While there are obviously no written “rules” that a married couple must follow, there are a few guidelines that can prove to be helpful in every relationship. Most marriages go through different phases over the course of its lifetime. Whether it be the honeymoon phase or the “I’m annoyed with you” phase, a strong marriage will be able to weather any storm.
What can you and your spouse do stay the course and see the marriage through until “death do us part?” Here are a few suggestions:
- Make it a point to speak about your finances. Money is one of the main issues that parties contemplating divorce argue about. Even if one spouse handles most of the finances, you should both be on the same page and in the know about your financial situation. Have conversations about what you can afford and what you can’t afford. Discuss how to go about saving money so that you will be able to afford a major expense like buying a home or taking a vacation.
- Admit when you are wrong. Learn to let go of past arguments and disagreements. Don’t be afraid to be the first to say “I’m sorry.” It isn’t always easy swallowing your pride, but if always winning an argument is your top priority, then your marital priorities are not set straight.
- In most cases it is beneficial to the marriage to be honest in all aspects of life, whether it is about the little things to much larger issues. That said, sometimes it is okay to bite your tongue if you are about to be critical over something that isn’t important to you but is important to your partner. Learn to walk away if your comment is not going to help the situation.
- Always be sure to take care of yourself. If you aren’t happy about something in your life (health, weight, wanting to learn something new, etc.) you will start to become resentful, bitter, and short-tempered, which in return will have a negative impact on your spouse. Do the things that you love to do in order to keep both you and your spouse happy.
- Stop comparing yourself to other couples and focus on your own marriage. Everyone’s lives look picture perfect on social media. Learn to appreciate all the things that you do have in your life and stop focusing on the things you don’t have.
While some of these “rules” may seem obvious, sometimes its helpful to have a little reminder as to what is important. As the years pass and relationships fall in and out of ruts, it can be easy to overlook the basics of any healthy relationship.