What Makes A Happy Marriage?

It’s easy to get swept away in the romance of a new relationship, but what makes a fulfilling and lasting marriage? Most of us have seen couples that are madly in love and can’t get enough of each other. Most of us have also seen the flip side with couples that end up in a painful divorce.

What are some of the biggest differences between the two sides? The following are some of the pillars of a happy marriage:

Ÿ You are genuine friends. A good marriage is built on a solid friendship. Overall, both people should be getting their needs met from the partnership. Also, being genuine friends doesn’t necessarily mean you have a million things in common, but you do respect your differences.

  • You are in love. Falling in love and being in love are two different things. When the passion settles down, you must learn to grow together. This can take some work and is a change from the excitement of romance, but with love is the rock of a healthy marriage
  • You give to each other. A give and take from you and your partner is important. Giving includes listening, being attentive to each other, giving without expectation, and receptivity. All in all, you want to move through the ebb and flow of giving and receiving together.
  • You don’t try to fix each other. Since you can’t fix or change another person, instead start with yourself. Go inward and notice what is wrong in your own life and how this might translate to your relationship. Choose to make your own changes, rather than pushing someone else to change. You teach people how to treat you.
  • You learn to manage problems. When couples have problems, these issues cannot always be solved with a clean slate. Rather than getting upset because a problem is persistent, choose to manage it. Managing allows you to resolve conflicts and “agree to disagree” without having it be the end of the world.
  • You are intimate together. Sex and intimacy are high on the scale of importance because they allow a deeper level of closeness and vulnerability with your partner that you don’t get with anyone else. The act of sex is part of this, but beyond it are other gestures that instill intimacy. Things like holding hands, hugging, caressing, and comforting each other are part of a fulfilling marriage.
  • You communicate together. It has been shown that only seven percent of communication is verbal. This means that actions and non-verbal communication are an even bigger part of the picture. Be honest with yourself about your emotions and the messages you’re getting from your partner. This encourages him or her to do the same.

Remember too, that any marriage can be saved, but it does that two to tango. Both you and you partner have to be committed to saving the relationship. If you need help to decide what’s best for you, couples therapy or individual therapy can be very helpful. It’s never too late to have a happy marriage!

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