It’s been said that half of all marriages end in divorce, but that statistic was created in the 1980s, and it was flawed even then. The divorce rate has been declining ever since. Part of the reason is that the marriage rate is also declining.
The landscape of marriage and relationships is changing, and only time will tell where it will take us.
Nevertheless, marriage can still be difficult and divorce is still somewhat common. The good news is that there are things every couple can do to maintain a healthy marriage. We’ll go into more detail in the paragraphs below.
1. Be Ready
Among the most common causes of divorce are money problems, addiction, and incompatibility. While there’s no surefire way to keep a marriage from having these problems, they’re far easier to avoid if you prepare for them.
How does one prepare for money problems, or addictions? Again, nothing is certain, but many couples postpone marriage until they are both financially stable and comfortable, which makes money problems less likely.
Drug and alcohol abuse often start sometime during adolescence. This means that if you’re with someone for a while, there’s a good chance you’ll be aware of any history with drugs or alcohol and potential addictions.
2. Spend Time Together
Couples that don’t see very much of each other tend to grow apart. While life is always going to be life and things will occasionally come up, making time for each other is essential.
This can come in many different forms. Many couples plan a date night. Others schedule hangouts with just themselves and friends.
Regardless of what you do, it’s important to stay close to one another and get to know each other as much as possible. People can change over time, and we need to follow them and learn how those changes are affecting them.
You should try to be friends with your partner, and support them just like you would a friend.
3. Make Your Marriage a Top Priority
Whenever possible, your marriage should come first. You need to make your partner a big part of your life. This ties into spending time together, but it’s more than just that.
It’s about realizing that your marriage is the most important aspect of your life. You may love your job, but it’s not everything. You may love your friends, but a true friend would accept your decision even if they don’t like it.
The exception here is abuse. If abuse is happening, you should get out and take your children with you. Those around you are legitimately concerned for your safety, and you should listen.
Being in the same room as someone does nothing if you’re not mentally and emotionally there as well. It’s all about being there for them, and that can sometimes be as easy as talking to them after the kids have gone to bed.
While we’re on the subject of talking, we need to stress the importance of communication. It can be hard to talk about feelings, desires, and other personal subjects, but nowhere is it more important than in a marriage.
Communication is about listening just as much as talking. We’ve all had those fights where it feels like everybody is talking and nobody is trying to understand. We often say things we don’t mean just to make ourselves heard.
These fights solve nothing and often leave us feeling hurt. Ignoring each other and refusing to talk also solves nothing.
The only way to solve things is to talk it out. Knowing how our partner feels and what they want can help prevent fights.
Sometimes, there will be fights, and that’s inevitable. In some cases, the healthiest thing we can do is allow ourselves to be angry. Getting it all out can help us to calm down so that we’re more ready to explore solutions.
Learning to talk can be difficult, and sometimes marriage counseling can help.
5. Let Things Go
Accepting something you don’t agree with or admitting that you’re wrong can be the hardest thing in the world. Sometimes, just admitting that your partner has a point can be enough. Maybe nobody has to be wrong.
Your love for each other needs to be more important than personal pride. Pride goes before the fall, and this can be just as true in marriage as everywhere else.
6. Stay Intimate
Talking about sex can be uncomfortable, but you have to for a marriage to work. More than just talking about sex, you need to make time to be intimate with each other.
Having to make time for sex rather than doing it spontaneously can feel awkward or stale, but there are a lot of benefits of sex. It eases stress, which is always good, especially in a marriage.
It also helps your body burn energy, which can lead to weight loss. Plus, sex increases your libido. Simply put, the more you have sex, the more you want to have sex.
Making time for intimacy may be just what your marriage needs to help get your passion back.
How to Have a Healthy Marriage
There isn’t one surefire way to have a healthy marriage, but being willing to put in the effort is one of the biggest steps. Trying to make things work makes you more likely to succeed.
We’ve mentioned a few things to try in the paragraphs above, but there are many more out there. We encourage you to do more research on your own if you’re interested.
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