According to most statistics, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. This is an unfortunate fact, as both marriage and divorce are serious events that can have a profound effect on the rest of your life. If you’re looking to have a marriage that lasts, take a look at these ways you can keep your marriage happy and healthy.
#1 – Keep Some Independence
Chances are, your partner married someone who was happy, confident, and independent, with your own needs and wants. It’s important to keep that sense of independence, even after you’re married. Just because you’ve decided to share your lives together doesn’t mean you have to start enjoying the same activities and hobbies (though some overlap is natural and healthy). Spending some time apart can actually strengthen your relationship, and it gives you some interesting things to talk about when you are doing things together.
#2 – Be Thrifty
The number one thing that most couples argue and fight about is money. Take care of this early on by setting a budget for your household, and stick to it. Discuss any big purchases you’d like to make with your partner before buying anything, and in the end remember that your relationship is more important than any material item on your wish list.
#3 – Don’t Forget the Small Stuff
Once the wedding is over, it’s really easy to start letting the little things that made your courtship so much fun slide. You might be surprised, but it’s easy to let things like holding hands, paying each other compliments, and even non-sexual kissing fall by the wayside. If you want to keep your marriage healthy and happy, pay extra attention and make sure you continue doing these things. Try to have at least five small positive interactions every day. It may seem silly, but this is one of the main indicators of a happy, healthy marriage.
#4 – Be Open to Change
Let’s face it, five years from now, you and your partner won’t be the same people that you are today. Goals, personalities, hobbies – all of these things can change over time. Be willing to accept changes in your partner, and don’t try to force them to stay who they are. In the same vein, however, you shouldn’t try to change them to fit a new version of yourself, either. Accept that there are going to be some differences, and as long as those differences remain healthy, let it go.
#5 – Get Counseling
That being said, sometimes changes in your partner indicate a major shift in your relationship. If you start noticing changes that are unhealthy, or if you find you are having problems fitting in with your partner’s new visions for their life, it may be time to seek out some professional help. A qualified marriage counselor can help the two of you reconnect and figure out how to make your relationship work for the long haul. Attending sessions together will teach you important lessons about communication, and really help you reconnect with your partner.