or worse, is not going to be good for you at all.

Try to think through your words when you’re frustrated with each other so that you don’t say something you don’t actually mean.  Starting sentences with “You always…” or “You never…” isn’t helpful, since most statements starting with those tend not to be true.  Try to phrase things differently to get your point across without putting the other person on the defensive.

Pick your battles as much as possible.  A lot can get on your nerves or hurt your feelings over the years, but keep in mind that not everything your spouse does is intended to annoy or hurt you.  Let things go when you can, forgive, forget, and move on.  Focus on why you’re married to that person more than the little things that get on your nerves.  However, if you’re just bottling things up, and not actually moving on, then it’s time to speak up.

You should definitely both be on an equal footing in your marriage.  You should be able to make decisions together, both important ones, and the little ones couples have to make every day.  If one of you works, and the other stays at home, and you’re both happy with the arrangement, then you’re good.  But make sure that’s what makes you both happy; unhappiness over arrangements you feel like you didn’t have a say in can definitely lead to resentment in the long run.

If you feel as though your marriage is having problems, don’t sit on it and wait for it to get better on its own; speak up and talk to your partner about issues you think you’re having.  Letting issues fester for too long can cause massive problems down the road, and can be harder to come back from.  If you communicate with each other honestly, little things can be easier to solve, and won’t turn into large problems later.

Recognizing that your relationship won’t be at the same level the whole time you’re married can be helpful as well.  There will be high points where you won’t be able to get enough of each other, and there will be low points where you feel like you can’t stand them.  That middle ground between the two is more likely where you’ll be on most days, and that’s okay.  Those crazy highs aren’t sustainable, and the lows aren’t either; just being comfortable with each other can be a good thing.

Most of all, be kind to each other.  It seems obvious, but we tend to be less careful around the people that we know love us the most.  Instead of always complaining about your bad day, or worse, taking it out on your partner, think of ways to make them happy.  Say “yes” to them more often; find more compromises.  There won’t always be things you’re both interested in; do things you don’t necessarily like doing because it makes them happy, and then they’ll return the favor.