Marriage is not for everyone. Though many couples think they can pull it off, the divorce rate in the United States is currently around 38%. The rate of people getting married has decreased as well, so it remains relative. People seem to marry when they are older, so the perception is that more people have their act together before walking down the aisle.
 
 
Since I celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary this past year, I thought I’d take a minute to share some insight into what has worked for us to keep things together. I want to preface this by saying I am not an expert in marriage. My wife and I admittedly have made our share of mistakes and dealt with troubles on an ongoing basis, but we seem to have a machine that runs pretty well together.
 

 

10 Tips for Creating a Lasting Marriage

 

Communicate

Lasting marriages survive when a couple communicates. Nothing is more important in a marriage than communication. Open and honest communication is critical. Do not hold back on your thoughts. My family was not talkers growing up, so this took me time to learn and get used to. Pushing down your feelings/emotions is never good and even worse when you are hiding those feelings from a spouse. It’s always best to clear the air and express your true feelings.

Communicate at all times...

Communicate at all times…

 

 

Show respect and admiration

Lasting marriages consist of mutual respect and admiration. Do not criticize or put down your spouse. Instead, build them up and support them. Opening a door and saying thank you still go a long way. Showing respect and admiration in a marriage is a daily task that should continually be worked on.

 

Show Respect

Show Respect

 

 

Laugh 

A marriage in which you can laugh (both at each other and yourself) will always be a healthy relationship.  My wife and I love to laugh and enjoy nothing more than watching a funny movie and just laughing. Learning to laugh at ourselves and not take life too seriously has made us bond more in our marriage.

Laugh

Laugh at yourself and at anything you can!

 

 

Compliment

Regardless of who you are, everybody loves a compliment. Let your spouse know how you feel about them, what you are thankful or grateful for.  Tell your wife she looks beautiful or smells good. Notice when he/she changes something about themselves? A new hairstyle, piece of clothing, etc. Complementing your spouse will go a long way toward creating a lasting marriage.

Compliment when you can

A compliment goes a long way

 

 

Admit when you’re wrong

Healthy marriages are built on being honest, and this includes admitting when you’re wrong. Arguments or disagreements will arise, but it’s always best to admit when you’re wrong if it’s your fault. Don’t always say you’re sorry to squash an argument as that creates a whole different slew of problems, but there is nothing wrong with admitting when you’re wrong. Make sure to apologize as well just out of common courtesy.

Admit when you're wrong

Admit when you’re wrong

 

 

Don’t go to bed angry

Going to bed early seems cliche even to write down, but it is very accurate. If you go to bed mad about something, those thoughts of anger fester overnight and only get worse by morning. Some people prefer to let an issue rest a bit before addressing it, and that’s ok as well, but don’t let it linger too long and always make sure you don’t go to bed angry. It’s still best to confront the issue head-on and take care of it sooner than later.

Don't go to bed angry...

Don’t go to bed angry…

 

 

Accept each other’s faults

No one is perfect. The sooner you realize that, the better off you will be. I’ve discussed this before in previous posts, so learn to accept each other’s faults. Those same faults that you hate now may be the thing that you love most about your spouse later in life. I’ve heard countless stories of wives complaining about their spouses snoring, but when the spouse isn’t home, they miss the snoring. We all have faults, it doesn’t hurt to work on them, but sometimes we need to accept that some things can’t be changed.

Accept each other's faults

Accept each other’s faults

 

Listen

Communication, as discussed earlier, is critical, and part of that communication involves listening. Listen to what they are saying to you both verbally and sometimes non verbally. My wife doesn’t need to tell me she’s upset for me to know something is wrong, but it cues me to ask what’s the matter. A strong marriage takes communication but also the ability to listen to each other and understand what each person is feeling. You might not agree, and that’s ok, but sometimes it just helps to be heard.

You better listen!

You better listen!

 

 

Alone Time/Date night

As much as you might love your children, a strong marriage needs adult time. Many couples make the mistake of having their entire lives revolve around the children. They never allow for adult time, and by the time the children are older and move on, the parents realize they have nothing to talk about. You see it all the time with older couples who go to a restaurant and sit there staring at the walls. Allow adult time. Perhaps try a date nightonce a week or at a minimum once a month to be alone with your spouse. Try to connect on issues other than just the children, as well. An overnighter never hurts either. Just be careful if you don’t want more children.

Plan a date night

Plan a date night once a week or at least once a month

 

Marry the right person

It seems like common sense, right? Don’t take for granted the importance of making sure you marry someone who you enjoy spending time with and who you value as your best friend. You are getting married “until death does us part,” so make sure this is someone you want to be around.

I can honestly say after 25 years that I’m confident I made the right decision. My wife and I rarely argue. We may disagree here and there, and that’s OK. Each of us has our different interests which we pursue, we both work and have a group of terrific friends. I enjoy going to concerts while my wife enjoys a good Broadway show or a girls’ weekend. We’ve built a beautiful life and a strong marriage, and it’s something we’re both very proud of.

Marry someone who makes you happy

Marry someone who makes you happy

 

I hope you can do the same one day

What are some of your tips for a strong marriage? Comment below and for similar articles visit our LIFE EDGE section.

 

 

 

 

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