When we were growing up, no one told us that marriage was going to take work. I think most people assumed that you would:
(A) Find someone you are compatible with
(B) Have fun with them
(C) Fall in love
(D) Get married
(E) Live happily ever after…
As we got older, we realized that the path to a happy marriage isn’t always easy. It takes time, attention, and sometimes… a lot of work. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a healthy relationship.
The number one most important thing is that you BOTH have a commitment to each other and prioritize making the marriage the best it can be.
Many of us grew up with parents who didn’t model a good marriage. Some parents fight loudly, while others just avoid conflict and then silence ensues in the household; neither of these extremes is healthy.
If we didn’t see “how” to have a good marriage growing up, it’s much more difficult to figure it out on your own later in life. So, if you are one of those people who didn’t learn how to have a happy relationship from their parents, you are not alone.
Let’s start by talking about the most important things in a marriage:
Unfortunately, trust is something that is hard to come by sometimes. People usually have one of two approaches:
(1) I don’t trust you until you prove that you are trustworthy, or (2) I trust you until you prove that you are untrustworthy.
Either way, trust is crucial to a happy marriage.
Both spouses must treat the other one with respect and kindness. That means never speaki ng in a mean or derogatory manner, nor engaging in any kind of mental, emotional, or physical abuse.
You must treat them like the Golden Rule – “treat others they way you would like to be treated.”
Many romantic relationships do not start out as friendships, but some do. Regardless of whether you are friends first or not, the best marriages are the ones that claim to be best friends. That’s the kind of relationship where each person has the other’s back and are able to talk to and confide in their spouse completely.
In order to have a healthy relationship, you have to enjoy spending time together.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend 24/7 with each other attached at the hip. But it does mean that you two enjoy doing activities together on a regular basis. They are your constant “built-in” companion.
Compatibility occurs on many, many different levels. From personality differences (introvert/extrovert), to hobbies, likes/dislikes, religion, politics, and other values, it is important to be as compatible as possible.
Although they say, “opposites attract,” I believe that similarity is one of the most important ingredients to a good marriage.
There are many different kinds of love – from the kind you have to a pet, your child, or your grandma – to the romantic type that makes you fall madly in love. And I don’t mean infatuation, because that fades