8 Essentials for a Healthy Marriage
I think most newlyweds do this — ask for relationship advice, I mean, not shit It is something that can be both healthy or unhealthy, helpful or harmful, . I've thought a lot about what seems to be keeping us together, while. Keep your romantic partnership in good working order by talking openly, than 40 percent of new marriages ending in divorce, it's clear that relationships aren't. I think it's easy to make things more complicated than they need to be. Here are some basic rules of the relationship road that will keep you headed in the right.
I've learned this lesson the hard way. I once let communication issues fester for months on end, failing to verbalize my displeasure, and my husband and I wound up in marriage counseling for nearly a year. It took a third party -- and a real investment on our part -- to get us back on track. If I had not kept telling myself that things would get better on their own, we might not have reached what I call the danger zone. Take care of your appearance. With many years and a few kids under your belt, it's easy to let your appearance slide.
Think about when you first met your partner. Would you have walked around in stained sweatpants and without brushing your teeth?
My guess is no. I'm not saying you have to look like Julianne Moore every time you settle in for a night of TV. Sometimes my husband will say "wow, you look nice" as I'm walking out the door for a girls' night out. At least pay your spouse the same courtesy you do your friends by fixing yourself up for him or her every once in awhile.
Foster relationships outside your marriage. I've been going on girls' trips for as long as I've been married. Yes, I love traipsing off with my spouse and three kids.
But these weekends away with friends are also important. Swapping stories with others and enjoying new experiences make me -- I hope -- a more interesting person for my spouse to be around. When Katie Couric asked Barbra Streisand the secret to her happy year marriage to James Brolin, she replied "time apart.
Your marriage should be your primary relationship -- but it needn't be the only one. There are many things you should never say to a longtime spouse, the first being: It's also never a good idea to start a sentence with: We hopefully all have a pretty good sense of ourselves at this point and having someone you love point out a failing in this way does little to engender a loving relationship.
Neither of these is true. If you start a sentence with these words your mate is certain to shut down or start a fight. Stop for a minute and think about what you really mean to say -- and then say that instead. Put away the jumper cables yourself. In life, there are big things and there are little things. The big things -- draining the bank accounts to support a gambling habit, forgetting to mention that he's in the federal witness relocation program living under a false identity or that he has a second family stashed in Queens -- are of course one-way streets to divorce court.
But most of us don't have problems of that magnitude. Most of us have problems that are more like petty and repeated annoyances, which when fed the steroids of resentment and anger, balloon up like Arnold Schwarzenegger. And we all know what steroids did to his heartright? Most of our problems start out small enough -- he borrows the jumper cables from your car and then leaves them sitting in the driveway just waiting to get run over -- and from that sprouts a giant festering sore.
It leads you to utter words like, "If you loved me you would have put the jumper cables back in my car so that when I get stuck in a bad neighborhood with a dead battery I could save myself," which, in my household, generally results in a reply like "When do you ever drive in bad neighborhoods? For a happier marriage, address them right away and keep it simple.
Sometimes the best way to address a problem is to just walk away from it -- as in seriously let it go. Not every slight must be addressed. Know that not every insult is intended.
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Practice letting go as much as you can. Bite your tongue until the tip bleeds. And once in a while, remind yourself of why you married this person.
Focus on those reasons and let stuff pass without mention. The trick to successful silence, however, is that you really let the problem pass. If you stay silent and still harbor bad thoughts, well, that's where ulcers come from. As the Beatles told us, "Let It Be. Relationships aren't flat-lined; that's death, actually. Life has ups and downs, peaks and valleys. We all go through periods where the mere thought of life without our partners can bring tears to our eyes and then a week later we can't stand the sound of their breathing next to us.
Some people are afraid to give their partner freedom and independence. BUT, more importantly, this inability to let our partners be who they are, is a subtle form of disrespect. What does it say for your respect for yourself? Drives me nuts when I see women not let their husbands go out with the guys or are jealous of other women. We have changed faiths, political parties, numerous hair colors and styles, but we love each other and possibly even more.
Our grown kids constantly tell their friends what hopeless romantics we are. And the biggest thing that keeps us strong is not giving a fuck about what anyone else says about our relationship. I can get on board with that. Among major life changes people told me their marriages went through and survived: Amazingly, these couples survived because their respect for each other allowed them to adapt and allow each person to continue to flourish and grow. You know who they are today, but you have no idea who this person is going to be in five years, ten years, and so on.
You have to be prepared for the unexpected, and truly ask yourself if you admire this person regardless of the superficial or not-so-superficial details, because I promise almost all of them at some point are going to either change or go away.
In fact, at times, it will be downright soul-destroying. Which is why you need to make sure you and your partner know how to fight. Much like the body and muscles, it cannot get stronger without stress and challenge. You have to fight. You have to hash things out. Obstacles make the marriage. What Gottman does is he gets married couples in a room, puts some cameras on them, and then he asks them to have a fight. He asks them to fight.
Successful couples, like unsuccessful couples, he found, fight consistently. And some of them fight furiously. He has been able to narrow down four characteristics of a couple that tend to lead to divorces or breakups. Stonewalling withdrawing from an argument and ignoring your partner. The reader emails back this up as well. Out of the 1,some-odd emails, almost every single one referenced the importance of dealing with conflicts well.
Advice given by readers included: Never insult or name-call your partner. This solves nothing and just makes the fight twice as bad as it was before. Yeah, you forgot to pick up groceries on the way home, but what does him being rude to your mother last Thanksgiving have to do with anything? If things get too heated, take a breather.
Remove yourself from the situation and come back once emotions have cooled off a bit. This is a big one for me personally, sometimes when things get intense with my wife, I get overwhelmed and just leave for a while. I usually walk around the block times and let myself seeth for about 15 minutes. But all of this takes for granted another important point: Be willing to have the fights.How To Maintain a Healthy Longterm Relationship - Marriage & Dating Advice
Say the ugly things and get it all out in the open. This was a constant theme from the divorced readers. There were times when I saw huge red flags. Instead of trying to figure out what in the world was wrong, I just plowed ahead. And instead of saying something, I ignored all of the signals. You can be right and be quiet at the same time. In fact, his findings were completely backwards from what most people actually expect: To me, like everything else, this comes back to the respect thing.
Compromise is bullshit, because it leaves both sides unsatisfied, losing little pieces of themselves in an effort to get along. Conflict becomes much easier to navigate because you see more of the context.
A similar concept seems to be true in relationships: But how do you get good at forgiving? What does that actually mean? Again, some advice from the readers: Some couples went as far as to make this the golden rule in their relationship.
And you both agree to leave it there, not bring it up every month for the next three years. When your partner screws up, you separate the intentions from the behavior. Not because they secretly hate you and want to divorce you. They are a good person. If you ever lose your faith in that, then you will begin to erode your faith in yourself.
And finally, pick your battles wisely. You and your partner only have so many fucks to givemake sure you both are saving them for the real things that matter.
One piece of advice that comes to mind: Some things matter, worth getting upset about. Like Chinese water torture: Is it worth the cost of arguing? Eventually your kids grow up, your obnoxious brother-in-law will join a monastery and your parents will die. You got it… Mr. You and your partner need to be the eye of the hurricane. Even cleaning up when you accidentally pee on the toilet seat seriously, someone said that — these things all matter and add up over the long run.
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This seems to become particularly important once kids enter the picture. The big message I heard hundreds of times about kids: Parents are expected to sacrifice everything for them.
But the best way to raise healthy and happy kids is to maintain a healthy and happy marriage. A good marriage makes good kids. So keep your marriage the top priority. Make time for it. Oh, and speaking of sex… Sex Matters… A Lot. Sex starts to slide.
No other test required. We were young and naive and crazy about each other. And, because we happened to live in the same dorm, we were banging like rabbits. It was everything a year-old male could ask for. We fought more often, found ourselves getting annoyed with each other, and suddenly our multiple-times-per-day habit magically dried up.
To my surprised adolescent male mind, it was actually possible to have sex available to you yet not want it. It was almost, like, sex was connected to emotions. For a dumb year-old, this was a complete shocker. That was the first time I discovered a truth about relationships: If the relationship is good, the sex will be good.
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You both will be wanting it and enjoying it. When the relationship is bad — when there are unresolved problems and unaddressed negative emotions — then the sex will often be the first thing to go out the window. This was reiterated to me hundreds of times in the emails. The nature of the sex itself varied quite a bit among couples — some couples take sexual experimentation seriously, others are staunch believers in frequency, others get way into fantasies — but the underlying principle was the same everywhere: But sex not only keeps the relationship healthy, many readers suggested that they use it to heal their relationships.
That when things are a bit frigid between them or that they have some problems going on, a lot of stress, or other issues i. A few people even said that when things start to feel stale in the relationship, they agree to have sex every day for a week.
14 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Strong, Healthy, and Happy | hair-restore.info
Then, as if by magic, by the next week, they feel great again. Cue the Marvin Gaye tunes: The sooner everyone accepts that, the happier everyone is. We all have things we like to do and hate to do; we all have things we are good at and not so good at. TALK to your partner about those things when it comes to dividing and conquering all the crap that has to get done in life. Both people share responsibilities. Both people manage to finely balance their time together with the time for themselves.
Both pursue engaging and invigorating interests on their own and then share the benefits together. Both take turns cleaning the toilet and blowing each other and cooking gourmet lasagna for the extended family at Thanksgiving although not all at the same time.
The fact is relationships are imperfect, messy affairs. Well, maybe if you had been listening, asshole. The common theme of the advice here was be pragmatic. If the wife is a lawyer and spends 50 hours at the office every week, and the husband is an artist and can work from home most days, it makes more sense for him to handle most of the day-to-day parenting duties. My wife loves cleaning no, seriouslybut she hates smelly stuff.
So guess who gets dishes and garbage duty? Here honey, let me get that for you. On top of that, many couples suggested laying out rules for the relationship. To what degree will you share finances? How much debt will be taken on or paid off? How much can each person spend without consulting the other?
What purchases should be done together or do you trust each other to do separately? How do you decide which vacations to go on? Have meetings about this stuff. She immediately told me not to laugh, but that she was serious. I think the most important thing that I have learned in those years is that the love you feel for each other is constantly changing. So even if you feel like you could never love your partner any more, that can change, if you give it a chance.
I think people give up too soon. You need to be the kind of person that you want your spouse to be. When you do that it makes a world of difference. A nurse emailed saying that she used to work with a lot of geriatric patients. And one day she was talking to a man in his lates about marriage and why his had lasted so long.
The key is understanding that few of those waves have anything to do with the quality of the relationship — people lose jobs, family members die, couples relocate, switch careers, make a lot of money, lose a lot of money.
Your job as a committed partner is to simply ride the waves with the person you love, regardless of where they go. Because ultimately, none of these waves last. And you simply end up with each other. I felt as if we were floating along, doing a great job of co-existing and co-parenting, but not sustaining a real connection.
It deteriorated to the point that I considered separating from her; however, whenever I gave the matter intense thought, I could not pinpoint a single issue that was a deal breaker. I knew her to be an amazing person, mother, and friend. I bit my tongue a lot and held out hope that the malaise would pass as suddenly as it had arrived.
Fortunately, it did and I love her more than ever.
So the final bit of wisdom is to afford your spouse the benefit of the doubt. If you have been happy for such a long period, that is the case for good reason.
Be patient and focus on the many aspects of her that still exist that caused you to fall in love in the first place. As always, it was humbling to see all of the wisdom and life experience out there. There were many, many, many excellent responses, with kind, heartfelt advice. It was hard to choose the ones that ended up here, and in many cases, I could have put a dozen different quotes that said almost the exact same thing.
Exercises like this always amaze me because when you ask thousands of people for advice on something, you expect to receive thousands of different answers. But in both cases nowthe vast majority of the advice has largely been the same. It shows you how similar we really are. And how no matter how bad things may get, we are never as alone as we think.
I would end this by summarizing the advice in one tidy section. But once again, a reader named Margo did it far better than I ever could. That means emotionally, physically, financially or spiritually. Make nothing off limits to discuss. Never shame or mock each other for the things you do that make you happy.
Write down why you fell in love and read it every year on your anniversary or more often. Write love letters to each other often. Make each other first.