Make Your Marriage Work
Edited by Train Wreck, VisiHow, Eng
One of the most important parts of making any marriage better is to prioritize it. Making your marriage a priority will also make it stronger and make it last. While many of us feel that our marriage is our priority, sometimes we aren't aware that it really isn't. Too often we slip into a false sense of security, believing that our marriage is already a success. Unfortunately if you don't work to make your marriage more exciting, sooner or later you and or your partner will look outside the marriage for excitement.
This does not necessarily mean either of you will have an affair, but it does mean you may end up devoting more time to leisure or recreational activities that don't involve your spouse. That's something you should try to avoid at all costs. In the tutorial below, we will discuss ways you can make your marriage something wonderful. Note that this guide is intended for both men and women. Read on to learn more.
9 Steps to the Perfect Marriage
- 1Build trust. This is the single most important thing you can do in your marriage. Trust is about much more than monogamy. It is all about knowing that the person you're with is going to come back because they want to. It is not about believing that they will never leave. This is an unrealistic expectation. They will leave. They will leave for work, they will leave to go to the grocery store, they may even leave on business trips. The important thing though is that they will always come back. Healthy and well-adjusted children instinctively understand this. They don't get jealous when a father or mother plays with another child. Likewise if your partner happens to look at someone else or flirt with someone else, you need to trust that he or she is with you because he or she wants to be with you. Of course, a big part of trust is talking, which we discuss below.Advertisement
- 2Talk to each other. This cannot be stated enough. Communication is the second most important thing in any relationship. The reason is the second most important thing is that without trust, you can't be sure your partner is being fully honest or open with you. Therefore it's very important to talk about things. As in the example given above, if your husband or wife is smiling at someone else, or talking to someone else and it disturbs you, then you should talk about it. However when your spouse tells you that you are the only person for them, and they explain or add detail to that, letting you know why you're so important, you should accept it. Your spouse is with you because they made the choice to be with you.Advertisement
- 3You will be both attracted to other people. Accept the fact that you and your spouse will be attracted to others. This does not mean you will run away to have a secret meeting with someone else. Instead it means that you will see other people who you find attractive. Some of them may be mentally attractive to you, others may be physically attractive. It doesn't matter. Consider the example of a husband or wife being attracted to a movie star, like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. Most of the time that is just laughed off by partners. However, when it's the girl or boy next door, it raises all kinds of insecurities and issues. These issues and insecurities are raised because trust has not been built between the two of you. You're probably also afraid to talk about the issue. By simply accepting that attraction is a normal part of being human, and trusting that your partner loves you just as you love your partner, you'll be less inclined to worry about a temporary attraction to someone else.
- 4Let your husband or wife know how important he or she is. Building on the earlier parts of this discussion, it's important to make sure that you communicate clearly to your husband or wife how important he or she is to you. Let him or her know things that you like about him or her, let him or her know why you chose to be with him or her, and show him or her your love. In the process you will also be reminding yourself of the things that you like about him or her. Plus, as you explain and show to him or her how much he or she means to you, you will be reinforcing the very behaviors in him or her that you liked and found attractive when you first got married.
- 5Don't expect your partner to do everything for you. This does not mean helping out with household chores or work tasks. What it means is actually taking care of yourself as a human being. Before you met your partner you probably had friends, hobbies, goals, and dreams. When you marry someone it is not acceptable to sideline all of these things for your spouse. If you do this you are placing an unfair burden on them and you. It is unreasonable to expect any relationship to succeed under such circumstances. Maintain your own hobbies and friends. This does not mean you should exclude your spouse from these hobbies or these friends. Rather it's to say that you should have things which are yours, and which you take a degree of personal ownership in. For example if you play hockey, and she likes volleyball, there's nothing wrong with the two of you sharing your interests. It can also add a degree of healthy competition as she smashes a volleyball past you, and you gently check her in the rink.
- 6You are the biggest threat to your relationship. That's right. There is no greater threat to your relationship than you. This means that if you want to keep your relationship steady, and on solid ground, you need to pay a lot of attention to it. If you don't pay attention to your relationship, then you are responsible for it falling apart. This is obviously to say that the blame always falls on one person. Rather it's to say that as we get comfortable in our relationships, people stop paying attention to the things that they are used to expecting to be there. Think of it like a puppy, or kitten. When someone gets a new pet, they dote on it. They take their pet out, they carry their pet, they constantly spend time with it. Then their pet gets a little bigger and usually ends up being marginalized a bit. This is why pets chew up shoes and make messes in places they shouldn't. It's also why husbands and wives have affairs. Pay attention to your relationship and make sure that you are not a threat to it, and you shouldn't have to worry about these things.
- 7Do not compare and compete. This doesn't mean you shouldn't have some healthy competition in your relationship. Instead, it means that you should never compare your spouse to any of your exes. If your ex-wife did something better than your current wife, pointing that out to your new wife is not at all constructive. In fact it's actually destructive. Logically speaking, your new wife will have little to think other than wondering why you didn't just stay with your last wife. The same holds true for husbands. Don't ever compare your husband to someone you used to date or be married to -- even if it's a comparison that makes your spouse look better. What you're saying when you do that is that you used to love someone else, and you would have stayed with them -- but they didn't do what you needed. It makes your spouse into a second, rather than a first. Instead focus on all of the great things about the person you're married to that caused you to fall in love with them. Make them your first -- not someone from your past.
- 8Set realistic goals and expectations. One of the more common but less talked about reasons marriages fail is two people having similar but different sets of expectations. For example, you may believe that your children should start preschool from the age of two. Your spouse may believe that they should wait until they are four. If the two of you discuss starting preschool early, but don't go over the particulars, this can set a bad standard of miscommunicating critical details. Over time that will erode your relationship. If you discuss buying a family car, and one of you prefers a van, while the other prefers a hybrid sports luxury car, you're discussing two drastically different things with the same words. Instead of this, be very clear in discussing things that are important to you. If you don't care about the type of car or van you have, that discussion does not matter as much. However, if you do care about when your child starts preschool, you need to be very specific in the discussion. Likewise make sure that your partner knows what is important to you. If you would rather your partner spent a week canvassing local schools for your child then shopping around used car dealerships for your car, let him or her know.
- 9Set aside time for one another. This is something that we mention last because of its importance. We didn't want to overshadow trust and communication, and we didn't want it to get lost in the middle of the article. By setting aside time for each other, we don't mean sitting in front of the TV, or having dinner out with friends. This actually means planning dates with one another. One of the unfortunate casualties of many marriages is the contempt that familiarity breeds. What that means is that the more accustomed you are to something, the less you appreciate it. By way of example, let's consider any person who starts dating and is extremely interested in their new partner. This is someone who has in almost every case taken their father and mother for granted. They have also taken the friends for granted. Most of their time, thought, and energy will be devoted to their new partner. Their partner will of course be doing the same for them. This makes both people feel wonderful. Then they fall in love, and later get married. Sadly, after a few years of marriage, too many people stop prioritizing their spouse, and instead take them for granted. The reality of marriage is that we have a great many responsibilities thrust upon us throughout our lives. Some we choose, others we do not. Of the things we are able to choose, our spouse is the most important. Remember that, and set aside special time at least once a week to spend with your spouse. You'll never have anyone else like him or her. Show it. This can be a dinner, a walk in the park, or a discussion about a topic that interests one or both of you. Pay attention to your partner, and your marriage will last forever.
The fact is that in too many relationships is that people stop paying attention to the little things that make their partner feel special. It's not that they don't care, rather it's that they've learned they don't have to worry.
It's no different than a child who needs pampering and dressing, but then eventually learns to take care of their own needs and dress themselves. Parents forget that, and the lament of both teens and parents later is that they wish things were 'easier' like they were when the teen was younger. Married couples say the same thing in counselling. He or she used to love more, used to be more affectionate, or used to care more. It's not that anyone in these loving relationships chooses not to understand one another. It's just that over time they have learned to stop paying as much attention to one another. This causes them to become strangers and drift apart.
- Don't forget all of the little things that make a marriage tick. There's no reason a husband or wife can't make a hot bath for the other one when they're coming home in the evening.
- Exchange little cards or gifts, or send sweet messages to one another.
- Don't let your spouse become a stranger. Show him or her love, affection, and respect. Do these nine things, and you have the foundation for a very stable and long lasting relationship.
See more articles for women on relationships: Finding Ring Sizes for Him, Signs That Your Marriage Is Over, Telling If Your Husband Does Not Love You Anymore, Getting Relationship Advice, Getting Over Divorce (for Women), Getting Over a Broken Heart (for Women), Cheating Husband, Finding Out If Your Husband Loves You, Tell if Your Husband Hates You, Write an Apology Letter to Your Boyfriend, Write an Apology Letter to Your Husband, and Surviving Internet Affairs and Repairing Relationships.
See more articles for men on relationships: Finding Ring Sizes for Her, Write an Apology Letter to Your Girlfriend, Signs That Your Marriage Is Over, Sending Morning SMS Messages, Telling If Your Wife Hates You, Telling If Your Wife Loves You, Getting Over a Divorce, First Date Tips, Getting Relationship Advice, Getting Over a Broken Heart, Know if Your Wife Likes Another Man, Write an Apology Letter to Your Wife, and Survive an Internet Affair and Repair Your Relationship.
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Categories : Marriage
Recent edits by: VisiHow, Train Wreck